Is this the best device to stop a school shooter?

It’s called “The Barracuda Intruder Defense System,” and its inventor says that the device has the capacity to save lives during an active shooter situation.

Essentially, it’s a steel door lock that allows teachers, students or workers to barricade themselves inside a room, creating what is supposed to be an impenetrable defense.

“The idea is to secure yourself inside the room without opening the door,” said firefighter and SWAT medic Troy Lowe, the mind behind the Barracuda, to an Ohio ABC affiliate.

“When they were tested in the factory, the door failed before the devices did,” Lowe continued. “There’s potential to save a lot of lives.”

They retail for approximately $100, and can be purchased through Bilco.

What are your thoughts? Is this worth dropping $100 on?

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 36 comments… add one }
  • jmac March 23, 2017, 12:03 am

    How Much is your child’s life worth?

  • Bob August 1, 2014, 10:55 am

    Another thing we’re not discussing is the advantage of concealed carry. How much of a deterrent will it be if we no longer have “gun free zones”? Every teacher doesn’t have to be armed, but if the POSSIBILTY is there…. Within hours of Sandy Hook, a mall in the Northwest a shooter showed up and shot one or two victims. A licensed CCW pointed his gun at him, and he immediately retreated and took his own life. He had plenty more rounds, but changed his plan when confronted . My point is, a potential shooter, confronted with CCW situations must assume that EVERYONE is carrying. Will this stop the truly lunatic? Maybe not, but a defender will limit the effectiveness of their plan. And remember, every mass shooter was familiar with the target, had a plan, and carried it our logically. An unknown number of armed defenders WILL be a deterrent, and provide defense as well. Our tiny TN school system has a “Resource Officer” in every school. General crime is down, but these guys are just targets for a shooting scenario. Concealed, unkown defenders are the best bet.

    That being said, the arguments for hardening the targets (doors) can go both ways. It’s got definite possibilities, but it’s something a shooter can plan for, and use to their advantage. However, I don’t doubt for a second the accuracy of Radford’s estimate of bloated budgets misused. A few dollars to harden the classrooms will are a cheap, easy fix to raise security, even if it’s just a little. I am more in favor of steel doors and hard locks that LOOK normal.

    The best method, as stated by FARMDOG above, is for school personnel to be alert and have a plan. Pay attention. Don’t be afraid to raise a flag when weird notes and journals are found. Don’t be afraid of indignant parents. Let students know they have the right to self expression, even if it means speculating about violence, but never be afraid to act on that information.

    On a personal note, two weeks ago, my brother-in-law was shot and killed as he pulled into an Interstate rest area. No connection, no motive, no reason. The shooter immediately took his own life. My brother-in-law was an alert, vigilant, ex-military CCW but never cleared his weapon. It was just too random and quick. Moral: we can never stop all the crazies from ever harming anyone, any more than we can stop the terrorists every time. However, we can reduce the damage. A CCW at Columbine, Aurora, or Sandy Hook would have made a huge difference. Just ask the families of the victims….

    Thank you for letting me ramble. God bless us all.

  • Rbbiggs July 31, 2014, 8:43 am

    What makes you think they would buy these, when they won’t even put seat belts in School buses?

  • grifhunter July 24, 2014, 5:15 pm

    Arming teachers is idiotic unless they WANT to be armed. If they have a CCW and some amount of training or are retired LE maybe; but giving old Mrs. McCrusty a glock and a Serpa isn’t going to fly anywhere.

    Also, put out to bid the door bar device. There are already cheaper and just as effective versions of this at Home Depot, so nobody has to spend $100.

  • mike sanyk July 22, 2014, 5:18 pm

    Any device that hinders an armed intruder is worth the cost. While an armed security guard is the best way to stop an intruder an armed security guard can’t be in all areas at all times.

  • DaveGinOly July 22, 2014, 4:43 pm

    The inventor did not claim that this would prevent a shooter from gaining access to a room, merely that it would provide time for responders. As such, any device that can block an assailant’s access to potential victims, even if only temporarily, is a good idea. If it weren’t, then what good is the simple lock on a door? Aren’t they there to delay an intruder, and not necessarily to keep him out altogether?
    One problem I see with the under-door deployment of the device is that it gives away the fact that there are, indeed, potential victims behind the door. A determined intruder may use this as an indicator that if he takes the time to break through, he will be rewarded with access to victims. But this same thing could probably be said about a locked door, which would be revealed simply by trying the handle. On the other hand, it could encourage an intruder to move on to the next door.

