Weapons Control Systems In Banks

Weapons control systems are designed to detect and deny entry to unauthorized people carrying weapons into secure areas.

From NovaComm, one of the leading manufactures of these systems:

The access control system consists of a bullet resistant aluminum frame enclosed by bullet resistant glass, and a bullet resistive ceiling. The frame is divided into two separate compartments: one for entry and one for exit. Passage through each compartment is controlled by a set of two intercommunicating doors. Entry doors and exit doors are totally separate systems. Control of the doors is achieved through the use of exit devices, magnetic locks, infrared sensors, and a metal detector.

NovaComm’s Access Control Vestibule can distinguish between magnetic, non-magnetic and mixed alloys weapons.

More info on their website – HERE

One of my blog followers, Israel, sent me the following pictures from his local bank (University Credit Union) in Miami, FL:

And a closeup of the sign:

Israel, who is a concealed weapons permit (CWP) holder is not impressed with this recent “upgrade”, and decided to write the bank president a letter (viewable here).

My guess is that systems like these are a fairly good deterrent to crime.  But at what cost?

The reality is that just because “metal” guns and weapons are not allowed in the bank, doesn’t mean there are not countless other ways for a criminal to wreak havoc inside of a bank. Composite knives, bats, knunchucks, chemical weapons, leather whips, a pool ball in a sock … the Glock 7 (I kid about that one)

I know the bank is considered private property, and we all have the choice whether or not we want to deal with places like this. The easiest thing to do I suppose is just switch banks if you don’t like their policies.  It’s too bad it has to come to that sometime in order to stay safe.

Thanks Israel!

17 COMMENTS

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adam October 9, 2010 at 11:51 pm

how the hell does it know a gun from your keys or anything else thats metal? i wear steel toed boots all the time. what about a watch, sunglasses, belt buckle, zipper, metal buttons, hover round old people scooter and stuff like that.

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LarryH October 10, 2010 at 12:29 am

Attacks:
Pay two homeless guys to go in with big bags of pennies, and then not leave the booths.

Sell bags of pennies to anyone on the street, on the condition they go to that branch to deposit them.

Place firearm in bag of pennies.

Profit.

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Clay October 10, 2010 at 09:17 am

There is a Union bank in my home town of So. Kal that has a entry system like this. A family member has a CCW and banks at this branch. When he is carrying and needs to make a deposit the bank requires him to call ahead. Upon arriving at the branch he calls again walks in and they have an override in the bank that opens the doors to let him through.

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Linoge October 10, 2010 at 02:13 pm

Crap on an everloving crutch. I would not go through that kind of idiotic nonsense to use my bank even if I did not care about carrying a firearm. As it is, if I were their customer, my money would stop being theirs to play with.

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Adam October 10, 2010 at 05:51 pm

Can it double as a safe room?

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Joshua October 11, 2010 at 12:13 am

surely an armed guard would be cheaper?

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Czechnology October 11, 2010 at 06:52 am

“The easiest thing to do I suppose is just switch banks if you don’t like their policies.”

But let them know first *why* you’re going elsewhere.

Prefereably to the bank you’ve presented here a few weeks ago with “CCW welcome”? :)

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Ted N(not the Nuge) October 11, 2010 at 10:04 am

Yet another reason I love USAA, everything is over the internet, phone or snail mail.

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Alex Johnson October 11, 2010 at 10:18 am

So, just for thought, what would happen if they thought they found a firearm on you? Would they lock the outer door and hold you there till the police came?

In Ohio, that could be considered kidnapping……….

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Chris October 11, 2010 at 01:12 pm

I recall a bank I used to go to with my dad had ballistic glass between you and the teller. It wouldn’t matter if you were packing since you couldn’t hurt the workers anyhow. Seems like a cheaper, easier solution to this, “airlock.”

Also, if it were up to me, I’d have the glass designed to ricochet shots straight back into any would be robber, but the land of lawsuits would frown upon it.

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harp1034 October 11, 2010 at 02:53 pm

Does the sign meet the requirements of FL state law?

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PhillipC October 13, 2010 at 09:36 pm

Florida does not have an exemption for signage like some states do. There’s no law corresponding to Texas’ 30.06 law that allows places to be off limits. If you’re caught, you can be asked to leave, after which you’re trespassing. That’s it.

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Daniel Paul October 11, 2010 at 04:28 pm

Each year, year upon year, US banks are foceably robbed of $60,000,000.00 to $70,000,000.00, with hundreds of people injured and usually 20 or more killed (review FBI BCS; Bank Crime Statistics).
You should be concerned too, because that’s indirectly your money and overhead taken. It actually is funded by depositors and loan recipients out of fees paid to the bank for services rendered or bank losses… You know, you pay those “awful” costs of NSF charges, loan fees and the like….these robbery losses are usually not covered under insurance and there are further resultant losses from customer and employee suits for a lack of protection within the facility..all of these things are paid for before a bank posts a profit as a cost of doing business.
Guards don’t stop the violence; 2 to 3 guards a year lose their lives in bank robberies… bandit barriers (those plastic screens between the tellers and customers) don’t stop the bad guys from taking customers and employees hostage.
What about an area-wide lock down of schools for a robbery dragnet, or a shut-down of several city blocks during a hostage situation? Do you wish that on your kids or yourself? Those are the kinds of aftermath od a bank robbery.
What would you like a bank to do? Each year nearly 2,000 banks ar robbed (see BCS) each year bank guards are killed. customers are shot dead, even teller’s unborn babies are killed, and 50 to 80 customers are taken hostage. (see BCS).
Vestibules do have an enviable reputation for protection and that’s why they are used. To my knowledge following this industry for 10 years, there has not been an in-bank shooting or gun-involved robbery in any facility equipped with a properly supervised security vestibule. That’s covering 18,000 robberies.
For those facilities that have a large number of patrons that either have a very large amount of metal on them, are carrying open or concealed arms. or just women with the parafanalia of their daily lives with them, there are alternative methods of screening, or letting in pre-cleard people.
Istead of criticising banks for using vestibules, you should consider thanking them for protecting your wives and kids, your neighbors families, neighborhood schools and the bank’s employees every day. The systems are not inexpensive, but they doo create the safest retail facility known to the every day person.

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Vote For David October 11, 2010 at 09:05 pm

Well over a decade ago in Spain my bank had a clear bulletproof WALL between the tellers and walk-in customers, just like they have in the drive-through windows at US banks with the sliding trays.

Nobody had to call ahead for clearance to enter, and if somebody were to try to hold the place up I’m sure they’d just laugh at them.

This idea is stupid. It’s the wrong approach. Hassling customers for security purposes when there are less intrusive ways to accomplish the same goal is a fast way to lose customers.

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mikee October 11, 2010 at 05:06 pm

If they can’t let me in with my CHL or CCW, using a system that takes no more than 15 seconds, eff ‘em.

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Jim October 11, 2010 at 06:09 pm

These systems are a pain for those who aren’t carrying anything. I took my brother to his bank a couple of years ago, in winter, and they had this system. I had to wait outside for him to get in before I could go in. To make matters worse, the teller was trying to sell me services. I politely told her where to go as that door was ridiculous, and my credit union is 1000x better than a for-profit bank.

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dagamore October 12, 2010 at 01:39 am

If that blue sign is not in accordance with FL law, about signage, i would talk to a civil rights lawyer about suing them.

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