Gun Control Debate Raises 'Smart Gun' Technology Awareness (VIDEO)

By Hilda Scott , Apr 25, 2013 12:08 PM EDT

The gun control debate is over for now but some are still outraged by the failed bill and advocate that gun laws must be strengthened to combat gun violence. The Senate didn't have enough support to push through a background check bill that would tighten up the way people buy guns in the nation. Aimed at addressing gun-related mass killings, a poll showed as much as 90 percent of Americans supported the defeated law.

Although efforts failed to pass the bill, some gun manufacturers are seeking solutions to gun violence with the development of "smart gun" technology. There's a scene in the movie Skyfall, in which James Bond is given a 9mm handgun that was coded to his palm print, so only he would be able to fire it. Smart gun technology works in the same way, using biometric sensors to recognize the authorized gun owner's grip.

Researchers from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) have been studying this technology since 1999.

"If a child tries to grab the gun, their hand geometry is actually going to be smaller. So they're not going to touch the sensors, and they're not going to be able to fire the gun," NJIT Associate Professor Michael Recce said.

An Ireland-based gun manufacturer, Triggersmart, developed a way to allow only the authorized user to fire a weapon with the use of RFID chip technology. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) wirelessly transfers data and identifies tags attached to its smart gun. This technology would prevent the gun from firing when in the hands of a child or an unwelcome intruder in the home. The mass killing of school children in Newtown, Conn. was at the hands of Adam Lanza, 20, who gained access to his mother's guns.

"The firearms were accessible to Adam Lanza. They should not have been. If [Mrs. Lanza] had one that had this sort of authorized user recognition onboard the firearm, presumably he wouldn't have had access to that," Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation Lawrence Keane said.

TriggerSmart aims to license the technology of its smart gun for the U.S. gun market after police department and military test trials.


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