  • Russ July 22, 2014, 4:32 pm

    All real good Ideas.

    The one thing that was absurd was JLA calling the commentary “absurd!”

    In combination with trained armed security (also on the bus) & offering the same training to willing teachers,
    I’m going to say that the locks are another layer of protection and good thing to have.

    They do need some improvement so only teachers can operate them and be overridden by security.

    The kids can run a fund raiser to pay for it. ( I like chocolate “I’ll take 10 bars please” )

    If your kids have to go to a school, then this would be much better.

    mstrong1’s Idea is far better and I would rather see future of education look like that.

    just a footnote; I come from a long line of teachers with relatives that are school bus drivers, maintenance, crossing guards and school volunteers. My wife currently manages the front office of an elementary school.

  • Mark Hart July 22, 2014, 2:20 pm

    What about all of the veterans out of work? They have already been trained in weapons handling and marksmanship! I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt, and it might just help!

  • Dennis W. July 22, 2014, 1:21 pm

    An Armed Police Officer (located in each school) with Tactical Training is the Answer – the larger the school the number goes to 2 or even 3.

    • nlikefin March 5, 2018, 2:48 pm

      Sorry but I don’t believe law enforcement officers is the answer. Reason being is that they are designed to enforce the law not implement school policy which is the bulk of the work that security personnel would be doing. school shootings are still considered very rare and the cost of paying 1 2 or 3 officers is not practical at an average rate of up to $50/hr each, school’s don’t have that kind of money in their budget. Putting these devices in each room, having a reliable access control system with camera surveillance (which most schools already have) then hiring a qualified and competent contract security company to provide armed security should be sufficient. If a school wants to allow teachers to carry, fine. I don’t think that’s a good idea, but they do they should never be the first line of defense, they shouldn’t be forced or even encouraged to do it, and they should be instructed that it is a last measure of defense if the shooter happens to make entry to the room.

  • Peaver Bogart July 22, 2014, 12:56 pm

    Why not just buy one @ $100, then have the shop class make several more following the originals design.

  • Richard H July 22, 2014, 12:48 pm

    We need to get it out of our head there is a magic one stop solution. Armed security and the additional layer of this device can go along way in preventing the death of our children

  • bret maverick July 22, 2014, 12:40 pm

    OK, so about 30 kids, 2 teacher aids and one teacher all need to muster a perfect line behind this door. The walls and even the windows pass through bullets with ease in most school rooms today. Well now, the emperor has only his shoes on now folks.

  • JothaK July 22, 2014, 12:02 pm

    Door reinforcement devices alone are like putting lipstick on a pig without providing any armed security as part of the overall system. Why not put some vets on the city/county payroll and have them provide security? Seems like a win-win. Vets need jobs and schools need REAL security.

    • nlikefin March 5, 2018, 2:52 pm

      not a terrible idea but should be vetted thoroughly. A lot of vets out there suffering from PTSD and TBI and still don’t want to admit it, seek help or have tried and VA failed them. All it takes is one incident to set them off, hurt themselves or accidentally hurt someone else…gotta be careful with that solution.

  • Farmdog July 22, 2014, 8:30 am

    I live in a rural county that is quite sheltered from this type of behavior. When I went to drop off some materials at the Ag shop a few years ago, I was surprised to find that anyone who walked past the office without signing in was immediately approached by an armed officer (my mistake). Even though I knew the officer (my jr high wrestling coach), I was escorted to the office to sign in. I know the principle, vice principle, secretary, several faculty and staff members quite well. The principle had come out of his office after being alerted (not sure by whom or what, but there are at least 3 ways that are used when this happens to alert him and the vice principle as well as others). He informed me of the new policies and I complied. There was no big fuss since I am well known, and was previously an assistant coach myself, but this is being taken seriously: even in “Podunk USA”. There are active shooter drills with swat teams in my county as well.
    I’m not saying that the doors aren’t a good idea, but police an policy make my old school much more safe.

    • Russ July 22, 2014, 3:55 pm

      Wow, great place.
      Glad people are more aware.

  • Oris DePuy July 22, 2014, 8:02 am

    I have seen the device demonstrated on TV. What they don’t talk about is what if a bad guy adult or STUDENT decided to block people OUT of a classroom using this device. No one has talked about that problem.
    There are just as many troubled or problem causing youth as adults in this world that would use it to stop an instructor from entering the classroom even if violence was not planned.
    I think the device is just another possible quick fix that may or many not be effective to a much deeper problem in society.

