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'Smart guns' could arrive to US stores this year

The idea for the 'smart guns' is to prevent unauthorized users from firing the gun, with the objective of keeping someone like a child from using it.

YORK, Pa. — For years, smart guns have been proclaimed to be a possible solution to accidental shootings and they might be arriving sooner than expected. 

Smart guns might soon come to market in the united states and many worry about reliability and potential regulations.

The concept of smart guns isn’t new, many have been in the making for more than a decade, but they usually don’t go past the prototype stage. Until now.

“It finally looks like there’s number of producers who are actually pretty close in beta testing, with real guns, and I think for this technology it’s an exciting moment," said Josh Horwitz, the Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. 

There are two ways smart guns can authorized users: The first one is through radio frequency technology attached to a wearable object, like a bracelet, that allows the gun to fire. The other is through fingerprint unlocking.

“I think that we need to get these out on the market, but we need to say let’s see how this works," said Horwitz. 

The idea for the smart guns is to prevent unauthorized users from firing the gun, with the objective of keeping someone like a child from using it.

However, Horwitz says they hope the new technology doesn’t bring more firearms into American homes. 

“What we hope is those who really, who are gun owners to have a safer alternative than what they have," said Horwitz. "What we hope doesn’t happen is we’re not interested in seeing more gun sales, we’re not interested in people saying ‘Well, I wasn’t sure I wanted a gun, but now I do' that would be a negative outcome," he said. 

The two companies working on these smart guns are hoping to have them available by this year.

The Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association provided us with a statement saying: 

We do welcome new technologies, but do have concerns. Yes, it would be great to keep unauthorized people from using your firearms (like kids, thieves, etc.) but the RF chip thing is highly undesirable due to having to wear some sort of device at all times. Which if you're sleeping, or do not like wearing jewelry, having such a device on you in a moment's notice is not a good idea. The fingerprint method is more viable, but it too can be a problem if you're wearing gloves(cold weather) and need to draw your gun in a hurry. Or if your hands are muddy or blood from physical attack and need to use your firearm against the aggressor.

These "smart guns" really aren't intended for safety, they are intended to legalize the banning of regular firearms in anti-gun states - which is already incorporated in NJ law, and possibly other anti-gun states like CA(or others.) That is the complete reason behind them.  there are other ways to keep guns out of wrongful hands(lock boxes, safes, etc.)

Robert Preston

PAFOA administrator

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