The pen is mightier than the sword.  And Saul Alinsky is absolutely right that ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.  Well, when he’s not armed, that is.

Bloomington Police felt the sting of coverage of their gun-rusting box “giveaway” that I profiled both at The Truth About Guns and here at Guns Save Life.  They felt enough of the sting that they posted about it on their Facebook page with some remediation recommendations against rust.

And local media has picked up on the story!

BLOOMINGTON (25News Now) – Last month’s free “gun” safe giveaway by Bloomington Police gave people free safes that were not intended to store firearms.

The Bloomington Police Department says safe manufacturer Sentry made no mention of this model not being suitable for the department’s intended use when they were purchased.

First off, special thanks to Diane Benjamin over at BLN News who first broke the story.

All of the sudden all the pride from the Bloomington Police Chief over his program to provide free gun safes to residents so they can lock up their safety has turned into an embarrassment.

Here’s their post, less than two hours old as of this writing.

Safe Giveaway Information

Bloomington, IL – We have recently become aware the gun safes given out by BPD were not, according to the manufacturer’s owner’s manual, intended for the storage of firearms. When these safes were purchased, Sentry made no mention of this model not being suitable for our intended use. Prior to purchasing the safes, the vendor was notified of our intended usage, but provided no information indicating the safes were not intended to store firearms.

It wasn’t Sentry’s job.  Nice try at evading responsibility.  Then they blame the vendor.  Again, folks, just apologize and admit you failed to research it.

After discussing possible concerns, we have determined the key issue is moisture regulation in the safe. We understand the importance of maintaining the proper humidity levels to prevent rust and other potential damage to firearms. Our goal is to ensure that the safes provided to our residents meet the highest quality standards, including effective humidity control.

Meet the highest quality standards is a laudable goal.  Unfortunately sometimes we fall short.

Admittedly, this is the first safe I’ve ever seen that specifically recommends against storing firearms inside.

The Bloomington Police Department recommends some measures to lessen the humidity inside your safe:

1. Silica Gel Packs: Silica gel packs or desiccant packs can be placed inside the safe to adsorb excess moisture and help maintain a dry environment.

Yup.  But how many people are going to simply toss the desiccant into the trash as we all do when we come across them in a host of products that ride over an ocean from their place of manufacture to America?  Dollars to donuts most of them pitch the desiccant and probably about as many will ditch the instruction manual as soon as they find the combination.  That will be to their detriment.

2. Dehumidifier Rod: Consider investing in a dehumidifier rod specifically designed for gun safes. These rods emit low levels of heat to raise the temperature inside the safe slightly, which reduces humidity.

That’s great.  But unless there’s a hole in the back to thread a cord through to power a “Golden rod” dehumidifier, that’s not going to work.

3. Regular Maintenance: Check your gun safe regularly and wipe down any condensation or moisture that may accumulate. Make sure there is proper ventilation within the storage area to allow for air circulation.

It’s a safe.  There’s not going to be air circulation to speak of fellas.  And I’m hip-deep in the gun culture and I can’t remember the last time I cleaned my guns.  It was probably back in 2021.  I have young kids who like spending time with dad, two point five jobs, a family life, and daily chores that need doing.  While cleaning one or two guns might only take a half-hour, multiply that times fifty and you’re talking real time.  Frankly, it’s easier just to have a boating accident to give ’em a bath.  Or put them in the dishwasher (top rack only – especially Glocks!)

On a more serious note:  Those ultrasonic parts cleaners are the bomb for cleaning.

4. Monitor firearms: Check periodically for a change in condition and care for weapon accordingly – clean and oil it as needed.

Good idea, except the internals of the gun may rust.  Whoops.  Those springs and internal parts need love in moisture-laden environments too.

5. Sentry recommends the usage of Desiccant Packs to assist with moisture control inside the safe. The packs can be purchased on the Sentry safe website or other retailers. It should be noted, Sentry placed a pack in each safe during production.

