According to Reuters, LodeStar Works recently announced a 9mm smart pistol to shareholders and investors in Boise, Idaho. Meanwhile, SmartGunz LLC, a Kansas-based company, says law enforcement officers are beta testing their version, a similar but simpler model of a smart gun. Both companies hope to commercialize smart guns this year.
Testing LodeStar 9mm smart gun during a presentation to potential shareholders and investors in Boise, Idaho, USA
LodeStar co-founder Gareth Glaser was inspired after hearing so many stories of children being shot while playing with guns unsupervised. Smart guns can prevent such tragedies by using technology to authenticate the user’s identity and disable the gun if anyone else tries to use it. Smart guns can also help reduce suicides and provide safety for police and guards, as smart guns will disable when robbed.
Despite the benefits, efforts to develop smart guns have stalled for years. The boycott of Smith & Wesson, a gun product from a German company under attack, and a New Jersey law promoting smart guns sparked outrage from Second Amendment defenders. .
The LodeStar gun will retail for $895. Mr. Glaser acknowledges there will be additional challenges for large-scale production, but believes that after years of trial and error, the technology is advanced enough and the microelectronics inside the gun are preserved. good defense. “We finally felt it was time to go public. We did it,” Glaser said.
Most of the early smart gun prototypes used fingerprint unlocking, or radio frequency recognition, that allowed the gun to fire only when one chip in the gun communicated with another chip worn by the user in the ring. or bracelet.
The LodeStar gun integrates both a fingerprint reader and a near-field communication chip activated by a phone app, along with a PIN pad. The fingerprint reader can unlock the gun in just microseconds. But since it may not work when wet or in other adverse conditions, the PIN pad is present as a backup. LodeStar does not demonstrate near-field communications, but will act as a secondary backup, allowing for the fastest firing of the gun when the user can open the app on their phone.
According to Reuters, SmartGunz did not disclose which law enforcement agencies are testing the company’s radio-frequency identification-secured guns. Tom Holland, a Kansas Democratic senator who co-founded the company in 2020, said SmartGunz had developed a product model that sold for $1,795 to law enforcement and $2,195 for civilians.
There are many concerns
According to skeptics, smart guns are too risky for someone trying to protect a home or family during a crisis, or for police on the scene. Meanwhile, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has said it is not opposed to smart guns as long as the government does not mandate their sale.
Smart guns coming to market will likely trigger a 2019 New Jersey law that requires all gun stores in the state to offer smart guns once they’re available. The 2019 law replaced the 2002 law, which banned the sale of any firearm except smart guns.