Gun laws in the United States continues to divide opinion across the political spectrum. Liberals argue that tougher background checks and restrictions on the ownership of semi-automatic weapons could help to save lives. Conservatives claim that gun restrictions could put law-abiding citizens at risk and would do nothing to address the psychology behind violent behavior.
There’s no doubt that the introduction of the internet has made it easier than ever for members of the public to own their own weapon. The number of guns sold has soared in recent years, despite an apparent drop in household ownership.
This then bodes the question of how politicians can move forward with the issue. Both sides appear deeply set in their own trenches, and with Congress currently split evenly between both parties, there appears to be no obvious solution that would appeal to both sides.
One element that could act as an intermediary in the debate moving forward is technology. Recent breakthroughs have allowed weapons manufacturers to develop guns with new enhanced security features that just 20 years ago would have been unimaginable. We’ve put together a list of three ways these features could save lives, below:
1) By Stopping a Gun From Firing When it’s in the Wrong Hands
Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, much like what is used to unlock car doors, could help to turn firearms into nothing more than a paperweight when in the wrong hands.
For the gun to unlock, the owner has to be wearing a small wireless transmitter that’s hidden inside of a ring. Once the ring comes within two inches of the gun’s internal circuit board, the gun can be used to fire ammunition.
The hope is that the invention could stop accidents in the home and help to protect police officers should they be overpowered by a criminal.
Another alternative that has gained traction is fingerprint technology. Dual:Lock by Timothy Oh promises to unlock within 0.8 seconds and is already being tested at gun ranges by the Los Angeles Police Department.
2) By Stopping a Gun From Firing in Public Spaces
Satellite technology could allow users to track a gun’s location and to set it to automatically jam when in a public space.
Although the idea is just in the prototype stage, inventor Chloe Green is hoping that the technology will allow users to add additional excluded areas as and when they please.
3) By Warning Others When a Bullet Has Been Fired Nearby
The same RFID technology mentioned previously could also be used to help warn others of the presence of gun fire close by.
Ammunition can already be fitted with cheap radio-frequency identification tags, which could perceivably alert RFID readers within a nearby proximity.
It’s is thought the readers, which can be setup so that they’re linked to an alarm system, could be used in public buildings such as schools and government buildings. Alternatively, the system could be used to lock doors to prevent someone with a weapon from being able to enter into a certain room.