Ziptide, August 2013

Aug. 2, 2013

Editor’s Note: The ABC news show, The Lookout, focusing on locksmiths, aired June 5, 2013. Read Gale Johnson’s e-newsletter about the show at

Licensing Didn't Work


I watched the Lookout segment on locksmith scams also. Your technical viewpoint seems to advocate licensing for locksmiths.

One of the “locksmiths” (more appropriately called a “hack”) was confronted and questioned about his unmarked car and his locksmith license. The hack ignored the reporter and quickly fled the scene with his money.

Locksmith legislation has done nothing to promote the profession of our trade, nor does it stop the phony locksmith from operating his scam. All legislation has done is create more taxes and requirements to follow for locksmiths on the state level. The real locksmiths are the losers when legislation is passed requiring a fee and other burdensome requirements.

If the legislation for locksmiths were aggressively enforced, then there might be an advantage. But enforcement is non-existent. I have talked to many locksmiths and safe technicians all over the country on locksmithing forums. The general consensus is a regret that locksmith legislation was ever passed in their state.

Instead of pouring money into legislation, ALOA Security Professionals could promote the trade to the public with an advertising campaign. The public is ignorant and pretty much does what it wants when there is no voice to advise them. Most of us have been scammed sometime in our life, and those scams happen when we are naïve and /or desperate.

I believe the legislative branch of ALOA SP should wave the white flag. The over-all effort to make the locksmith trade a licensed profession has failed.

It is time to regroup and set our sights on educating the public and our profession and what we offer the community.

Jeff Gater, CML

Gater’s Locksmith, Inc

Wellington, FL

Fighting Scammers


Greetings Gale. I shook my head in quiet assent to your words. I’ve been a “real” locksmith for 35 years and, even though my last 15 years have been in the public, institutional sector, I observe the truth of what you say and feel the embarrassment that these lockout specialists cast upon those of us who value and honor our craft. I see the same trend rife in other trades, as well. There are millennia posing as plumbers, for instance. They show ‘em how to use a power drain snake and then turn ‘em loose in brightly painted trucks.

Any ideas from readers on how to educate the public regarding the difference? The benefit, to them, is knowing that they’ve got a professional.

Allen Ackerman


San Francisco

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