By Joe Kurtenbach
Most of us can agree that firearm security is paramount – when not in use, guns need to be stored in a safe manner to prevent theft and accidents. We can also agree, though, that firearms relied on for defense need to be accessible and easily made ready for action. It’s a bit of a Catch-22 conundrum – you want to protect your guns, but you also want your guns accessible to protect yourself.
It's also a nuanced concern. Everyday life takes guns owners through a range of different locations and activities that warrant varying levels of security and preparedness. For example, a gun at home in the safe is of little comfort during a trip to the ATM. Likely you’d prefer to be packing during those errands when your life and valuables are more vulnerable. But what if the next stop of your day is to a non-permissive environment for firearms, such as picking up kids from school or dropping off paperwork at the courthouse? Your car, as too many gun owners find out, is not a gun safe.
Enter GoSafe, and the company’s Mobile firearm security solutions. The GoSafe Mobile Safe and Mobile Mag actually work to make your pistol its own portable safe.
To start, GoSafe Mobile products mimic the dimensions of a semiautomatic pistol magazine. Like a magazine, they are inserted up through the frame of the pistol and are held in place by the gun’s magazine lock/release.
Once in place, an eight-tooth sprocket-style key can be inserted into the basepad and rotated from “FIRE” to “SAFE” to engage the locking mechanism. The text for the two status positions is clearly engraved and easily identified by the colored circles next to each: red for FIRE, white for SAFE. Additionally, a small indicator protrudes out of the rear of the Mobile unit’s basepad when the lock is set to SAFE. The indicator wears a white ring for visual identification, but also provides tactile status confirmation.
In the FIRE position, the Mobile Safe or Mag can be freely inserted or removed, just like a standard magazine. In the SAFE position, however, a steel extension rotates forward as the key turns. Located on the leading face near the top of the Mobile unit, the extension performs two critical functions: First, it engages the trigger bar to prevent rearward movement. Mechanically locking the trigger means the gun cannot be manually fired. Secondly, the extension itself becomes a locking lug that prevents the Mobile unit being removed from the firearm. So, in the SAFE position the gun cannot be fired, and the trigger lock cannot be removed without the key.
At launch, GoSafe’s Mobile products will be compatible with Glock 17- and Glock 19-pattern pistols, including iterative models that utilize the same 17- or 15-round magazines, respectively. I don’t expect GoSafe to make any blanket claims about performance with pistol designs and manufacturers that utilize the basic Glock blueprint, but I can confirm functionality with my Shadow Systems pistols. Beyond Glocks, GoSafe reports that products for Smith & Wesson M&Ps as well as SIG Sauer pistols are in the works.
The Mobile units will come in two basic flavors, the Mobile Safe ($80) and the Mobile Mag ($100). The Safe is just that, a portable, internal gun lock that secures the firearm in the manner described above. The Mobile Mag, however, is a combination safe and magazine. The unit locks down the pistol just as previously described. However, it also includes an abbreviated 10-round double-stack magazine. In the FIRE position, the Mobile Mag works just like a regular magazine.
As I mentioned, firearm security is a nuanced topic, and individual needs may change throughout the day. I appreciate that GoSafe really thought outside the box – the 1,000-pound steel box – to provide a non-traditional solution. In no way do I think Mobile Safe is the final answer in firearms security. Instead, I see it as an additional answer, and an innovative one, that helps expand the context within which firearms can be secured.