Smart Gun Can Stay Muzzled
The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) has developed smart gun technology that distinguishes known users from unknown users. Twenty electronic computerized sensors embedded in the gun’s grip distinguished known from unknown users.
“We’ve only just begun and we’re pleased to say that we’re getting 90 percent reliability when scanning users,” said Donald B. Sebastian, senior vice president of research and development at NJIT. Since 1999, Sebastian has led the project based upon Dynamic Grip Recognition, a technology invented at NJIT.
Since June of 2004, five members of the NJIT police force have been trained to use the test gun and be recognized. Ultimately computerized sensors in each gun will record data on dozens of known users while also blocking unauthorized users. One million dollars in federal funding has been gained for the project.
Under New Jersey law, passed in Dec. 2002, only smart guns can be purchased in the state three years after personalized handguns become commercially available.
Discussing how the technology works, Sebastian points out that “Everyone has body features that are unique signatures. Fingerprints and retinas number among the best known markers. Identifying a person by such attributes is called the science of biometrics.”
The next step is for NJIT researchers to turn over their invention to the Australian-based research and development company Metal Storm Ltd. Currently January of 2006 is the target date. Metal Storm will then incorporate the NJIT technology into their patented electronic handgun, as NJIT researchers continue testing.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from Government Technology (12/04) .