Liberty Safe and Security Products, a popular manufacturer of gun safes, is facing heavy criticism for helping the FBI carry out a raid last week on a man who allegedly participated in the January 6 Capitol Riot. The company, which advertises itself as “America’s #1 heavy-duty home and gun safe manufacturer,” admitted on Wednesday to turning over the defendant’s private access codes to the Feds without a court order, prompting backlash and raising questions about why Liberty Safe even had the codes in the first place.
On August 30, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided and arrested 34-year-old Arkansas resident Nathan Hughes in connection with the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. Hughes was served with an arrest warrant charging him with a felony civil disorder offense as well as several misdemeanors over his participation in the riot. In the two-and-a-half years since the so-called “insurrection,” the FBI has arrested more than 700 suspects and has plans to arrest at least 1,000 more according to the Department of Justice.
However, Hughes’ case is unique in that he is apparently a friend of conservative influencers Keith and Kevin Hodge, aka the Hodge Twins. In an X post on Monday, the brothers shared additional details about Hughes’ arrest. “Nate was raided by the FBI and arrested at gun point. His girlfriend (who just had a miscarriage) was held at gun point and put in handcuffs,” the post stated in part. “The FBI turned off his security cameras, unplugged his internet, and flipped his house upside down in a search. The feds called the manufacturer of his Liberty Gun Safe and got the passcode to get into it too. All for protesting at the Capitol over 2 1/2 years ago.”
The Hodge twins also provided video of Hughes’ arrest and a fleet of FBI vehicles arriving at his property.
🚨 Last week, a friend of ours was raided by the feds over J6, his name is Nathan Hughes and he’s from Fayetteville, Arkansas. Nate was raided by the FBI and arrested at gun point. His girlfriend (who just had a miscarriage) was held at gun point and put in handcuffs. The FBI… pic.twitter.com/LOpMQ28eUJ
— Hodgetwins (@hodgetwins) September 5, 2023
While the entire series of allegations is shocking, the claim that Liberty Safe facilitated the FBI’s invasive search drew particular attention, and the company was called upon to clarify what had happened. In a statement posted to X on Wednesday, Liberty safe said in part: “On August 30, 2023, Liberty Safe was contacted by the FBI requesting the access code to the safe of an individual for whom they had a warrant to search their property. Our company protocol is to provide access codes to law enforcement if a warrant grants them access to a property. After receiving the request, we received proof of the valid warrant, and only then did we provide them with an access code. Liberty Safe had no knowledge of any of the details surrounding the investigation at the time.”
The company went on to reaffirm its commitment to defending personal property and Second Amendment rights while also complying with state and federal law.
— Liberty Safe (@libertysafeinc) September 6, 2023
However, based on public reaction, this statement simply made things worse by confirming that Liberty Safe maintains backdoor access to their safes. Legal experts have weighed in to argue that the company had neither the legal obligation to comply with a warrant for a customer’s private property nor the right to keep a record of a customer’s access codes. At the same time, angry customers and online personalities have threatened a boycott of Liberty Safe, with some calling it “the next Bud Light” in reference to the backlash against the beer company’s partnership with a transgender influencer.
In the wake of Hughes’ arrest, a GiveSendGo page was created to support his legal fund. In an X post addressing the situation, Hughes said that he appreciates the support he’s received.
“I’m still in shock over the FBI raid and Liberty Safe giving out the code to my gun safe,” he wrote. “I had no idea they even kept the codes to get into their customer’s safes. I’ve retained a lawyer and will go to work.”
Appreciate everyone’s support over this whole ordeal. I’m still in shock over the FBI raid and Liberty Safe giving out the code to my gun safe. I had no idea they even kept the codes to get into their customer’s safes.
I’ve retained a lawyer and will go to work. 🇺🇸
— Nathan Hughes (@rallynate) September 6, 2023