Title:
Gun safety lock device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gun lock device (10) prevents accidental or intentional firing of a loaded weapon (12) by locking the weapon. The gun lock device includes hinged portions (14, 16) which wrap around a barrel (31) of the weapon and are locked together by a locking assembly (69). The gun lock device prevents operation of both the trigger (52) and the hammer (440 of the weapon when installed. This effectively renders the gun unable to fire until the gun lock device is removed by unlocking with a key or secret combination.



Inventors:
Smith, Dennison (Cleveland, OH, US)
Application Number:
10/268314
Publication Date:
04/10/2003
Filing Date:
10/10/2002
Assignee:
SMITH DENNISON
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F41A17/54; F41A17/74; (IPC1-7): F41A17/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CLEMENT, MICHELLE RENEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ann M. Skerry, Esq. (Cleveland, OH, US)
Claims:

Having thus described the preferred embodiment, the invention is now claimed to be:



1. A gun lock device comprising: a barrel cover which straddles a gun barrel, the barrel cover including a first panel which extends adjacent a first side of the gun barrel and a second panel which extends adjacent a second side of the gun barrel; a locking assembly including: a lock operably connected with the first panel; and a catch operably connected with the second panel, the lock and catch being selectively interconnectable in a locking position to lock the gun lock device to the gun.

2. The gun lock device of claim 1, wherein the locking assembly includes a throw portion operably connected with the second panel and with the catch, the throw portion extending through a trigger guard opening of the gun when the locking assembly is in the locked position.

3. The gun lock device of claim 2, wherein the throw portion is pivotally connected with the second panel.

4. The gun lock device of claim 2, wherein the throw portion is pivotally connected with the catch.

5. The gun lock device of claim 2, wherein the throw portion extends through the trigger guard opening forwardly of a trigger of the gun when the locking assembly is in the locked position.

6. The gun lock device of claim 1, further comprising a rear trigger lock, operably connected with the first panel, the rear trigger lock extending at least partially through a trigger guard opening of the gun such that it is positioned rearwardly of a trigger of the gun when the locking assembly is in the locked position.

7. The gun lock device of claim 6, wherein the rear trigger lock cooperates with a throw of the locking mechanism to inhibit forward and rearward motion of the gun lock device relative to the gun when the locking mechanism is in the locked position.

8. The gun lock device of claim 6, wherein the rear trigger lock is generally L-shaped.

9. The gun lock device of claim 8, wherein the rear trigger lock includes a blocking portion which extends generally perpendicular to the first panel, the blocking portion being interposed between the trigger and the trigger guard when the locking mechanism is in the locked position.

10. The gun lock device of claim 1, wherein the first and second panels are pivotally connected.

11. The gun lock device of claim 1, wherein the barrel cover includes an extension which receives a hammer of the gun, the extension preventing actuation of the hammer when the locking mechanism is in the locked position.

12. The gun lock device of claim 11, wherein the extension defines a slot which receives a hammer of the gun at least partially therethrough.

13. The gun lock device of claim 1, further including a key for unlocking the catch from the lock.

14. A gun lock device comprising: a barrel cover; a locking assembly, the locking assembly including: a throw which passes through an opening between the barrel of a gun and a trigger guard, the throw being connected with a first side of the barrel cover; a catch operably connected with the throw; a lock which selectively engages the catch to prevent removal of the gun lock device from a gun, the lock being connected with a second side of the barrel cover; and a rear trigger guard connected with the barrel cover, the rear trigger guard being spaced from the throw by a trigger of the gun when the lock engages he catch.

15. The gun lock device of claim 14, wherein the first side of the barrel cover is defined by a first rigid panel and the second side of the barrel cover is defined by a second rigid panel, the first and second panels being pivotally interconnected.

16. The gun lock device of claim 14, further comprising: a hammer lock which selectively engages a hammer of the gun to prevent actuation of the hammer.

17. A method of inhibiting actuation of a gun, the method comprising: mounting a barrel cover of a gun lock device over a barrel of the gun such that a rear trigger guard extends behind a trigger of the gun; passing a throw of the gun lock device beneath the barrel of the gun, the throw being pivotally connected at a first end with one side of the barrel cover; engaging a catch with a lock to lock the gun lock device to the gun, the catch being connected with a second end of the throw, the throw and rear trigger guard cooperating to prevent actuation of the trigger.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein the barrel cover includes first and second portions which are pivotally connected, the step of mounting including pivoting one portion of the barrel cover toward the second portion such that the first and second portions lie generally flush with first and second sides of the barrel of the gun.

19. The method of claim 17, wherein the barrel cover includes a hammer lock, the step of mounting including engaging the hammer lock with the hammer, thereby inhibiting actuation of the hammer.

