Liberty Safe isn’t having the best week ever for a gun safe manufacturer. Much of it is of their own doing, as Ranjit noted on Wednesday.
The company, as noted in the above piece, released a statement meant to explain that they only provided the code in response to a search warrant. Now, we still don’t know the details of the warrant in question–did the police issue a warrant for the access code itself or did Liberty Safe simply provide it voluntarily to help law enforcement in executing the warrant?
Still, it was an attempt at damage control and, honestly, it didn’t make many people feel any better.
While I’m concerned that they might not have been legally compelled to provide an access code but did so anyway, I’m not losing sleep over that right now because we have unanswered questions. The bigger concern for me is that there was a backdoor code in the first place.
Yes, these seem to be unique, but if I buy a safe, I want to be the one who decides who gets into that safe or not. I mean, isn’t that the point about safes?
A lot of people are less than pleased, which is leading to some calling for a boycott of Liberty Safe.
In a statement on Wednesday, Liberty Safe said it was asked by the FBI on August 30 for the access code to a safe, supplying it to the bureau after receiving proof of a warrant.
Some conservatives threatened to return or cancel their orders for safes from the business following the announcement.
“Liberty Safe is an enemy to gun owners. They could have fought the warrant—like Apple did—instead they buckled and bent over. Your guns are not safe with @libertysafeinc Boycott. Ridicule. Ruin their company,” Kirk said.
The backlash toward the company arrives after a continual push from consumers as they stop shopping at businesses that don’t align with their values.
I don’t actually disagree about guns not being safe with Liberty Safe.
A second code is another potential point of access to property I intend to keep secure. Even if the company is honest when telling people they don’t comply with law enforcement requests that lack a warrant, the problem is that there’s a backdoor into the safe people paid for in order to secure their firearms.
And, in Liberty Safe’s defense, they seem to understand they screwed up and are stepping up their damage control efforts.
— Liberty Safe (@libertysafeinc) September 7, 2023
So what they’re doing is allowing customers to opt out of there being a backdoor access code. Some who are concerned about not being able to remember their code may opt for the company to keep the backdoor in place, but now the customers who don’t want such a feature can have the access code expunged from their records.
That’s good, assuming that we can trust Liberty Safe to actually do that.
For me, though, I can’t help but wonder why this wasn’t already in place in some way, shape, or form. Ideally, I’d rather have to sign up for a backdoor code to be kept than to have to opt out of it, but that might also create new technical challenges, so I can look past that. The fact that until now, customers had no choice about the company having a way to open the safe they purchased without the customer’s permission seems inherently wrong.
Liberty Safe can do the damage control they want, but I’m not sure that it’s going to be enough. The comparisons to Bud Light started and they’re unlikely to ease up because of this.