An Armatix good gun, which is implanted with an digital chip that enables it to be fired finest if the shooter is donning a watch that communicates with it by way of a radio signal. Michael Dalder / Reuters After each and every mass taking pictures in contemporary historic previous, including the Parkland, Florida, high faculty taking pictures on Feb. 14 that left 17 dead, people start talking about “smart weapons,” and no rely if these extreme-tech firearms may be a solution to The USA’ gun violence epidemic.Smart weapons, whose embedded knowledge ensures simplest licensed consumers can fire them, have been circular for well-nigh two decades, and a 2016 survey found that well-nigh 60% of Americans, if they have got been purchasing a fresh handgun, would have an activity in a smart firearm. But due more often than not to political pressure from gun rights proponents and an absence of funding in their constructing, some of basically essentially the most promising good gun knowledge isn't even on the market in the US, or remains finest in prototype type.There aren’t many wise weapons to choose from. Major US gun producers seem cautious of developing or advertising wise weapons, and with trigger. After Colt and Smith & Wesson, two best US gun producers, agreed in 2000 to create govt-sponsored wise weapons to prevent accidental shootings and gun deaths, a boycott from gun condominium homeowners nearly drove them out of enterprise. On March 6, Smith & Wesson recommended shareholders it hasn’t invested in good gun knowledge and has no plans to.Colt and Smith & Wesson did not immediately reply to request for observation. Armatix Meanwhile, the finest all-in-one good gun gadget within the industry is the Armatix iP1 Pistol, a semiautomatic weapon developed through the use of a German company that’s designed to fireplace finest when it’s inside a ten-inch latitude of a paired RFID watch. It’s only obtainable for purchase remote places, and it’s costly at $1,798 ($1,399 for gun and $399 for watch) compared to the same pistols, which typically cost between $250 and $1,000. Researchers have moreover demonstrated that it’s possible to hack the gun. iGun Knowledge The iGun is similar to the iP1 in that its radio knowledge makes use of a wearable — in iGun’s case, a ring — with an incredibly-low-frequency chip indoors. Within 1 / 4 of a 2nd, the gun sends an indication to the ring, verifies that it’s the acceptable ring, and unlocks the gun, which is then in a position to fire. It develop into first developed well-nigh 20 years during the past, but it’s still finest in prototype type.And the $400 Intelligun through the use of Kodiak Industries lets you lock and free up a gun together with your fingerprint, the method you’d open an iPhone. But the add-on device has huge boundaries: It have to be put in, and it actually works finest with a Model 1911 pistol.The opposition Colt and Smith & Wesson encountered isn’t extraordinary. While gun rights advocates aren’t in opposition t wise weapons, per se, many fear govt intervention may sooner or later avert gun condominium homeowners’ ability to buy and use ordinary weapons. Kodiak Industries Dudley Brown, the president of the Countrywide Affiliation for Gun Rights, told BuzzFeed Assistance in an electronic mail, “As long since it’s not govt-mandated, in any formulation, we don’t have any objection to new technology introduced into firearms. We would strenuously object to any and all efforts to require it, though.”The National Rifle Affiliation failed to reply to varied requests for observation, but on its internet web site, took the equal stance: “The NRA doesn’t oppose the constructing of “‘smart’ guns, nor the abilities of Americans to voluntarily buy them. However, NRA opposes any legislations prohibiting Americans from purchasing or possessing firearms that don’t possess ‘smart’ gun knowledge.”Gun owners moreover be anxious about wise weapons’ limitations. Timmy Oh, CEO of VARA, a company engaged on a biometric firearm relaxed, told BuzzFeed Assistance he moreover helps the introduction of wise weapons, but wouldn’t buy one himself. “Guns must work each and every time, and I’m not relaxed with putting my life dependency on [smart guns] yet,” said Oh.Further complicating the problem is the question of wise weapons’ efficacy.With the exception