Oak City Locksport is the original Raleigh area lockpicking group, founded in 2010 by Katie (aka "squ33k"), and led today by Patrick (aka "unregistered436 (https://twitter.com/unregistered436)"). While we are not a TOOOL (http://toool.us) chapter, we were fostered by the TOOOL US president Deviant Ollam, and we remain friends to this day. We meet once a month to pick locks, share interesting locks or projects, and have a beer with friends.
We're focused on fun and education! We welcome newcomers to this hobby, and are more than willing to teach the basics to get you started. There are no startup costs or membership fees, though we won't refuse the occasional donation to replace damaged items or expand the collection. We have some "community" locks and picks so there is no need to bring anything to your first meetups, but most people end up buying their own picks once they're hooked! Most people pick up this hobby because locks are like little metal puzzles. It's useful to learn about the relative security (or insecurity) of the locks we use in everyday life. There are many different variations of the saying, but "Locks are for honest people". A real criminal is more likely to break a window, use bolt cutters, or crash through a door.
Besides our Meetups you might also find us running the Lockpick Village at regional security conferences such as CackalackyCon or BSidesRDU.
Is learning to pick locks and possessing lock picks legal in the state of North Carolina? You bet! BUT, you've got to make sure to follow a few simple rules:
• Do not pick a lock you rely upon. The lock may be damaged in your practice and stop functioning. • Do not pick a lock you do not own unless given explicit permission. Always warn the owner that it's possible damage may occur. • Do not offer services or receive compensation for picking a lock unless you are licensed as a Locksmith in the state of North Carolina (NC GS 74F). • Use your powers for good, not evil. Do not share your skills with those you suspect will lockpick to commit a crime. Also note that possession of lock picks with intent to break into a home or business is escalated up to a Class I Felony (NC GS 14-55).