A San Diego based firearms company has just unveiled their 3d printed SMART gun which aims to prevent unauthorized users of the 9mm pistol from firing it.
Using a 6 digit keypad attached to the handle of the gun, Safety First Arms requires owners of its gun to enter in a 3 digit code in order to fire off a round, disincentivising the illegal transfer of guns and making it harder for children and other unauthorized people from using the weapon.
The company's co-founder, Bob Allan, experimented with a trigger locking mechanism nearly 15 years ago but received quite a bit of pushback from the NRA and other gun lobby groups which saw his effort as a rollback of their second amendment rights. After a friend's son committed suicide with a firearm, Allan decided to reengage the project along with his partner Bob Weinberg, and they came up with the SMART 2. This is a 3d printed 9mm pistol which closely resembles one of America's favorite weapons: the Glock 17.
“We’re building the system to be more reliable than a (traditional) handgun,” Weinberg told Forbes Magazine. “If it’s a protective weapon, what’s the good of it if it doesn’t work? The ultimate goal is to give the user more access to their firearm, but not increase the risk.”
Allan and Weinberg have invested somewhere around $500,000 into the working prototype and believe they'll need an additional $10 million to bring the gun to market on a mass scale. They're hoping that the gun lobby's disdain for firearms protected with an RFID chip - which are susceptible to hackers and require a corresponding chip nearby, such as a smartwatch - will be lessened with their technology which involves a keypad approach that's harder to gain unauthorized access to.
"It’s expensive; it’s not an every man’s gun,” Lenny Magill, the CEO of GlockStore in San Diego told Forbes. “The hardcore gun enthusiast is not going to buy this. But some people will, and that’s admirable.”