of Sandy Hook, where the shooter used his mother’s weapons, most existing wise weapons or prototypes don’t have been in a position of stop modern mass shootings. That’s because of most shooters in contemporary historic previous owned their weapons. Of the 143 weapons possessed through the use of mass shooters when you agree with that 1982, 75% were obtained legally.Determining the skills of wise weapons to cut again taking pictures homicides is more superior. There isn’t an awful lot public assistance on what number of of weapons utilized in firearm-related homicides in the US were legally obtained. Only a small fraction of the weapons involved in gun crimes are recovered, so in most circumstances, it’s complicated to investigate how exactly the weapons were received.However, two smaller-scale studies show that the majority weapons used in criminal assaults had been illegally obtained. A 2008 city-level check on crime in Pittsburgh revealed that just about all firearms utilized in gun crimes were now not owned through the use of the perpetrator, and a 2015 survey of inmates in Chicago found that forty% of them obtained their weapons on the black market or through the use of theft.So whereas latest good gun knowledge would now not have averted the Parkland taking pictures, there’s records it may cut again self-inflicted and accidental gun violence and, potentially, gun-related homicides.Margot Hirsch, president of the Good Tech Challenges Foundation, which bucks gun safety technology initiatives, told BuzzFeed Assistance, “Personalized gun safeguard utilized sciences will not handle each aspect [of gun violence], but they do current a promising reply to keep away from early life suicides and accidental accidents and deaths, the majority of which occur because of a early life has used a friend’s gun.”A 2018 check that checked out gun assistance from 2012 to 2014 found that 5,790 US babies, on commonplace, receive scientific drugs for gun wounds each and every 12 months, and about 21% of those circumstances are unintended.And good guns may enrich on existing low-tech gun safety options, including incorrect trigger locks, which require a key or blend to free up. “The problem with these [locks] is that there is a probable for firing if you’re unlocking it, and accidental triggers are typical,” Oh pointed out. Attendees view the “Wall of Weapons” during the 2013 NRA Annual Assembly And divulges on May 4, 2013, in Houston, Texas. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images One class of good gun that takes the problem of mass taking pictures head-on is referred to as gUNarmed. It uses enviornment monitoring to keep away from a firearm from getting utilized in public places, like schools and govt buildings. While nascent, the however-developing knowledge is one extreme-tech reply that may someday assist keep away from mass shootings.“The gadget I’m developing is entertaining. It focuses now not on the grownup, but places,” said Chloe Eco-friendly, the Northern Virginia–based, 17-year-old roboticist in the back of gUNarmed. The gadget may even be retrofitted with any gun that makes use of magazines, like the semiautomatic AR-15 rifle utilized in Parkland. This diagram shows how gUNarmed may work. When the microchip receives satellite assistance that the gun is in a banned zone, the microchip-powered spring follower is blocked, preventing bullets from entering into the chamber. Courtesy of Chloe Eco-friendly The notion of a gun with enviornment-based knowledge that renders it needless in a banned zone might additionally now not take a seat neatly with many gun condominium homeowners who want to be in a position of use their firearms on-demand. Green isn’t deterred: “I want to work with gun condominium homeowners to deliver them the choice to make The USA safer.”However, for gUNarmed to be in reality beneficial, the enviornment tracking knowledge would must be suitable and unspoofable, something Eco-friendly is engaged on, using a furnish from the Good Tech Challenges Foundation. gUNarmed would moreover need generic adoption to successfully keep away from mass shootings in schools, which would probably require a govt mandate — something gun condominium homeowners would probably oppose. As with practically the rest that may possibly trade the recognition quo on weapons Within