Personalised, electronic handgun headed for commercialisation
By Mike Hanlon
The 100% electronic O'Dwyer VLe "Smart Gun" is to incorporate biometric authorising technology that should enable it to meet new US requirements for "personalised" handguns according to a joint release from Metal Storm and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).Legislation passed last year in the State of New Jersey requires that "three years after it is determined that personalized handguns are available for retail purposes, it will be illegal-. for any dealer or manufacturer to sell, assign or transfer any handgun unless that handgun is a personalized handgun". The States of New York, Ohio and Tennessee as well as the US Congress, are understood to be preparing similar legislation.The Dynamic Grip Recognition (DGR) biometric authorising technology recently patented by the NJIT will enable the creation of a 'personalised' handgun that is both childproof and personalised to the owner so that absolutely no one else can use it.The O'Dwyer VLe is not only differentiated by its biometric protection, it is the world's first 100% electronic handgun and uses new ballistics technology developed in Australia by Metal Storm that has no moving parts, no separate magazine, no ammunition feed, and outstrips conventional firing systems. The seven shot single barrel VLe can fire multiple rounds with a single pull of the trigger at a rate equivalent to 60,000 rounds per minute so that a three shot burst appears to be a single shot.The biometric system will be incorporated into the prototype design that previously specified a security system based on an electronic keying that recognises authorised users who are wearing a special transponder ring.According to Metal Storm, the O'Dwyer VLe electronic handgun allows for the incorporation of a range of 'personalising technology' the original design of the weapon rather than as an 'add on'.The sense of this approach to reducing shooting incidents is obvious (gun deaths in the US in 2000 totalled more than 28,000) and the market in the US (where more than 943,000 handguns were manufactured in 2001) and internationally for this kind of technology is undoubtedly significant.
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