I work with a company (whose name I will omit) that works in the field of picking locks and the like. I am trained and even paid to pick locks. I only recently picked up the hobby, with the job. I have a couple sets of picks. ~I don't need to know how to make picks~ There are plenty of instructables on that, on this site and elsewhere. What I would like to see are some decent pickgun instructables. I have seen some electric models online in various places, as well as some simple mechanic models, but have been unable to find either here. If anyone has built one, or plans to, please share the experience. I intend to get started soon on at least one of the projects in my head right now. So, I don't care if your pickgun is electric, manual, or magnetic-powered. I don't care if it opens car doors, deadbolts, padlocks, wafer locks, or warlocks. I just want to see what other people are up to.

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BorisTheSpider (author) 10 years ago
Alright, I finally made an instructableinstructable for the snapgun. Check it out and give me some feedback.
John Smith10 years ago
Do they even sell picks and pickguns to the public? Every time I've looked at the sites, they say that they only sell to police, licensed locksmiths, and similar. I'm not a bad person, I just think it'd be cool to pick a lock without crappy home-made picks and wrenches.
. I've used professional and home-made lock tools (not that I was ever any good at it) and the only difference I can tell is the pro units are prettier. . . It's probably outdated info now, but back in the 90s it was not illegal to have picks/wrenches/&c, but a lot of places had "possession with criminal intent" laws. Ie, it was OK to have a pick as long as you only used it on your own locks. A wise person would check local ordinances before buying/making lockpicking tools.
In the UK you don't need a licence or training to run a locksmith company. You don't even need to be registered with a trade organisation, so I guess it's legal to buy the kit, otherwise all those locksmiths would be criminals by default.

I would guess that, as long as the tools are in the possession of a person close to a van stencilled with the name of a locksmith company, they are perfectly legal. However, we have a similar law to the one you mentioned, generally referred to as being "going equipped" - basically boils down to it being illegal to carry anything if you can't come with a good excuse for it.

For instance, if I were to rub a policeman up the wrong way accidentally annoy a policeman, and he decided to do a stop-and-search (it is a perfectly legal act in this country for a policeman to stop anybody acting in a suspicious or nervous manner and do a full search on the spot), then the Leatherman that has a permanent home in my pocket could land me a night in the clink if I couldn't convince Plod to accept my argument that I make it a habit to be generally helpful where and when I can.
BorisTheSpider (author)  John Smith10 years ago
Oh, yeah. They absolutely sell to the public. At least here in the US. The place I bought my first set was actually called "The Spy Store." They have a lot of surveillance equipment, along with lockpick tools and such. And it is a fun hobby. And it can be a lucrative field of work - legitamately. Unfortunately, it is a tad expensive if you want to get good at it. You buy the tools, and all the locks to practice. It adds up quick. If you do decide to give it a go, the most important advice I can give you is this: NEVER PICK A LOCK YOU DON'T HAVE A RIGHT TO!
wouldnt it depend on the state you live in? i think there is a fine in NC if you are caught possessing a lockpick.
BorisTheSpider (author)  its a lion10 years ago
The only place I can find in the US where it's illegal to have anything pick-related is Washington D.C. Anywhere else, the laws regulate their usage. It is possible, however, that certain states have restrictions. For instance: they're legal to own - if you have a certain license. I don't believe this to be the case, but I don't claim to know the laws in all 50 states and all of America's provinces. A good measure may be to go to a trusted site like lockpicks.com and place an order. Any good site simply won't let you order something illegal to own - especially a site dealing with lockpicking. The name of the game is CYOA, especially when it comes to legal stuff. I make people prove they own or live at the house and sign some forms before I will begin picking. If proof of residency cannot be established, I call the police. To get back to the point, outside of D.C., I don't believe it is at all illegal to possess lockpicks, or even need a license for them. If you want to be safe, call some local locksmiths and the police department, or maybe a local lawyer. The locksmith alone should tell you, but you'll definitely get a good answer from the three. Hope that helps. As always, though - NEVER PICK A LOCK YOU DON'T HAVE A RIGHT TO!
BorisTheSpider (author) 10 years ago
Alright, I made a prototype of a really common manual pickgun found online. It's actually a direct descendant of one found on lp101. I'll try to make an instructable on it. If I do, I'll give credit where it's due, of course.
:-\ sadly no instructables on this.
BorisTheSpider (author)  !Andrew_Modder!10 years ago
Yeah, I'm still working on drawing some solid plans for my first homebrew device. Feel free to beat me to it. ;)