the US, smart weapons are extremely politicized. A controversial govt mandate supposed to promote their constructing is counterintuitively one of the crucial the reason for you to’t buy one in the US.The New Jersey Childproof Handgun Legislations, passed in 2002, requires that once a smart gun is sold anyplace within the nation (even open air Of newest Jersey), all New Jersey gun shops have to, within three years, only carry wise weapons.Because the legislations restricts what weapons people can and can’t buy, even if finest in New Jersey, guns rights supporters nationwide vehemently oppose it.The legislations backfired, making wise weapons controversial for gun marketers pondering advertising them. In Maryland in 2014, for illustration, when Andy Raymond, the proprietor of the Engage Armament gun shop, said he’d elevate the Armatix iP1 good handgun, he purchased so many lack of lifestyles threats from gun condominium homeowners that he ultimately backed down.Eugene Volokh, a professor on the UCLA faculty of legislations, told BuzzFeed Assistance the 2002 legislations is a tremendous component influencing whether good guns may be sold in the US. “Instead of each cheering wise weapons as a fresh knowledge that helps gun condominium homeowners, [gun proponents] see good gun knowledge as an opportunity. And it’s not simplest a phantom opportunity, but a real opportunity. If wise weapons are developed, that will trigger the gun avert that gun rights enthusiasts be anxious about, at least in New Jersey and maybe in diverse locations,” he pointed out.It moreover bargains gun producers a legal disincentive to developing wise weapons, Volokh pointed out. “If they do [make smart guns], then they’ll get enormous opposition from one crucial part of their market — gun rights enthusiasts — that might additionally overcome the development they get.”This year, this legislations’s have an effect on on good gun availability in the US may trade. On Feb. 28, in the wake of the Parkland taking pictures, the New Jersey state legislature debated seven new gun law charges. Among them is A1016, which, if surpassed, requires New Jersey gun retail shops to elevate “at least one custom-made handgun,” rather than only personalized handguns.In a statement emailed to BuzzFeed Assistance, current governor Phil Murphy’s press officer Dan Bryan hinted at support: “Governor Murphy helps efforts to promote good gun technology and ensure that wise weapons are an choice For manufacturer spanking new Jerseyans.” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy Spencer Platt / Getty Images But despite the fact the new amendment is enormously lots much less restrictive than the 2002 bill, it’s however a mandate, and seems to already be gathering opposition from gun rights proponents. On no rely if he’d support the new bill, NAGR’s president pointed out, “Absolutely now not. By assisting this guidelines we would be approving the very concept that the state can inform the private enterprise what gadgets it have to current.” The NRA failed to reply to a request for observation.Beyond this controversial legislations, those constructing good gun knowledge need additional funding to take their initiatives to market.Professor Volokh believes that gun producers, especially new ones that don’t have an existing client base to alienate, have astounding incentives to increase or put funds into good gun knowledge. “Gun producers face a rare problem. … A modern handgun will work neatly for many decades, and in all probability for a whole lot of years. Gun producers will get no extra enterprise from a wide-spread satisfied client — again, setting aside collectors and other enthusiasts,” Volokh pointed out.Additionally, according to Volokh, whoever patents this classification of knowledge “could promote billions of bucks' worth of weapons in the span of only a few years, as many hundreds and hundreds of gun homeowners come to a call to increase to the safer fashions.”But gun condominium homeowners’ fears of govt mandates on wise weapons complicates such constructing — and apart from they’re assuaged, it might additionally be a really lengthy time earlier than someone may additionally buy a smart gun in the US. LINK: Like A Fitbit, But For A Cop’s Gun LINK: Video: People Seem to be at a variety of A Enviornment-Tracking Gun

