Charlotte County man creates device to safely lock away, track guns

Published: March 30, 2018 10:34 PM EDT

For nearly 30 years, Terry Gilbert has been trying to keep guns out of the hands of children and criminals.

For him—it’s personal.

“When the boy next door neighbor came over—he was 11—the gun went off. The boy died. We thought we’d come up with a better mouse trap than what was available at the time,” Gilbert said.

At the time, he and two other friends made a child safety-locking device. But now, after Columbine, Sandy Hook and Parkland, he wants to update it.

“Society has changed so dramatically since we started this,” Gilbert said. “I felt that it was time to take today’s technology and match it with today’s society and try to come up with a solution.”

Gilbert has teamed up with University of New Haven engineering students to build the new “Lat Lock” device. It locks, alerts and tracks if your gun goes missing.

“They put their arms around it and embraced it,” Gilbert said. “The prototype is now done and it will be unveiled on May 2.”

But Gilbert says the locking devices for guns have always been a problem. Most on the market don’t do the job.

He says the federal government needs to step in.

“The government needs to have the National Product Safety Commission involved. They need to determine what’s a safe storage. They should enact that in all 50 states,” he said.

Gilbert adds that gun owners need to share the blame if their guns end up in the wrong hands.

“They also have to put consequences with it, and the consequences have to be with the gun owner because the gun owner’s responsibility doesn’t end when you put the gun down,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert and his family will go to New Haven, CT in May to test out the “Lat Lock.” He says he’s talking to companies to get it on the market soon.