20. The method of claim 17, wherein the catch is pivotally connected with the second end of the throw and the step of engaging the catch with the lock includes pivoting the catch relative to the throw while inserting the catch in a slot defined by the lock.

Description:

[0001] This application claims the priority of U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/328,233, filed Oct. 10, 2001.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to the weapon safety arts and finds particular application as a lock for incapacitating a gun, such as a revolver.

[0003] A wide variety of devices are available for inhibiting the firing of a loaded gun. U.S. Pat. No. 4,619,062 to Johnson, for example, discloses a safety device for firearms using removable magazines. The device includes a main body which fits in the magazine well of the firearm, closing its outer end. An outer end of the main body is clearly visible at the outer end of the magazine well when the main body is properly located therein. A chamber-blocking member is movably attached to the main body and excludes cartridges from the firing chamber of the

[0004] weapon. In one embodiment of the invention, the blocking member includes a barrier which prevents a firing pin from reaching the primer of a cartridge which may be located in the firing chamber undetected.

[0005] U.S. Pat. No. 5,361,525 to Bowes discloses a gun safety lock which employs a barrel key to enable the firing mechanism of the gun. The barrel key is inserted in the handle of the gun, to allow the hammer of the weapon to be moved into a cocked or firing position. The barrel key is unique for each gun. The barrel key is held in the gun by retaining lugs. A lanyard attaches to the barrel key on one end and to the owner of the gun on the other end. Pressure on the lanyard causes the key to pull out of the gun and thereby disables the gun.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 6,389,726 to Bentley discloses a dual locking system for a firearm that allows the owner to keep a loaded gun unlocked for protection purposes while maintaining maximum security from a child's being able to fire the weapon. The gun lock assembly has a lock housing and a lock housing support assembly as its major structure. The lock housing support assembly is secured to the vertical leg portion of the trigger guard of the firearm. The lock housing is an elongated tubular member having a lock assembly mounted in its front end. Internal grooves in the lock housing act as a track for guiding it onto the lock housing support assembly. There is a spring loaded release button mounted on the bottom wall of the lock housing support assembly that travels along the inner surface of the bottom wall of the lock housing. The release button can drop into either one of two apertures in the bottom wall to provide two specific positions for the lock housing on the handgun. In the rearmost position, the trigger is completely hidden from view. In the forward position, the trigger is accessible and the firearm can be fired. The force required to depress the release button is intended to be sufficient to make it childproof and there is further structure in the form of a plastic overmold layer that conceals the location of the release button.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 6,389,727 to Schnell discloses removable trigger guard having a unitary housing that includes a first guard member and a second lock member permanently connected by a linking member having a fixedly sized gap therebetween for fitting the housing around the trigger lock section of a gun. The removable trigger guard has a lock member integrally and slidably coupled to the housing. The lock member has a open position such that it is not within the gap and an open position such that it is at least partially within the gap. The lock member has a shaft with a latching section for locking the shaft. The trigger lock includes a lock attached to the housing for locking the lock member into the second position. The locking mechanism is a combination lock.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 6,442,880 to Allan discloses a firearm with a safety mechanism including electronic circuitry and push buttons to operate the electronic circuitry and associated timing device including automatic time delay re-locking. The firearm also has a blocker that is controlled by an electromechanical device operated by electronic circuitry to prevent movement of the mechanism.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 6,438,885 to Murray, et al. discloses a weapon trigger guard apparatus for use on a gun rack having a support member and a lock coupled to the support member. The weapon trigger guard apparatus comprises a base rigidly coupled to the support member of the rack, and a cover pivotably coupled to the base. The cover is movable between a first open position to permit installation and removal of the weapon from the rack and a second closed position in which the cover and the base cooperate to surround and enclose a trigger housing of the weapon.

[0010] Many of these devices, however, are not foolproof, allowing the gun to be fired even when the safety device is in position. This can render the weapon more dangerous than without the device in place, since it is assumed that the weapon can be left in a loaded condition and cannot be tampered with by children or other users.

[0011] The present invention provides a new and improved gun lock and method of use which overcomes the above-referenced problems and others.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0012] In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a gun lock device is provided. The gun lock device includes a barrel cover which straddles a gun barrel. The barrel cover includes a first portion which extends adjacent a first side of the gun barrel and a second portion which extends adjacent a second side of the gun barrel. A locking assembly includes a lock operably connected with the first panel. A catch is operably connected with the second panel. The lock and catch are selectively interconnectable in a locking position to lock the gun lock device to the gun.

