Obama Orders Study Into Smart Gun Technology

Smart guns are nothing new, they are the concept of using technology to not enhance guns but to make them easier to track and ensure they are used by the correct people for the correct reason. It would seem though that President Barak Obama hopes that smart gun technology can be used to stem gun violence in the U.S.

In a memorandum, the departments of Defence, Justice and Homeland security were told to look into smart gun technology. Obama is rumoured to be using his authority to push forward extra gun control measures in his last year, within the statement he stated that “developing and promoting technology that would help prevent these tragedies is an urgent priority”.

Smart guns would allow guns to be outfitted with radio frequency trackers, or even fingerprint scanners, which would allow lost or stolen weapons to be traced more easily and then require authorisation to use the weapon in the way of a fingerprint scan respectively. Alternatives include having a small watch device on your wrist, with the gun only discharging when the watch and the weapon are within a certain range, thereby limiting the number of people that can pick up and use the weapons with ease.

With 90 days to report their findings on the study, the concept has already come under fire from the national rifle association with a spokeswoman Jennifer Baker saying that “there is nothing in this set of proposals that would improve public safety“.

With these requirements and the idea to licence anyone selling firearms, not just in store but also at events or online, the idea of limiting or tracking firearms more effectively seems to be at the core of the new proposals.

It will be interesting to see the results of the studies and the subsequent comments from the NRA and government authorities regarding Smart weapons as upgrading anything with technology is often seen with sceptical eyes from everyone.

Image courtesy of the Verge.

Smart Guns To Require Confirmed Finger Print To Pull Trigger

A US company has come up with a solution that would essentially make it impossible for a person to fire a gun, so long as they’re not the owner of that weapon and yes that does sound similar to Judge Dread to me to.

Safe Gun Technology are claiming that this technology could prevent disastrous event, or at least some of them such as the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting where Adam Lanza used his mothers gun. Had that weapon been equipped with this system, he would not have been able to fire it. This isn’t to say that he wouldn’t have done something, but the company’s idea of taking a gun out of the equation can still have a massive impact on the outcome of a similar situation in the future.

By using a finger print to enable the weapon, which uses biometrics and RFID chips to configure to certain users it enables you to lock a device to a single or small set of people, effectively making stealing that weapon useless, much like the immobilize system on modern cars.

Unfortunately, there are no major investors interesting in this device and personally I think its a great idea, but it just doesn’t go far enough in terms of a solution. Fact is that even if you disable one gun, there are others out there and if someone intends to cause harm toward another, they will typically find another way of doing it, as sad as that may be.

The current technology in the devices uses quite old processors and components for the prototypes, but Charlie Miller, the Safe Gun Technology co-founder wants to see a smart gun produced within the next two months, with an upgraded prototype and even a retrofit kit within the next year or so.

It’s not a perfect system, not by a mile, but it is an interesting step and while ironically the person behind the idea is still planning on selling more guns, it’s good to see that someone is at least trying to tackle their misuse.