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Biometric Gun Safes Recalled After 12-Year-Old's Death

MONDAY, Oct. 23, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- More than 60,000 gun safes have been recalled following the death of a 12-year-old boy and dozens of reports that unauthorized people can open the Fortress Safe devices.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said a programming flaw allows unauthorized people into the biometric safe. The youth died in Nevada after he opened and allegedly accessed a gun stored inside.

He suffered a "lethal gunshot wound to the head" in January 2022, according to lawsuit documents obtained by the New York Times.

The boy's father bought the safe in 2021 at a Scheels store in Nevada, the news report said.

The safe uses fingerprint technology. Consumers can think they’ve set the biometric lock, allowing access only by an authorized person, but the safe remains in the "default to open" mode, the CPSC said. This allows unauthorized users, including children, to access firearms in the safe.

The CPSC said there have been 39 reports of safes accessed by unpaired fingerprints.

People who have these safes should immediately stop using the biometric feature, remove the batteries and only use the key, the CPSC advised.

You should contact Illinois-based Fortress Safe for instructions on disabling the biometric feature. The company is also offering a free replacement safe.

The recalled gun safes include portable lock boxes, personal safes, pistol vaults and gun cabinets with brand names Fortress, Cabela’s, Gettysburg and Legend Range & Field.

A label on the back of the safe displays the model number. The number is also listed on the top right corner of the original packaging.

The safes were sold at Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Scheels, Sportsman’s Guide, Optics Planet, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Gander, Rural King, Lowe’s and other stores nationwide. They were also sold online at Amazon.com and Ebay.com from January 2019 through October 2023. The retail price was between $44 and $290.

The products were made in China and imported by Fortress Safe, also known as Xpedition LLC, of Naperville, Ill.

Consumers can report any incidents with the safe to the CPSC.

To learn more about the recall, call Fortress Safe toll-free at 833-588-9181 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT Monday through Friday or online.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on firearms deaths in the United States.

SOURCE: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, news release, Oct. 19, 2023

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