Following the example that an iPhone can be unlocked using a fingerprint, guns could soon be sporting the same level of technology, ensuring that only its registered user could operate it. Additionally, the guns could be rendered "inoperable if they approached electronic markers ? for instance, near a school."
[...] the Violence Policy Center worries that smart guns will increase the number of firearm owners, because marketing that touts safety could sway those previously opposed to guns to make their first purchase.
We are very skeptical of what this technology can accomplish, said Josh Sugarmann, the organization?s executive director. You?re really affecting a very small portion of the gun-buying public.
Proponents of smart guns dispute the criticism. They point to studies that hint at potentially significant reductions in gun deaths, particularly high-profile ones among children. In 2010, children under 18 accounted for 98 of the 606 unintentional or accidental firearm deaths in the United States. A smart gun, proponents say, could prevent those deaths.
As for school shootings, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study in 2003 analyzing firearms used by students in 323 school-related shootings found that 37 percent of the guns came from the shooter?s home and 23 percent from a friend or relative. A smart gun could prevent those deaths, too, advocates say.
These guns are not going to rescue us from the 32,000 gun deaths a year, Teret said, but they are going to materially reduce gun deaths in the United States.
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