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Tipsheet

First-Ever ‘Smart Gun’ With Fingerprint Recognition Technology Hits the Market

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

The world’s first ever “smart-gun” that features a life-saving fingerprint unlocking feature hit the market this week. 

The 9mm handgun from Biofire Technologies uses fingerprint recognition technology to lock out anyone besides the owner of the firearm and users who are approved by the owner. A press release from the company explains that it “enables firearm owners to defend themselves against external threats while preventing unauthorized access and misuse.”

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“Your Smart Gun only fires for the people you choose, so your firearm can never cause a tragic outcome in the hands of a child, criminal, or anyone else,” Biofire’s website states.

"Biofire's approach is totally novel: we've applied high-precision engineering principles to make a meaningful impact on preventable firearm deaths among children. No one had tried that before,” Kai Kloepfer, CEO and founder of Biofire, said in a statement. "The Biofire Smart Gun shoots like any high-quality firearm, but it also feels like you're holding the future in your hand. This is a new era in firearm safety driven by ambition and optimism, motivated by the idea that we can in fact help save people's lives."

The gun, which is $1,499, according to the New York Post, unlocks in less than a second using its fingerprint or facial recognition sensor. It locks back up instantly when it is not being used. Representatives from the company told the Post that it will help prevent tragedies involving children and guns from occurring, as well as criminals taking guns from law-abiding citizens to commit violence. 

Kloepfer told the outlet that he was inspired to create the weapon after a shooter killed 12 people at a movie screening in Aurora, Colorado in 2012. He submitted the idea as a project for a local science fair a year later and then founded the company in 2016. Kloepfer worked with gun experts and former members of the military from that point on to create the gun.

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Biofire’s press release pointed out that firearm-related accidents, homicides, and suicides are one of the leading cause of death for American children. Other studies have pointed out that children whose parents own guns say that they believe they could access the firearms within a couple hours. Some kids say they could access their parents’ guns within minutes. 

 “We’re not claiming that the Biofire Smart Gun is going to prevent every instance of firearm misuse. But we do believe this tool can help prevent some firearm suicides, accidents, and injuries from occurring,” Kloepfer said.”If our work saves even one child’s life, it will be worth it.”

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