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> for only a bit more money than a professional charges to put a key in the lock and tap it with a little hammer for ten seconds.

In America, people without locksmith licenses can't legally buy bumpkeys, sadly. If I had a problem that a locksmith could solve with a bumpkey, I'd be quite annoyed that my payment to him is essentially a government subsidy coming out of my pocket.

Seems quite legal to me. A quick google revealed you can buy the here (http://www.bumpkey.us) without any license. I could not find any mention that you had to be a locksmith to get a bump key set.

I think the legality of it is that you do not have it on you in public. I am not a lawyer though.

Posession of lockpicking tools is regulated at a state level, in some states its perfectly legal, in others it is not.

I have heard that postal regulations prohibit mailing lockpicking tools though. I have not specifically asked a postmaster or checked on this.

Not true, this depends upon your jurisdiction. Anyone wondering if it is legal where they live should check their state and local laws.

I've been told by locksmiths that lockpicking tools are illegal in my state, yet no one can point out where state law says this. Thats because its not illegal here. Locksmith isn't even a licensed profession here.

I've known people who have bought bumpkeys.

That said, it is not that hard to design a lock that cannot be opened with a bumpkey, and there are now some locks that are so designed.

Shouldn't we then also consider that payment to cover the value of the things that would have been stolen from you if any random thief could easily/cheaply get a bumpkey? Who knows how those balance out, but if we're going to count the costs we should count the benefits, too.

Burglars and those without concern for legality can already easily and cheaply get bumpkeys. Making them illegal only keeps law-abiding citizens from getting them and using them legally.

This also ignores that it is trivial to make your own bump keys. I don't know why someone would buy one.

I think most burglars already know more efficient methods of entering your house than fiddling about trying to pick a lock...

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