Under a directive by the Obama Administration, the federal government has released baseline specifications for smart gun technology Wednesday with the hopes of eventually getting safer firearms circulating in the civilian marketplace to cut down on gun violence.
The 25-page report published by the National Institute of Justice outlines requirements of a personalized firearm — one that only functions for registered users — needed before a law enforcement agency would consider adopting it. The hope is that official standards would instill consumer confidence and make smart guns an option for interested buyers.
The publication follows a review of public feedback to proposed requirements, developed by the Justice Department, Homeland Security and Defense Department, generated over a 60-day commenting period that closed in September. Obama, who ordered the directive in January as part of a series of executive actions, called the publication “a critical step toward jumpstarting the development of smart gun technology.”
“In the greatest, most technologically advanced nation on Earth, we should be using all the tools we have to keep people safe,” Obama said in a statement Wednesday. “We make sure children can’t open a bottle of aspirin – why wouldn’t we make sure that they can’t pull a trigger on a gun?”
The president as well as many who develop the technology foresee the use of smart gun products as reducing accidental deaths and cutting down on criminal activities as the item would be immediately disabled in the hands of an unregistered user.
Although initially against the technology during its early stages, gun rights organizations have been largely ambivalent on developing and promoting smart guns. They say they would rather the market advance the innovations rather than the government.