TOOOL holds meetings which are open to all members and guests who accompany members. Each local chapter schedules their own meeting times and places. By staying in touch with your local contact or by participating in the TOOOL forums (see below) you can keep yourself appraised of what's happening.
And if you are curious about the laws concerning lockpicks and lockpicking in the United States, we've put up this helpful page summarizing the research our legal team did concerning laws from each state.
If you are interested in picking but discover that there are no TOOOL chapters local to you... why not start your own? It's very simple and with the right degree of dedication and energy, you have the power to make it happen! New TOOOL chapters go through distinct phases as they develop...
Get in touch with TOOOL to let us know that you're out there and to give us an idea of where you are located. We'll mark you down in our list of interested parties and let you know if others from your region have expressed a desire to learn about picking. Heck... there might even be a TOOOL chapter (or a branch of one of our sister sport picking organizations) near you already. If there is not, however, we'll work with you to give you the best possible resources to learn more and try to point you in directions where you may meet other potential pickers.
If you are hoping to grow your local circle of lockpicking pals we strongly recommend that you try to contact your local DEFCON Group, seek out a 2600 Meeting, or check out any nearby Hacker Spaces as those gatherings are likely to have some other people who would be interested in lockpicking.
By spreading the word among friends, neighbors, and co-workers you have developed a circle of people who would like to meet regularly and discuss locks & physical security while trying their hand at picking. You've started reading various guides out on the internet and have hosted some evenings where you watch videos, perhaps recordings of lockpicking presentations at security conferences.
If a standing, monthly meeting becomes established and is attended by ten to twelve people with regularity TOOOL will begin to take significant notice. By now, the most dedicated members of your local group will have been in contact with the established TOOOL folk a few times and you will all more than likely have access to our discussion forums. We are happy to share with you a variety of resources that can help grow your local scene and get people more into picking.
It should be noted that when a chapter reaches this point, before things can proceed much further the TOOOL will need to know the names of those who are involved in a developing chapter. We do not run criminal background checks through any law enforcement channels, nor do we maintain lists for purposes of marketing or sales... but we are committed to being fully above-board and fostering an air of openness as opposed to an "underground" mentality. Many of our members are established in the hacker/techy scene and consequently are known by casual nicknames. This is totally acceptable, but the TOOOL leadership does maintain a private database detailing each member's true name and valid contact info.
We are working on ways to put together educational lock packages that are less expensive than those offered by many other vendors (and way less expensive but more useful than locks that you may simply purchase at a hardware store) and can help get you learning resources like that as well as practice tools, etc. Check the resources page for more info there as it develops.
With your meeting in good standing and your members (hopefully about a dozen in number by now) actively involved, it will be our pleasure to actually send a TOOOL representative your direction, making your chapter official and inducting your members completely to TOOOL.
As mentioned in our by-laws (which you will have had the opportunity to review fully back in Phase 3) there will be annual member dues once TOOOL becomes fully established. With you and your friends' official membership comes a TOOOL T-Shirt and the ability to purchase lockpicks and other items directly from us at a lower cost than the general population sees.
As your meetings continue and you interact regularly with the TOOOL leadership and communicate with the rest of the TOOOL members you will naturally be invited to participate in national meetings, exclusive gatherings, and sportpicking events that take place around the world. You will have the ability to host larger community teaching events and, if you choose, make TOOOL branded equipment available to others in ways that can help bolster your chapter's operating budget.
So what are you waiting for? Hehe... email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to start your own gathering and get more involved with TOOOL and the whole sport picking scene!