Watch Me Lock My Brother In The Gun Safe At Gander Mountain

By Major Van Harl

Gander Mountain Gun Safes
Other Guns Safes at Gander Mountain sat by and watched.
Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Major Van Harl USAF Ret

Wisconsin –-( The local Gander Mountain store is going belly up in Franklin, Wisconsin. I was in there trying to find some deals. Knocking 15% off of something that is way over priced is not really a deal.

As I was getting ready to leave an older man ran up to the gun counter and told the associate to stop what he was doing. The older man’s grandson was locked inside one of the gun safes on display. You could kind of see the exasperation on the face of the associate.

At first I was not even going to pay attention, I was still looking for that phantom sale and good deal. Then the crowd started to form around the safe and then the police and fire fighters showed up.

The Gander Mountain associates were trying to get the electronic key pad lock system to open the safe but it had been “messed” with too many times. You see there were two dumb ass brothers. The older fourteen-ish looking one crawled inside the safe and the younger, chunkier one closed the door and messed with the key pad.

When the chunky dumb ass brother could not get the safe lock to unlock, older dumb ass brother started to panic. This is when grandpa got involved.

I spoke to one of the associates after it was all over and I asked if someone could climb into the safe and lock themselves in. The answer was no, so my next questions was, did chunky dumb ass brother lock the older boy in the safe and the answer was, yes.

The brand of the safe is not important. The safe did nothing wrong and the company does not need any negative press.

The safe company was on the phone line trying to talk the Gander associates through getting the safe open. The problem was after chunky dumb ass brother messed with the key pad, the pad automatically went into a 20 minute time out were you could not use the system.

Of course grandpa was unhappy and wanted dumb ass older brother out of the safe now, not in twenty minutes. The safe was not air tight no one was going to suffocate. The dumb ass older brother started whining from inside the safe that he was uncomfortable and grandpa insisted that they break into the safe.

Remember when you were a little kid and the nice fire fighters came to your school and gave you a demonstration on how they use the Jaws of Life to rip open a wrecked car and extract a person and bring them to safety? Well they have battery powered Jaws of Life now and they tore up that safe getting dumb ass older brother out.

After the extraction I asked the lead fire fighter if they had ever broken into a safe before to rescue anyone, they had not. The representative from the safe company told the Franklin Wisconsin fire fighters there had been one other incident where someone had to be extracted from one of their safes. My impression was it too was also a dumb ass case.

I asked the grandfather if he thought he would get a discount on the damaged safe when he bought it. He was not happy with my question. He truly believed it was the Gander Mountain store’s problem not his.

John Wayne is alleged to have said “life is hard and it is harder if your are stupid.”

I know you are suppose to take it easy on kids, but in this case a kid could have died. Dumb ass chunky brother was not going to tell his grandfather what he had done. You had to be right next to the safe to hear the boy inside.

I heard where older brother used his cell phone to call for help from inside the safe. I guess grandpa would have figured out something was wrong when it was time to leave the store and only one grandson was present.

Of course, call 911 and we all know all the emergency needs of the dumb ass family were going to be met. There were three cops, six fire fighter (may be more) and a half a dozen Grander Mountain associates attending the safe and the problems that the dumb ass family created.

I sadly remember as a child the stories of children putting other children inside old refrigerators and locking them in, only to have the child inside suffocate. I guess grandpa also remembered these tragic stories because he insisted that oxygen be pumped into the safe so dumb ass older brother could breath. He was told by the associates who were on the phone to the safe company that the safe was not air tight and there would be no breathing problem. Not good enough for grandpa, so the oxygen got pumped in. I wonder who paid for the oxygen?

So I guess safes are not really safe if dumb ass people are in close proximity. Who gets left holding the bag with the un-repairable safe?

I did go back to the Gander Mountain and asked about the safe. It had been removed to the back storage room and according to one associate grandpa was most likely going to get charged for the damaged safe.

Do you think he will come by to pick up the safe and let his dumb ass grandsons play with it at home?

Major Van Harl USAF Ret. / [email protected]

About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School.  A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI.  His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training.  He believes “evil hates organization.”  [email protected]

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“There were three cops, six fire fighter (may be more) and a half a dozen Grander Mountain associates attending the safe and the problems that the dumb ass family created.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the Traveler family walked out with half the store while all those people were focused on the drama..

Old dog

Stupid is as stupid does- Forrest Gump


This is one reason I bought two medium safes of a size that big-bubba me can’t possibly fit into (or even most kids, with the shelving that was prepositioned). Reminds me of The House of Usher. There should be some sort of override handle inside the higher-end safes (granted they would cost a mgood bit more) that would free up the mechanism to be opened, roughly similar to a car trunk release. I’m not OK with the mfgr’s assertion that the safe was not airtight. A panicky person will breathe way more air – ask any diver who has had… Read more »


And a panicky person who breathes up all his air too fast passes out….and then breathes much slower.


When I was a kid and messed with something in the store, I got an @$$ whipping. Sounds like grandpa forgot the ‘good old days’.


Too funny! Thank you for this story had me chuckling for hours!

G Miller

Unfortunately, there will now be a run on portable ‘jaws of life’ by criminals.

Webfoot Logger

Odd – in a number of the stores I’ve been in, the lock was deactivated and the liner had to be removed and something done inside the door to activate it.

This meant that the door could be clsed and the bolts shot, but since the lock was inactive, the handle could be rotated back and the door opened.

I was under the impression that the safes were shipped that way by the manufacturer. I’d thought it was to prevent he safe from being locked and rendered unsalable while on display, but this . . .

RM Molon Labe

Was the idiot in the safe…named Gil?

Webfoot Logger

We can only hope.

RM Molon Labe

His significant other, no WAY a woman…cracks the window in the car. So the idiot doesn’t over heat while being left alone.

RM Molon Labe

He’d blame the safe….

Archie Trott

he will not be charged for the safe they will be lucky not to go to court four negligence , most broken merchandise is written off as a loss, as do most large American retailers. Legal doctrine also holds that a retailer incurs the risk that merchandise will be destroyed by placing it where customers can handle it and not doing anything to discourage them.


We see all sorts of “improvements” in the automotive industry because the unthinking class manages to do something they shouldn’t in or to a vehicle. Why not safes? Making a safe safe is as easy as safe sex. The next model will certainly have room for 10 guns, sport a padded seat, and have a straw hole big enough for a superstraw.


Ban safes! For the children!