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America's gun debate ep6: Smart guns may help reduce violence


06-19-2016 12:48 BJT

CCTV is running a special series on gun culture in the United States.  So far in the series we've discussed several controversial topics, such as the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, and the so-called gun show loophole. In today's sixth episode of "A Nation at Gunpoint," we look at "smart" guns, which could be a new way to curb gun violence.

"If we can set it up so you can't unlock your phone unless you've got the right fingerprint, why can't we do the same thing for our guns? If there's an app that can help us find a missing tablet ... there's no reason we can't do it with a stolen gun. If a child can't open a bottle of aspirin, we should make sure that they can't pull a trigger on a gun," said Barack Obama, US president.

The president is pushing for so-called smart gun technology.

Advocates say it will stop kids from shooting themselves with their parents’ guns, and could also undermine the market for stolen guns.

According to statistics from the Bureau of Justice, around 230,000 guns are stolen every year in the United States. Most of them were subsequently used in crimes.

Smart technology could stop guns from falling into the wrong hands.

"We're seeing primarily two types of technologies. The first being IFD or radio frequency technology were token like a ring or a bracelet is in close to the trigger and it's allowed to unlock when it's close and when you move your hand then the firearm locks again. Biometric technology which is primarily fingerprint technology could be something grip recognition as well are fingerprint identification where the fingerprint is scanned when grip the firearm, and when you let go firearm re-engages in locks," said Margot Hirsch, president of Smart Tech Challenges Foundation.

But the US market has been less than receptive over concerns that the technology is unreliable and would lead to more gun control regulations.
Jonathan Mossberg, CEO of Florida-based iGun Technology Corporation, doesn't agree. His company has developed a smart shotgun and he said after more than a decade of development, the safety of the technology has been greatly increased. He showed how smart guns recognize a ring.

"People who have smart guns can't have guns turn on themselves...amazing opportunity to pack this problem," said Robyn Thomas, exec. director of Law Centr to Prevent Gun Violence.

One 2013 firearms industry poll suggested 14% of respondents would be likely to buy a smart gun. (OUT)

Tomorrow, the next episode of "A Nation at Gunpoint" will show how pro-gun control groups are striving against resistance in the battle against gun violence.

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