An Armatix good gun, which is implanted with an digital chip that enables it to be fired most beneficial if the shooter is donning a watch that communicates with it by means of a radio signal. Michael Dalder / Reuters After each and every mass taking pictures in fresh old previous, including the Parkland, Florida, high faculty taking pictures on Feb. 14 that left 17 useless, people starting talking about “smart weapons,” and however these extreme-tech firearms could be a solution to The U.S.’ gun violence epidemic.Smart weapons, whose embedded experience ensures only authorised consumers can fire them, have been circular for very nearly two decades, and a 2016 survey found that very nearly 60% of American citizens, if they’ve been purchasing a fresh handgun, would have an pastime in a smart firearm. But due commonly to political drive from gun rights proponents and an absence of funding in their constructing, some of primarily probably the most promising good gun experience isn't even on the market in the US, or continues to be most beneficial in prototype variety.There aren’t many sensible weapons to make a alternative from. Major US gun producers seem cautious of building or advertising sensible weapons, and with trigger. After Colt and Smith & Wesson, two leading US gun producers, agreed in 2000 to create government-sponsored sensible weapons to evade unintended shootings and gun deaths, a boycott from gun condominium house owners nearly drove them out of commercial enterprise. On March 6, Smith & Wesson recommended shareholders it hasn’t invested in good gun experience and has no plans to.Colt and Smith & Wesson did not instantly reply to request for statement. Armatix Meanwhile, the most beneficial all-in-one good gun gadget within the market is the Armatix iP1 Pistol, a semiautomatic weapon developed by means of a German enterprise that’s designed to fire most beneficial when it’s inside a ten-inch latitude of a paired RFID watch. It’s only obtainable for purchase distant places, and it’s costly at $1,798 ($1,399 for gun and $399 for watch) compared to similar pistols, which customarily can cost between $250 and $1,000. Researchers have moreover dependent that it’s doable to hack the gun. iGun Experience The iGun is similar to the iP1 in that its radio experience makes use of a wearable — in iGun’s case, a ring — with a very-low-frequency chip indoors. Within 1 / 4 of a Second, the gun sends an indication to the ring, verifies that it’s the correct ring, and unlocks the gun, which is then capable of fire. It develop into first developed very nearly 20 years during the past, but it’s nevertheless most beneficial in prototype variety.And the $400 Intelligun by means of Kodiak Industries lets you lock and unlock a gun along side your fingerprint, the formula you’d open an iPhone. But the add-on machine has significant obstacles: It have to be put in, and it actually works most beneficial with a Model 1911 pistol.The opposition Colt and Smith & Wesson encountered isn’t incredible. While gun rights advocates aren’t against sensible weapons, per se, many fear government intervention could someday hinder gun condominium house owners’ ability to buy and use ordinary weapons. Kodiak Industries Dudley Brown, the president of the Countrywide Affiliation for Gun Rights, told BuzzFeed Guidance in an email, “As long since it’s not government-mandated, in any formula, we do not have any objection to new technology delivered into firearms. We would strenuously object to any and all efforts to require it, though.”The Country wide Rifle Affiliation did not reply to diverse requests for statement, but on its net website, took an identical stance: “The NRA doesn’t oppose the constructing of “‘smart’ guns, nor the skill of American citizens to voluntarily buy them. However, NRA opposes any rules prohibiting American citizens from purchasing or possessing firearms that don’t possess ‘smart’ gun experience.”Some gun owners moreover agonize about sensible weapons’ limitations. Timmy Oh, CEO of VARA, a enterprise engaged on a biometric firearm included, told BuzzFeed Guidance he strongly helps the introduction of sensible weapons, but observed he's now no longer yet capable of buy one himself. “Guns need to work each and every time, and I’m not comfortable with inserting my existence dependency on [smart guns] yet,” said Oh.Further complicating the condition is the question of sensible weapons’ efficacy.With the exception of Sandy Hook, where the shooter used his mother’s weapons, most existing sensible weapons or prototypes wouldn’t have been equipped to stop sparkling mass shootings. That’s because of most shooters in fresh old previous owned their weapons. Of the 143 weapons possessed by means of mass shooters when you trust that 1982, 75% were obtained legally.Determining the abilities of sensible weapons to cut again taking pictures homicides is more superior. There isn’t heaps public guidance on what number of of weapons utilized in firearm-related homicides in the US were legally acquired. Only a small fraction of the weapons concerned in gun crimes are recovered, so in most circumstances, it’s intricate to determine how exactly the weapons were acquired.However, two smaller-scale studies display that the majority weapons used in criminal assaults were illegally acquired. A 2008 town-level analyze on crime in Pittsburgh revealed that almost all firearms utilized in gun crimes have been now no longer owned by means of the perpetrator, and a 2015 survey of inmates in Chicago found that forty% of them acquired their weapons on the black market or by means of theft.So whereas present good gun experience would now no longer have averted the Parkland taking pictures, there’s data it could cut again self-inflicted and unintended gun violence and, potentially, gun-related homicides.Margot Hirsch, president of the Good Tech Challenges Groundwork, which funds gun protection technology initiatives, told BuzzFeed Guidance, “Personalized gun defense utilized sciences will not address each aspect [of gun violence], but they do current a promising reply to avoid formative years suicides and unintended accidents and deaths, the majority of which occur because of a formative years has used a friend’s gun.”A 2018 analyze that checked out gun guidance from 2012 to 2014 found that 5,790 US childrens, on typical, receive medical medicine for gun wounds each and every 12 months, and about 21% of those circumstances are unintended.And good weapons might enhance on existing low-tech gun protection options, including incorrect trigger locks, which require a key or blend to unlock. “The issue with these [locks] is that there is a likely for firing for those who’re unlocking it, and unintended triggers are common,” Oh observed. Attendees view the “Wall of Weapons” during the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting and Shows on May 4, 2013, in Houston, Texas. Justin Sullivan / Getty Photos One classification of good gun that takes the condition of mass taking pictures head-on is called gUNarmed. It uses location monitoring to avoid a firearm from getting utilized in public areas, like colleges and government constructions. While nascent, the however-developing experience is one extreme-tech reply that could someday aid avoid mass shootings.