The Smart Gun or Personalized Gun is the gun of the future. These guns can only be fired by people who are authorized to use them. Gun manufacturers began working on smart guns in response to requests from police. Every year police officers are shot by criminals who manage to grab their firearms during struggles. Criminals cannot fire a smart gun taken from a police officer.
There are several types of smart guns being developed. Some smart guns rely on RFID chips, fingerprint recognition, biometric sensors or magnetic rings. So far, the only smart guns available use magnetic rings. Smart gun technology can reduce accidents, prevent children from firing the weapon and protect the owner if a criminal tries to use it. Smart guns may even reduce teenage suicide.
The NRA is opposed to smart gun technology. Unfortunately there is no device available that can make the NRA smart. The NRA claims that smart gun technology is an attempt to restrict gun ownership. But, restricting gun ownership is a gun control issue not a smart gun issue. They complain that it would make guns more expensive. Okay, that's true. They say their gun won't work if the chip fails or the battery runs out. This is not entirely true. The system failure can be handled two ways. When the system fails the gun can either be activated or deactivated. The police want their firearms to be activated if the system fails. The NRA is not the only stupid group that is opposed to smart guns. The anti-NRA group, The Violence Policy Center, is afraid that safer guns will increase gun ownership.
The Magna-Trigger system for K- through N-frame size Smith and Wesson revolvers prevents the trigger from coming back far enough to fire. It was developed by Joe Davis in 1975, and has proven reliable. This system will work ambidextrously, provided the magnetic rings used are worn on both hands. The Magloc conversion kit for 1911A1 pistols works by stopping the gun from firing unless a magnetic ring worn by the user repels the magnetic blocking device installed inside the grip. Once the system is activated using the matching magnetic ring, the owner can switch the over-ride switch to the on position and allow anyone to fire the pistol.
MossbergIn 1999, Mossberg Shotguns, through its subsidiary Advanced Ordnance and an electronics design contractor KinTech Manufacturing developed a “Smart” shotgun using RFID technology. This product is currently being marketed by IGun Technology Corp. The advantage with this design was that the ring worn by the owner and used to identify the owner has a passive tag (meaning no batteries) that relies on proximity to the gun for power. The battery pack in the gun is designed to last up to 10 years
when not used or up to 8 hours of continual usage (meaning always ready to be fired). The gun has low-battery indication.
Initial prototypes produced by Colt's Manufacturing Company involved the intended user wearing a bracelet that emitted a radio signal that would activate a mechanism inside the pistol to allow the gun to be fired. The project was apparently scrapped over concerns of the batteries in the bracelet and the pistol failing.
The Irish company TriggerSmart claims to have achieved a working prototype of a personalized gun in the summer of 2012 that works using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. TriggerSmart co-owner Robert McNamara said in December 2012 that he has spoken with "household name" American gun makers about licensing his product, but that none wanted to be first to employ the technology. "They're concerned about the liability aspect. When you put it in one gun you'll have to put it in every gun," he said.
Biometrics is the science of using a person's unique physical features to identify him or her. Other biometric identification systems include fingerprint scanners, iris and retina scanners, and voice recognition programs. Rather than identifying something fixed, like a fingerprint, a "dynamic" biometric system measures changes over time. As it turns out, the way you grip a gun—all the little changes in pressure as you squeeze the trigger—creates a pattern that's unique to you. What's more, the pattern is consistent: it can be identified even if you're tired, wearing gloves, or even if your hand is injured.