    • nlikefin March 5, 2018, 2:56 pm

      Sorry but that’s not a likely scenario. Think in every situation a company, school, whatever…has to assume a measure of risk and for me, that is a measure I’d be willing to take in order to save lives.

  • Augest West July 22, 2014, 7:58 am

    Although having roving trained off duty or retired LEO or some type of very well trained security officers well armed in our schools for 100.00 dollars each don’t you think your child’s life is worth it?

  • DirtyV July 22, 2014, 7:57 am

    This is not THE solution but it is absolutely a good idea. A good armed response takes time, and locking out the shooter can buy that time. A couple poorly trained guards are at best are probably going to keep a shooter pinned down and at worst they may be responsible for collateral damage. I mean seriously do we really think guards are going to train to swat standards to sit in a school that will probably never see a shooter (FYI – there was an armed guard at Columbine)? I’m a second amendment supporter but I don’t think that more guns alone will solve this problem. It may help, but it’s not the only solution. To the people who think $100 per door is too expensive I say it’s a drop in the bucket to the cost of installing even one well trained armed guard, and you probably need to do both. Let’s start talking sense and not just second amendment.

    • mstrong1 July 22, 2014, 2:44 pm

      How about on-line home schooling so you can avoid the commie indoctrination at the same time at the same time as avoiding psych med crazy kids with stolen guns ?

      • Russ July 22, 2014, 3:51 pm

        Thank you!
        For saying what I thought would be the best idea ever for education.
        1. Save tons of money and even sell the real estate to make more.
        2. Teach kids what is required and be able to monitor and control bias teachers input.
        3. Avoid peer pressure.(no drugs or music/clothes/sex preferences passed around)
        4. Would keep traffic/accidents down in these areas.
        I wish more people thought like us mstrong1

    • nlikefin March 5, 2018, 2:58 pm

      Good points Dirty. There’s gotta be layers of security. it’s hard to find “reliable” armed guards these days but taking the time to look and vet companies you could probably find a few. Maybe some of these security companies will start seeing the importance of employing well-trained security officers…quality vs. quantity.

  • DirtyV July 22, 2014, 7:56 am

    This is not THE solution but it is absolutely a good idea. A good armed response takes time, and locking out the shooter can buy that time. A couple poorly trained guards are at best are probably going to keep a shooter pinned down and at worst they may be responsible for collateral damage. I mean seriously do we really think guards are going to train to swat standards to sit in a school that will probably never see a shooter (FYI – there was an armed guard at Columbine)? I’m a second amendment supporter but I don’t think that more guns alone will solve this problem. It may help, but it’s not the only solution. To the people who think $100 per door is too expensive I say it’s a drop in the bucket to the cost of installing even one well trained armed guard, and you probably need to do both. Let’s start talking sense and not just second amendment.

    • W. Radford July 22, 2014, 12:33 pm

      $100.00 a piece, chicken feed! Want to know how to pay for it, in EVERY CLASSROOM IN AMERICA!
      Simple. Cut 10% of ALL ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF, from Principals to Janitors. Use the savings to pay for these devices, AS PART OF a larger security plan for all classrooms. Then cut another 10% just for good measure. We have enough money taken forcefully from us to be able to spend over $70,000 per student/per year/K-12. Yet only an average $4900.00 dollars are actually spent in the classroom, on the childrens behalf. Which begs the question, where is all the rest of the money going. Obviously, into the thieving hands of the professional leeches in the business of “Education” who are more concerned with bigger buildings, and ever more layers of Bureaucracy (read self-aggrandizement). They bury the public with all kinds fake terminology like “kinetic learning” etc., etc., all the while running up the tabs at their circle-jerk seminars at big resorts, all at our expense, and laughing all the way home. If you or I did this, we would be fired, or in jail. The reason these devices will not be deployed is that there is no honesty on the part of school administrators when it comes to student safety. They will say that unless the public is willing to give them MORE MONEY, there just is not the funds needed to protect the children. Heaven forbid, they might have to tighten their belts, and give up any of their perks! If they had ANY grace or honor, they would be ashamed of themselves. Is that crickets I hear……….

