When it comes to keeping your family safe and protecting your favorite firearms from burglars, you likely want to use the most technologically advanced equipment to secure your guns. However, choosing safes outfitted with the wrong kind of electronic access control could put everyone at more risk rather than less. Biometric locks, such as those unlocked by a fingerprint or palm print, have five specific drawbacks when used for home gun control when compared to other types of safe locks.
First, there are plenty of potential problems that can cause a gun safe to open very slowly in a tense situation in which you need a firearm as quickly as possible. Even the best fingerprint scanners are easily stymied by a layer of oil on your skin or a coating of dust on the scanner. When you're in a hurry and every second counts, having to try two to three times to get a reading or taking a moment to clean the scanner can be the difference between life and death. Dirt or paint on your hands will make it all but impossible to get to your guns in a hurry. Other types of locks, even digital ones, operate much more quickly, as you can turn a key or input a code.
Even when a fingerprint scanner is completely clean, the resolution of the scanning device determines how likely it is to read your fingerprint correctly the first time. Accurate sensors come in two types that either take a photographic scan or a ridge-pattern pressure scan, and both come in varying levels of resolution and sensitivity. The most reliable and secure fingerprint scanners still cost thousands of dollars and are only used by the military and government, but even if you spend hundreds of dollars on the biometric lock alone, it may still have a relatively weak fingerprint scanner that causes you plenty of headaches.
Whether the scanner becomes too damaged to use or a family member wants to open the safe after you pass away, all gun safes fitted with biometric controls also feature at least one backup lock option. If this lock is weak and easily opened by dropping the safe, tapping it with a hammer, or inserting a paperclip, even the most expensive biometric controls are basically worthless. Gun thieves are very familiar with the weaknesses of these overlooked backup locks, and curious toddlers and kids can also quickly find their way in if there's any way to do so. Test the lock thoroughly yourself if you can't find proof of testing from an independent source.
Since biometric locks aren't necessarily any more secure or easier to use than a digital keypad combination lock or an RFID-enabled smart lock, it's debatable if they're worth the higher cost that always accompanies them. Since these locks rely on sensitive wiring and delicate circuitry, there's a lot of assembly work and cost going into each advanced gun safe. It's better to spend that extra money on more proven security features, such as wall or floor mounting, than to just go for the most cutting-edge technology in the hopes that it's worth it.
Finally, there's no way to install a biometric access safe in a remote location without a power source because the lock only works as long as the electricity is flowing. If the power goes out during a hurricane and someone tries to take advantage of the situation, you don't want all your firearms trapped inside a very secure safe that no one can get into.
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