The technology is available. In fact, Jonathan Mossberg, scion of the nation’s oldest family-owned gunmaker, O.F. Mossberg & Sons, patented a shotgun in 2000 that successfully blocked firing by anyone not wearing the shooter’s radio-frequency identity ring. The gun industry lacks not the high-tech know-how, but the fortitude to advance the safety of its weapons in the face of gun-lobby politics and threats. The new voluntary guidelines aim to create industry standards for reliable battery power in a smart gun, for ensuring unhindered speed in drawing the weapon and for the distance allowed between the gun and its owner’s ID device.
“If a child can’t open a bottle of aspirin, we should make sure that they can’t pull a trigger on a gun,” President Obama declared in ordering Justice and Homeland Security officials to outline a strategy for “the real-world deployment of smart-gun technology.” This includes testing of new smart firearms at the Army’s Aberdeen Test Center in Maryland.
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