Gun safety has become a priority for citizens and legislatures alike, and a critical innovation may be on the horizon.
New technology is surfacing that would require the shooter to wear a specific watch in order to be able to pull the trigger. What might have once seemed like a futuristic idea might soon be a reality.
To be more precise, the watch and gun work together through the use of electronic chips that are placed inside both the gun and the watch, allowing them to communicate with each other. Only if the gun is within a close distance to the watch will the grip on the gun turn green and be able to be fired.
Critics argue that this new technology is not a definitive or likely solution in the battle over gun use. Their main argument is that these guns may be unreliable.
Questions have been raised as to whether or not the new "smart guns" will sell. One study reported that 59% of gun owners were in favor of personalization of all new handguns.
The new technology does come with a hefty price tag. A .22 caliber pistol would cost about $1,399, in addition to the $399 cost of the watch, while a regular .40 caliber handgun would normally cost about $600. These expensive prices may be a large contributing factor as to whether or not the guns are marketable.
On a local level, US Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts says that he is in favor of enacting this new technology. Senator Markey announced that he plans on introducing new federal gun legislation that would require all guns manufactured in the United States to be equipped with “personalized technology”, so that if a gun gets into the wrong hands, it cannot be fired.
Other states have also taken measures to ensure that these so-called “smart guns” are the only guns that are allowed for purchase. “Lawmakers around the country have been intrigued by the possibilities,” writes The Washington Post.
“New Jersey passed a hotly contested law in 2002 requiring that only smart guns be sold in the state within three years of a smart gun being sold anywhere in the country. A similar measure made it through the California Senate last year, and at the federal level, Rep. John F. Tierney (D-Mass.) also has introduced a mandate.”
Placing a GPS tracking chip in all guns, or using a ring instead of a watch to activate the gun, are other possibilities for this emerging "smart gun" technology.