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Kids can easily crack some gun safes

Sunday - 7/29/2012, 2:02pm  ET

WASHINGTON - On the lighter side, the story conjures up images of adolescent MacGyvers.

Armed with nothing more than a McDonald's drinking straw or a paper clip, kids are able to open a safe.

The problem lies inside the safe, though: the ones that kids are opening contain guns.

A team of researchers at DefCon, a hacking convention, found one of the safes in question had a biometric reader that was bypassed by punching it out. Another was opened by jiggling the handle.

Set that against this backdrop: one in five american households own a handgun.

According to a study by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 500 teens and children are accidentally killed by guns each year, some of which were stored inside their homes.

Many families keep guns inside gun safes sold at some of the nation's largest retailers. Wired.com reports the people who studied the problem say the safes should be pulled from the market until safety improvements are made.

WTOP's Del Walters contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

Tags: gunsafehackerdefconwireddel walters