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Posted on: March 12, 2018

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An Armatix smart gun, which is implanted with an electronic chip that allows it to be fired only if the shooter is wearing a watch that communicates with it through a radio signal.

Michael Dalder / Reuters

After every mass shooting in recent history, including the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting on Feb. 14 that left 17 dead, people start talking about “smart guns," and whether these high-tech firearms could be a solution to the United States’ gun violence epidemic.

Smart guns, whose embedded technology ensures only authorized users can fire them, have been around for nearly two decades, and a 2016 survey found that nearly 60% of Americans, if they were buying a new handgun, would be interested in a smart firearm. But due largely to political pressure from gun rights proponents and a lack of investment in their development, some of the most promising smart gun technology isn't even for sale in the US, or is still only in prototype form.

There aren’t many smart guns to choose from. Major US gun manufacturers seem wary of developing or selling smart guns, and with reason. After Colt and Smith & Wesson, two major US gun manufacturers, agreed in 2000 to create government-sponsored smart guns to prevent accidental shootings and gun deaths, a boycott from gun owners nearly drove them out of business. On March 6, Smith & Wesson told shareholders it hasn’t invested in smart gun technology and has no plans to.

Colt and Smith & Wesson did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Armatix

Meanwhile, the only all-in-one smart gun system on the market is the Armatix iP1 Pistol, a semiautomatic weapon developed by a German company that’s designed to fire only when it’s within a 10-inch range of a paired RFID watch. It’s only available for purchase abroad, and it’s pricey at $1,798 ($1,399 for gun and $399 for watch) compared to similar pistols, which typically cost between $250 and $1,000. Researchers have also demonstrated that it’s possible to hack the gun.

iGun Technology

The iGun is similar to the iP1 in that its radio technology uses a wearable — in iGun’s case, a ring — with an ultra-low-frequency chip inside. Within a quarter of a second, the gun sends a signal to the ring, verifies that it’s the correct ring, and unlocks the gun, which is then ready to fire. It was first developed nearly 20 years ago, but it’s still only in prototype form.

And the $400 Intelligun by Kodiak Industries lets you lock and unlock a gun with your fingerprint, the way you’d open an iPhone. But the add-on device has significant limitations: It has to be installed, and it works only with a Model 1911 pistol.

The opposition Colt and Smith & Wesson encountered isn’t unusual. While gun rights advocates aren’t against smart guns, per se, many fear government intervention could one day limit gun owners’ ability to buy and use traditional guns.

Kodiak Industries

Dudley Brown, the president of the National Association for Gun Rights, told BuzzFeed News in an email, “As long as it’s not government-mandated, in any manner, we have no objection to new technology added into firearms. We would strenuously object to any and all efforts to require it, though.”

The National Rifle Association did not respond to multiple requests for comment, but on its website, took a similar stance: “The NRA doesn’t oppose the development of “‘smart’ guns, nor the ability of Americans to voluntarily acquire them. However, NRA opposes any law prohibiting Americans from acquiring or possessing firearms that don’t possess ‘smart’ gun technology.”

Gun owners also worry about smart guns’ limitations. Timmy Oh, CEO of VARA, a company working on a biometric firearm safe, told BuzzFeed News he also supports the creation of smart guns, but wouldn’t buy one himself. “Guns need to work every single time, and I’m not comfortable with putting my life dependency on [smart guns] yet,” said Oh.

Further complicating the issue is the question of smart guns’ efficacy.

With the exception of Sandy Hook, where the shooter used his mother’s guns, most existing smart guns or prototypes would not have been able to stop recent mass shootings. That’s because most shooters in recent history owned their weapons. Of the 143 guns possessed by mass shooters since 1982, 75% were obtained legally.

Determining the potential of smart guns to reduce shooting homicides is more complicated. There isn’t much public data on what percentage of guns used in firearm-related homicides in the US were legally obtained. Only a small fraction of the weapons involved in gun crimes are recovered, so in most cases, it’s difficult to determine how exactly the weapons were acquired.

However, two smaller-scale studies show that most guns used in criminal assaults were illegally obtained. A 2008 city-level study on crime in Pittsburgh revealed that most firearms used in gun crimes were not owned by the perpetrator, and a 2015 survey of inmates in Chicago found that 40% of them obtained their guns on the black market or by theft.

So while current smart gun technology would not have prevented the Parkland shooting, there’s evidence it could reduce self-inflicted and accidental gun violence and, potentially, gun-related homicides.

Margot Hirsch, president of the Smart Tech Challenges Foundation, which funds gun safety technology projects, told BuzzFeed News, “Personalized gun safety technologies will not address every facet [of gun violence], but they do offer a promising solution to prevent youth suicides and accidental injuries and deaths, the majority of which occur because a youth has used a family member’s gun.”

A 2018 study that looked at gun data from 2012 to 2014 found that 5,790 US children, on average, receive medical treatment for gun wounds every year, and about 21% of those cases are unintentional.

And smart guns could improve on existing low-tech gun safety options, including flawed trigger locks, which require a key or combination to unlock. “The problem with these [locks] is that there is a potential for firing while you’re unlocking it, and accidental triggers are common,” Oh said.

Attendees view the "Wall of Guns" during the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits on May 4, 2013, in Houston, Texas.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

One type of smart gun that takes the issue of mass shooting head-on is called gUNarmed. It uses location tracking to prevent a firearm from being used in public places, like schools and government buildings. While nascent, the still-developing technology is one high-tech solution that could someday help prevent mass shootings.

