(NewsNation now) — Custom smart guns, which can only be fired by verified users, could become available to Americans after more than two decades of questions about reliability and worries about possible government regulation.
This type of gun has been promised for years and has the potential to disrupt the industry, especially in states where gun laws are stricter and only support smart guns.
“A gun is a tool, but if it falls into the wrong hands, it will have tragic and deadly consequences,” said Tom Holland, Founder and President of SmartGunz LLC.
Smart guns could potentially stop gun-related tragedies by using technology to authenticate a user’s identity and disable the gun if someone else tries to fire it. The gun can work in three ways for its owner: fingerprint recognition, pairing a smartphone or a keyboard.
“I’m not saying that’s the answer for all gun owners, is it. I believe there are some gun owners say if they have kids at home or there are chances of discouraged teenagers at home if you are afraid your guns will be stolen on fire,” Holland said. “You know, from a civilian perspective, they make a lot of sense if you really have to be careful if he was around that gun, when you’re not managing.”
Holland, also a Kansas state senator, is working this year to bring smart weapons to Americans. Select law enforcement agencies are expected to begin beta testing of SmartGunz products in February. Other companies working on a smart gun include LodeStar and Colorado-based Biofire, which is also developing a smart gun with a fingerprint reader.
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LodeStar co-founder Gareth Glaser said he was inspired after hearing too many stories of children being shot while playing with a gun unsupervised. They could also reduce suicides, render lost or stolen guns useless, and provide security for police and prison guards who fear gun seizures, Glaser said.
The ideological war in the United States over gun control has persisted throughout the past decade. Mass shootings at stores, schools and spas have grabbed headlines, intensifying the conversation about whether to pass legislation. Last year, President Biden announced a series of executive actions to address gun violence, including a new rule against “phantom guns” and the release of “red flag” legislation that states must adopt.
Throughout 2021, Biden has urged Congress to tackle a number of issues, including expanded background checks and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Gun rights advocates who seek better access to guns and strong self-defense provisions worry that states with tougher gun laws will only support smart guns, limiting global access to guns fire. However, gun associations warn that smart guns may not even hit the market.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association, says it does not oppose smart guns as long as the government does not mandate their sale. But Lawrence Keane, senior vice president of the NSSF, said he was hesitant to see that happen.
“If I had a nickel every time in my career I heard someone say, ‘We’re about to release a so-called smart gun,’ I’d probably be retired by now” , did he declare. “We have heard this many, many times. I will believe it when I see it.
Glaser acknowledged that large-scale manufacturing will pose additional challenges, but said he was confident that after years of trial and error the technology was advanced enough and the microelectronics inside the gun were fine. protected.
“We finally feel like we’re at the point where… let’s go public,” Glaser said. “We are here.”
“Any firearm can fail, whether or not it has wireless smart gun technology,” Holland said.
The LodeStar pistol, aimed at first-time buyers, is reportedly priced at $895. The SmartGunz pistol for civilians would cost $2,195.
Editor’s note: Holland is also a Kansas state senator.
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