Notice it’s the second time desiccant packs are mentioned.  It’s because it’s really the best option here.  I’d highly recommend multiple desiccant packs if you store your gun(s) in this safe.  Frankly, if you keep up on baking the moisture out of the packs on a regular basis, coupled with putting the safe in a climate controlled space (such as a bedroom, as opposed to a bathroom or the basement), you might be able to keep corrosion at bay.  You’ll need to keep on top of your cleaning and lubrication though, including every time you shoot.  For instance, once I used S&B 9mm ammo and didn’t clean my Beretta 92.  A week later, I pulled it out for a class and it was covered with a nice, red sheen of rust on the barrel.  Fortunately it came off with a little 0000-steel wool and a copper brush, it caused anxiety.

Yeah, I don’t use S&B 9mm ammo any longer.  In fact, I take a pass on all imported 9mm, but your mileage may vary.

We deeply apologize for any inconvenience or concern this may have caused. The Police Department values the residents of Bloomington, and your well-being and safety are of paramount importance to us.

Honestly, they – or whomever was tasked with this – probably failed to research the product.  It was probably an honest mistake.  But there’s always the chance this “moisture” problem was a feature, not a bug.  Especially given how the police chief promotes gun control messages while not touting the proven benefits of lawful gun ownership in thwarting and deterring criminal attacks.

8 thoughts on “OUCH! Bloomington PD releases announcement about their gun-rusting safe giveaway…”
  1. If the Bloomington PD valued the residents of the city, they wouldn’t have appointed a DEI assclown from ISP as police chief in the first place. This is exactly what you get when line 1 of your job qualification sheet is check as many of the following boxes as possible:

    1) Melanin content
    2) Plumbing that does not protrude from groin area
    3) Alternative lifestyle, preferably with bolt-on aftermarket parts, or OEM parts removed

    Does actual skill and experience doing real police work even matter anymore? Don’t bother – we all know the answer to that.

  2. Yet another instance of taxpayer money being wasted on a scheme to make feel good about doing something. The person who instituted this fraud should be outed.

  3. I’m sure the Illinois Republicans will trip over themselves to “back the blue” here. They 100% support HB2722 to give the state police more of YOUR money to carry out Democrat laws like the AWB. I don’t know who’s connecting the dots here or not but the GOP isn’t for “the people.” They are for the government. They may vote against Democrat bills but then turn around and fund what those atrocious bills do. I guess they hope no one will notice.


    1. So, Casey, tell me what is your plan? If the Dems are no good and the (R)s voted for this one bill, what are we to do? Not meaning to be snarky here. Serious question.

    2. Jboch, I think the option is to contact our GOP elected officials and tell them they are out of touch and behind the times – what a shocker, Republicans behind the times. Then if they don’t “modernize” their positions start emailing any state Libertarian Party people and tell them what a wide opening the Uniparty has gifted to them. Here in Illinois, we have basically automatic Democrat statewide control, thus giving unhappy Republican voters more options. It’s not like we are in a swing state where the difference between D and R is a few hundred votes. Libertarian is essentially “none of the above” meaning, I am SICK AND TIRED of the lessor of two evils. That’s a start. But to this “one bill” the Republicans support. Well that ONE BILL funds the carrying out of just another ONE BILL called an “assault weapon” ban. Like I’ve told my GOP state senator a few times now, this AWB law changes everything. NOTE: I am not a Libertarian trying to take advantage here. I am a free American disgusted that THE PEOPLE are always the ones thrown under the bus. The Republicans often help the Dems do that. So this one bill of HB2722 shows how the GOP has betrayed us and granted, many Republicans are so blinded by this “back the blue” BS they may not even realize. WELL I DO

  4. If a person owns a firearm and is responsible, informed, and trained the 5 steps of stupid given by these nitwits need not be published. Furthermore I am not taking any advice from a grubberment agency. Especially one headed by a grade A assclown.

  5. City wanted the biggest “bang” for the buck. So cheaper was better. They knew what they were buying. A safe for a couple handguns and some ammo. But if there’s a fire will the ammo cook off and shoot through the safe? Burn through the safe? Explode? This is one of the biggest factors for higher quality gun safes. Theft protection, child protection, fire, humidity.

    Protect your investments and the lives of the firefighters. Store your ammo in steel cases in a safe if possible.

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