“The system I’m developing is unique. It focuses not on the person, but places,” said Chloe Green, the Northern Virginia–based, 17-year-old roboticist behind gUNarmed. The device can be retrofitted with any gun that uses magazines, like the semiautomatic AR-15 rifle used in Parkland.

This diagram shows how gUNarmed could work. When the microchip receives satellite data that the gun is in a banned zone, the microchip-powered spring follower is blocked, preventing bullets from moving into the chamber.

Courtesy of Chloe Green

The idea of a gun with location-based technology that renders it useless in a banned zone may not sit well with many gun owners who want to be able to use their firearms on-demand. Green isn’t deterred: “I want to work with gun owners to give them the choice to make America safer."

However, for gUNarmed to be truly effective, the location tracking technology would need to be accurate and unspoofable, something Green is working on, using a grant from the Smart Tech Challenges Foundation. gUNarmed would also need widespread adoption to successfully prevent mass shootings in schools, which would likely require a government mandate — something gun owners would probably oppose.

As with almost anything that could possibly change the status quo on guns in America, smart guns are highly politicized. A controversial government mandate meant to promote their development is counterintuitively one of the reasons why you can’t buy one in the US.

The New Jersey Childproof Handgun Law, passed in 2002, requires that once a smart gun is sold anywhere in the country (even outside of New Jersey), all New Jersey gun shops must, within three years, only carry smart guns.

Because the law restricts what guns people can and can’t buy, even if only in New Jersey, guns rights supporters nationwide vehemently oppose it.

The law backfired, making smart guns controversial for gun retailers thinking about selling them. In Maryland in 2014, for example, when Andy Raymond, the owner of the Engage Armament gun shop, said he’d carry the Armatix iP1 smart handgun, he received so many death threats from gun owners that he eventually backed down.

Eugene Volokh, a professor at the UCLA school of law, told BuzzFeed News the 2002 law is a significant factor influencing whether smart guns will be sold in the US. “Instead of either cheering smart guns as a new technology that helps gun owners, [gun proponents] see smart gun technology as a threat. And it’s not just a phantom threat, but a real threat. If smart guns are developed, that will lead to the gun restriction that gun rights enthusiasts worry about, at least in New Jersey and maybe elsewhere,” he said.

It also gives gun manufacturers a legal disincentive to developing smart guns, Volokh said. “If they do [make smart guns], then they’ll get huge opposition from one important part of their market — gun rights enthusiasts — that may overcome the benefit they get.”

This year, this law’s influence on smart gun availability in the US could change. On Feb. 28, in the wake of the Parkland shooting, the New Jersey state legislature debated seven new gun law bills. Among them is A1016, which, if passed, requires New Jersey gun shops to carry “at least one personalized handgun,” rather than only personalized handguns.

In a statement emailed to BuzzFeed News, current governor Phil Murphy’s press officer Dan Bryan hinted at support: “Governor Murphy supports efforts to promote smart gun technology and ensure that smart guns are an option for New Jerseyans.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

But even though the new amendment is significantly less restrictive than the 2002 bill, it’s still a mandate, and seems to already be gathering opposition from gun rights proponents. On whether he’d support the new bill, NAGR’s president said, “Absolutely not. By supporting this legislation we would be approving the very concept that the state can tell the private business what products it should offer.” The NRA did not respond to a request for comment.

Beyond this controversial law, those developing smart gun technology need additional funding to take their projects to market.

Professor Volokh believes that gun manufacturers, especially new ones that don’t have an existing customer base to alienate, have strong incentives to develop or invest in smart gun technology. “Gun manufacturers face a rare problem. ... A modern handgun will work well for many decades, and perhaps for centuries. Gun manufacturers will get no extra business from a typical satisfied customer — again, setting aside collectors and other enthusiasts,” Volokh said.

Additionally, according to Volokh, whoever patents this kind of technology “could sell billions of dollars' worth of guns in the span of only a few years, as many millions of gun owners decide to upgrade to the safer versions.”

But gun owners’ fears of government mandates on smart guns complicates such development — and until they’re assuaged, it may be a long time before someone can even buy a smart gun in the US.

LINK: Like A Fitbit, But For A Cop’s Gun

LINK: Video: People Test A Location-Tracking Gun



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