“The gadget I’m organising is spectacular. It focuses now no longer on the grownup, but areas,” said Chloe Eco-friendly, the Northern Virginia–based, 17-year-old roboticist in the again of gUNarmed. The gadget will 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 could work. When the microchip receives satellite guidance that the gun is in a banned zone, the microchip-powered spring follower is blocked, preventing bullets from stepping into the chamber. Courtesy of Chloe Eco-friendly The idea of a gun with location-based experience that renders it pointless in a banned zone can additionally now no longer sit down neatly with many gun condominium house owners who have to be equipped to make use of their firearms on-demand. Green isn’t deterred: “I have to work with gun condominium house owners to give them the alternative to make The united states safer.”However, for gUNarmed to be actually optimistic, the location tracking experience would need to be right and unspoofable, something Eco-friendly is engaged on, using a deliver from the Good Tech Challenges Groundwork. gUNarmed would moreover need typical adoption to successfully avoid mass shootings in colleges, which would probably require a government mandate — something gun condominium house owners would probably oppose. As with almost the rest that could possibly trade the reputation quo on weapons Within the US, smart weapons are extraordinarily politicized. A controversial government mandate meant to promote their constructing is counterintuitively certainly one of the a must have the reason that you’d be capable of’t buy one in the US.The New Jersey Childproof Handgun Rules, passed in 2002, requires that once a smart gun is sold anyplace within the nation (even open air Of fresh Jersey), all New Jersey gun shops have to, within three years, only carry sensible weapons.Because the rules restricts what weapons people can and could’t buy, even if most beneficial in New Jersey, guns rights supporters nationwide vehemently oppose it.The rules backfired, making sensible weapons controversial for gun retailers seeing that advertising them. In Maryland in 2014, for illustration, when Andy Raymond, the proprietor of the Interact Armament gun keep, said he’d raise the Armatix iP1 good handgun, he bought so many dying threats from gun condominium house owners that he eventually backed down.Eugene Volokh, a professor on the UCLA faculty of rules, told BuzzFeed Guidance the 2002 rules is a significant element influencing whether good guns could be sold in the US. “Instead of each cheering sensible weapons as a fresh experience that helps gun condominium house owners, [gun proponents] see good gun experience as a hazard. And it’s not best a phantom hazard, but a real hazard. If sensible weapons are developed, that will trigger the gun restrict that gun rights fanatics agonize about, at least in New Jersey and maybe elsewhere,” he observed.It moreover deals gun producers a crook disincentive to establishing sensible weapons, Volokh observed. “If they do [make smart guns], then they’ll get massive opposition from one crucial part of their market — gun rights followers — that can additionally overcome the benefit they get.”This One year, this rules’s have an have an effect on on on good gun availability in the US could 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 passed, requires New Jersey gun outlets to raise “at least one personalized handgun,” rather than only personalized handguns.In an announcement emailed to BuzzFeed Guidance, current governor Phil Murphy’s press officer Dan Bryan hinted at help: “Governor Murphy helps efforts to promote good gun technology and ensure that sensible weapons are an choice For fresh Jerseyans.” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy Spencer Platt / Getty Photos But although that the new change is greatly lots much less restrictive than the 2002 bill, it’s however a mandate, and appears to already be gathering opposition from gun rights proponents. On however he’d help the new bill, NAGR’s president observed, “Absolutely now no longer. By assisting this legislation we might be approving the very thought that the state can inform the private commercial enterprise what objects it have to current.” The NRA did not reply to a request for statement.Beyond this controversial rules, those establishing good gun experience need additional funding to take their initiatives to market.Professor Volokh believes that gun producers, especially new ones that don’t have an existing customer base to alienate, have mighty incentives to enhance or put funds into good gun experience. “Gun producers face a rare issue. … A up up to now handgun will work neatly for many decades, and most likely for a whole lot of years. Gun producers will get no extra commercial enterprise from a typical satisfied customer — again, setting aside collectors and other followers,” Volokh observed.Additionally, according to Volokh, whoever patents this classification of experience “could promote billions of greenbacks' worth of weapons in the span of only a few years, as many a whole lot of hundreds of gun house owners come to a choice to enhance to the safer fashions.”But gun condominium house owners’ fears of government mandates on sensible weapons complicates such constructing — and until they’re assuaged, it can additionally be a really long term before an individual can 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 number of A spot-Tracking Gun

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Posted on: March 14, 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.”

Some 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 strongly supports the creation of smart guns, but said he's not yet ready to 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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