Family Sues Safe Manufacturer After Death of 12-Year-Old

Dave Martin

We tell everyone they need to have some means of securing their firearms. A gun safe is the preferred method and there are a ton of them out there.

Anti-gunners also favor gun safes and want to mandate everyone use one.


Obviously, that’s not something I’m about to support, but I do think people should get a gun safe and use it, especially if you have kids.

Yet one family did everything right. They had a safe. They say they used the safe.

They also say it didn’t work.

Now, they’re suing the manufacturer.

A couple blames a faulty gun safe for the death of their 12-year-old son. Now they’re trying to make sure the tragedy they’re going through doesn’t happen to anyone else.

Jeaneen Preston held back tears while talking about her son, Carson.

The Prestons had their son’s safety in mind when they bought a gun safe in 2021.

“We know that kids are curious, and we wanted to make sure that we were doing our part in protecting our kids and locking all the guns up,” Jeaneen Preston said.

They bought a Fortress Quick Access Safe with a biometric lock, requiring a fingerprint to unlock. But on Jan. 8, 2022, Carson managed to open the safe. He got ahold of the gun inside and shot himself.

“It’s been the most horrific thing that we have ever been through,” Jeaneen Preston said.


That particular safe has since been removed from the shelves, though the lawsuit continues.

Now, understand that any company can make a bad product. No matter who it is, there’s a chance of a defective product making it through and being sold to someone.

That’s bad enough if it’s something like a TV or a blender. It’s quite another if it’s meant to keep guns out of the hands of young children.

The Prestons did exactly what we tell people they should do if they have kids and a gun. They trusted that product to keep young, curious hands away from their firearms. I don’t blame them for filing a lawsuit and feeling like someone should pay.

They should.

Yet I also can’t help but think about biometric locks on so-called smart guns.

We often talk about what happens when such a lock doesn’t work and it prevents us from using a firearm, but this makes me think about the flip side of that issue. What if someone trusts that biometric security system on a “smart gun” and it fails to prevent the wrong person from using it?


That is, unfortunately, the problem with technology. The more complicated something is, the more points of failure are introduced. That includes things like gun safes with biometric locks, of course, but it’s true of anything.

This means the more complicated a thing is, the more likely it is to fail.

Semi-automatic firearms have had more than a century to work out the bugs. Other types of guns have had even longer. We’ve honed them until they’re trustworthy.

Consumer biometrics aren’t necessarily there yet, as this case makes very clear.

The Prestons did what most people would have done and they trusted the product to do as advertised. If the product failed to do that, the manufacturer should have to answer for that.

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