[0013] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a gun lock device is provided. The gun lock device includes a barrel cover and a locking assembly. The locking assembly includes a throw which passes through an opening between the barrel of a gun and a trigger guard. The throw is connected with a first side of the barrel cover. A catch is operably connected with the throw. A lock selectively engages the catch to prevent removal of the gun lock device from a gun, the lock being connected with a second side of the barrel cover. A rear trigger guard is connected with the barrel cover. The rear trigger guard is spaced from the throw by a trigger of the gun when the lock engages the catch.

[0014] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a method of inhibiting actuation of a gun is provided. The method includes mounting a barrel cover of a gun lock device over a barrel of the gun such that a rear trigger guard extends behind a trigger of the gun and passing a throw of the gun lock device beneath the barrel of the gun. The throw is pivotally connected at a first end with one side of the barrel cover. A catch is engaged with a lock to lock the gun lock device to the gun. The catch is connected with a second end of the throw. The throw and rear trigger guard cooperate to prevent actuation of the trigger.

[0015] One advantage of at least one embodiment of the present invention is that both hammer and trigger of a gun are rendered inoperable.

[0016] Another advantage of at least one embodiment of the present invention is that the design can be adapted to fit a variety of different gun styles.

[0017] Still further advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading and understanding the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018] The invention may take form in various components and arrangements of components, and in various steps and arrangements of steps. The drawings are only for purposes of illustrating a preferred embodiment and are not to be construed as limiting the invention.

[0019] FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a gloved gun lock of the present invention in an open position;

[0020] FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the gun lock of the present invention in a closed position;

[0021] FIG. 3 is a first side perspective view of one embodiment of the gun lock of FIG. 1 shown on an exemplary gun;

[0022] FIG. 4 is a second side perspective view of the gun lock of FIG. 1 shown on the exemplary gun;

[0023] FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of the gun nock device of FIG. 1; and

[0024] FIG. 6 is a rear elevational view of the gun lock device of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0025] With reference to FIGS. 1-4, a gun lock device 10 is designed to disable a gun 12, such as a revolver, rendering the gun inoperative. The gun can thus be left in a loaded state without risk of injury or accidental firing.

[0026] The gun lock device 10 includes a barrel cover 13, which is formed from a plurality of panels 14, 16, 18, 20, which are connected together by hinges 22, 24, 26, such that the panels 14, 16, 18, 20 are able to pivot with respect to each other. Four panels 14, 16, 18, 20 are shown in the embodiment of FIG. 1, although it will be appreciated that fewer or more panels are alternatively employed. The panels 14, 16, 18, 20 are shaped to wrap around a gun 12 and are thus configured to accommodate a selected gun model or models. The panels 14, 16,18, 20 are preferably formed from rigid plastic, steel or other rigid and durable material. One eighth inch steel or Kevlar™ is suitable for this purpose.

[0027] As best seen in FIG. 2, the hinges 22, 24, 26 are attached by screws 28, or other suitable fastening means to the inner surfaces 29 of the panels. The hinges 22, 24, 26 are thus inaccessible from the exterior of the gun when the gun lock device 10 is installed as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. This inhibits unauthorized tampering with and removal of the hinges 22, 24, 26 once the gun lock device 10 is installed on a gun 12.

[0028] The first panel 14 includes a generally rectangular side part or left chamber cover 30, which is bowed outwardly, as best seen in FIG. 2, to fit snugly against a left chamber of the gun's barrel 31. A lock 32 is rigidly attached to the left chamber cover 30 and has a keyhole slot 34 formed in an exterior surface thereof for receiving a key (not shown) or other suitable locking element. Alternatively, a keyless entry system may be employed, comprising a series of numbered tumblers, or the like.

[0029] The first panel 14 also includes a second part 40, which acts as a barrel frame cover. The barrel frame cover 40 is contoured to sit on top of the gun barrel and extends rearwardly of the left chamber cover 30 as shown in FIG. 3. (The term “rearward” and the like are used herein to indicate elements closer to the handle 41 of the gun 12, while the term “forward” and the like, is used to indicate elements closer to the barrel 31 of the gun). The barrel frame cover 40 is preferably integrally formed with the side part 30, although it is to be appreciated that the two parts could alternatively be separately formed and hingedly connected together with a hinge similar to hinges 22, 24, 26.

[0030] A rearward portion or hammer cover 42 of the barrel frame cover 40 extends over the hammer 44 of the gun (FIG. 3). An opening or slot 46, sized to snugly receive the hammer 44 therethrough, is formed in the rearward portion 42. The rearward portion 42 thus provides a hammer lock, which prevents movement of the hammer into a firing position when the gun lock device 10 is installed on the gun 12. As seen in FIG. 3, the hammer cover 42 slopes downward from the barrel frame cover 40 to follow the contours of the gun and fit over the hammer 44. It will be appreciated that for weapons which do not have a hammer, the rearward portion 42 and/or the slot 46 can be eliminated. Although FIG. 3 shows the hammer cover 42 as being attached to side panel 30 it is also contemplated that the hammer cover 42 may be in the form of a tab which extends down from the top of the barrel frame cover 40.

