Fortress Safe is recalling about 61,000 biometric gun safes nationwide after the shooting death of a 12-year-old boy, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced.
The recalled safe poses a serious safety hazard and risk of death because the biometric reader on the lock can be opened by unauthorized users.
“The safes contain a biometric reader that allows unpaired fingerprints to open the safe until a fingerprint is programmed, allowing unauthorized persons, including children, to access hazardous contents, including firearms,” the company said.
The CPSC said a lawsuit had been filed against Fortress alleging a 12-year-old boy died from a firearm obtained from one of the safes. The agency added that there have been 39 incidents of safe owners reporting the product had been accessed by unpaired fingerprints.
The youth “suffered a lethal gunshot wound to the head” in January 2022 after he gained access to the safe in his home, according to a lawsuit filed earlier this year in a Nevada court, the New York Times reported.
The recalled gun safes, which were made in China, are portable lock boxes, personal safes, pistol vaults, and gun cabinets with brand names Fortress, Cabela’s, Gettysburg, and Legend Range & Field, the CPSC said.
They were sold nationwide at Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Gander, Lowe’s, Optics Planet, Rural King, Scheel’s, and Sportsman’s Guide, and online at eBay and Amazon. Retailers sold the safes from January 2019 through October 2023 for between $44 and $290.
The recall includes the following models:
- Model #11B20: Fortress Portable Safe with Biometric Lock
- Model #44B10: Fortress Personal Safe with Pop up door and Biometric Lock
- Model #44B10L: Legend Range & Field Personal Safe with Pop up door and Biometric Lock
- Model #44B20: Fortress Medium Personal Safe with Biometric Lock
- Model #55B20: Fortress Quick Access Safe with Biometric Lock
- Model #55B30: Fortress Large Quick Access Safe with Biometric Lock
- Model #55B30G: Gettysburg Large Quick Access Safe with Biometric Lock
- Model #4BGGBP: Cabela’s 4 Gun Safe with Biometric Lock
- Model #55B30BP: Cabela’s Biometric Personal Safe
Owners of the gun safes are advised to stop using the biometric reader in the safe, remove the batteries, and only use the key, the agency said. Owners can contact the manufacturer to get instructions on disabling the biometric feature and to receive a free replacement safe.
Fortress Safe can be reached at 833-588-9191. Consumers experiencing issues with a recall remedy can fill out a complaint form with the CPSC here.
According to a Pew Research Center analysis, children and teens killed by gunfire in the United States increased 50 percent between 2019 and 2021. In 2019, there were 1,732 gun deaths among those under the age of 18. That figure had increased to 2,590 in 2021.
More recently, a Trace analysis found that between May 1, 2022, and April 30, 2023, there were at least 162 incidents in which a child under 13 picked up a gun and fired it, inadvertently wounding or killing themselves or another child under 13. A total of 71 children were killed and 96 were injured.
Safe firearm storage has become increasingly important as most accidental shooting deaths among children involve guns left loaded and unlocked, according to a study. Researchers found the common circumstances for the deaths were children playing with a firearm or mistaking it for a toy.
From The Epoch Times