    • Kevin B August 3, 2015, 4:52 pm

      I would have to agree. Barricade and secure from within. Nothing wrong with the teacher blocking the door from inside, moving the kids to wherever the safest place in the classroom is, and having the weapon ready if armed. You don’t need some expensive fancy device to lock a door shot. A 2X6 across the door will do the job and will buy a lot of time.

  • Brian Cashman July 22, 2014, 6:51 am

    I think it could work. There are too many school districts that are just not going to arm an employee. This idea is to make the shooter keep on moving down the hall to the room that (he thinks) will not have one of these devices installed. If intelligently deployed, these could be life savers. The shooter knows he has only so much time before he hears sirens coming and he has to move on out of the building or as often happens in these cases, takes himself out. Sad but true. I know this site defers to guns, guns and more guns. But this device could do the job if correctly laid out. Now, have at me….

  • Mike Birky July 22, 2014, 6:07 am

    While I believe this is a great idea, an armed school- staff will stop the active shooter dead in their tracks! Yet, our nanny state-current government policies say hide; and until this passive mind set and responses are changed, I would spend the 100.00 for my child or for any child in a classroom.

    Does the taxpayer need to fund this, the point was made, how many schools, how many districts. Encourage the schools for armed personnel and thank those that have an armed resource officer on the premises!

  • Eric D Henson July 22, 2014, 6:02 am

    What about School Buses? They are extremely vulnerable. Alabama, 2013:deranged guy shoots and kills bus driver, kidnaps student and holds up in underground bunker for several days. F.B.I. breeches the bunker and kills kidnapper, student ok but it could have been a very different outcome.
    For those who are willing, train and arm school bus drivers. The drivers and their students are more at risk than those in a school building.

  • JLA July 22, 2014, 5:20 am

    I’m seeing a lot of comments here saying that the only thing even worth considering is arming the teachers and/or staff. That’s absurd! While I absolutely agree that an armed staff is by far the best option for discouraging school shooters, there is no reason whatsoever why locks like this one or one of the other similar devices available shouldn’t be in every classroom in America!

    First of all, not every teacher is going to be armed, and in some areas finding any teachers who are willing to be armed could be problematic. In a classroom with an unarmed teacher the best solution for protecting the kids inside is to keep the killer(s) outside. Most schools are built with sturdy concrete block walls that are capable of keeping anyone in the classroom relatively safe as long as the door can be kept closed. Bullets coming through a door can be avoided, but bullets coming from an executioner standing three feet away are far more difficult to survive!

    Secondly, even if a teacher is armed it’s unlikely that he/she will be skilled enough or even willing to try to go hunt down one or more mass murderers inside the school building, and, by the way, if an armed teacher does try to go hunt the bastard down he will be leaving the kids in his care completely exposed once he’s gone. What happens to them?

    At most you’re going to have one or two people in a school who are both armed and trained to close with and destroy the enemy, and they may be at the other end of a very large school when the shooting starts. Arming the teachers and/or staff is one part of the answer to keeping school kids safe from armed mass killers, but being able to secure a classroom well enough to keep the killer(s) out is another big part of the answer!!!

    • dink winkerson July 22, 2014, 12:37 pm

      Anyone with any amount of training would not seek out the shooter. Best plan, line the children up against the wall with the door, behind the teacher, who is focused on the door, gun pointed and ready to shoot. Columbine was done by STUDENTS, perhaps they could have barricaded themselves in with a class full of students with one of these devices.

    • JimmyJ July 22, 2014, 2:26 pm

      I don”t believe it would be in an armed teacher”s job description to actually seek & destroy an active shooter in their school.Don’t you think protection of their students is job #1? If unable to evac,hunker down and await the sheepdogs,don”t desert the flock!

  • dink winkerson July 21, 2014, 12:55 pm

    $100 times how many doors?, times how many schools? times how many districts? The best way to stop a shooter, another shooter. Train our school staff and arm them. Probably wouldn’t cost much more over all. I believe it’s that simple

  • Tom Rkba July 16, 2014, 8:53 am

    How does it stop the murderer from shooting through the door? Even if the murderer moves on, the scene changes to another room and the killing continues.

    The best solution, proven many times in the past 30 years, is an armed person confronting the murderer. The threat of force frequently causes the murderer to surrender or commit suicide.

  • Lee Cruse July 16, 2014, 4:55 am

    Simple answer is NO.
    The only way to protect schools is to have trained and armed staff on the campus full time. The best solution is that volunteer teachers are armed.
    This door lock is not reasonable to even consider.

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