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.