[0031] The second panel 16 provides a right chamber cover. It is hingedly connected to the barrel frame cover 40 by hinge 22 and thus pivots downwardly to fit snugly against the right chamber of the gun. As with the side part 30, the second panel 16 is bowed outwardly to fit the contours of the gun 12. The hinge 22 allows the panel 16 to pivot outwardly, away from the gun 12 so that the gun lock device 10 can be lifted vertically off the gun during removal, or onto the gun during attachment of the device. The left chamber cover 16 and panel 14 thus provide a barrel cover 48 which covers the top and left and right sides of the gun barrel.

[0032] A trigger lock 50 formed by an extension of the second panel is shaped to fit behind the trigger 52 of the gun, i.e., between the trigger 52 and the trigger guard 53 of the gun 12, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. The extension 50 thus provides a rear trigger lock by preventing the trigger 52 from being pulled backwards. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the rear trigger lock 50 is generally L-shaped with one leg of the L defining a rearward or blocking portion 54 which sits behind the trigger 52 when the gun lock is installed. The rearward 54 portion may be contoured to fit snugly against the trigger 52. The rearward portion 54 resists rearward motion of the trigger, preventing firing of the gun. The rearward portion 54 of the trigger lock is connected to the panel 16 by a second leg of the L 56, which extends downward from the panel 16 and is preferably integrally formed therewith. The distal end of the rearward portion 54 is preferably received in a slot 57 (shown in phantom in FIG. 2) in an extension 58 of the left chamber cover 30. In this way, once the device is locked in place on the gun, the rear portion is held in the slot. Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 3, extension 58 and slot 57 are omitted.

[0033] The third panel or throw 18 is hingedly connected to a lower forward end 60 of the right chamber cover 16 by hinge 24 and acts as a front trigger lock. The front trigger lock 18 is generally rectangular and passes through an opening 61 in the trigger guard 53 generally occupied by the firearm operator's trigger finger. The front trigger lock 18 is thereby seated between the trigger and a forward end 62 of the trigger guard 53. The rear trigger guard 50 and front trigger lock 18 thus together prevent the gun lock device 10 from being moved forwardly or rearwardly on the gun 12 when installed, which could otherwise allow the trigger to be activated. When installed, the trigger lock 18 lies flush with an underside 64 of the gun 12, from which the trigger 52 extends. During removal of the gun lock, the hinge 24 allows the front trigger lock 18 to pivot downwardly, from the position shown in FIG. 3 past the position shown in FIG. 1, as illustrated by arrow R in FIG. 1.

[0034] The fourth panel 20 provides a catch for the lock 32. The lock catch 20 is hingedly connected to the third panel by hinge 26. The lock catch 20 is received within a corresponding slot 66 in the lock 32 and includes a suitably positioned projections 68 thereon for engagement with the internal locking mechanism of the lock 32 when the key is operated. The lock 32, throw 18, and catch 20 thus provide a locking assembly 69 which selectively interconnects the panels 14 and 16.

[0035] To install the gun lock device 10 on the gun 12, the hammer lock 42 is first positioned so that the hammer 44 of the gun passes upwardly through the opening 46. The barrel frame cover 40 is then rotated forwardly until the barrel frame cover rests on the barrel 31 of the gun. In this position, the left chamber cover 14 extends downwardly, adjacent the left chamber 72 of the gun 12. The lock catch 20 and trigger lock 18 are then fed between the trigger 52 and the trigger guard 53. The lock catch 20 is then fed into the lock 32. This operation causes the rear trigger lock 54 to become seated in the trigger locking position behind the trigger 52. The gun lock device 10 may lock automatically when the lock catch 20 is pushed into the lock slot 66. Or, a locking action with the key may alternatively be employed. Once locked, the gun lock device 10 cannot be removed without using the key. Nor can the gun be fired. Both the trigger 52 and hammer 44 are prevented from actuation. To release the gun lock device 10 and permit firing of the gun 12, the gun lock device 10 is unlocked with the key and the above steps repeated in reverse order.

[0036] The invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiment. Obviously, modifications and alterations will occur to others upon reading and understanding the preceding detailed description. It is intended that the invention be construed as including all such modifications and alterations insofar as they come within the scope of the appended claims or the equivalents thereof.