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Personalised, electronic handgun headed for commercialisation

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June 4, 2004

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
8 Comments

Hmmmmmmm I do like clever electronics devices.... until they fail, jam or the need arises for legitimate circumvention.

Then I hate them.

This Judge Dredd / Robocop hand gun business - it\'s just bullshit.

There are a zillion hand guns in existance.

They are easy enough to make by hand, or at speed with NC machine tools etc...

This mad prison state, corporate warfare USA and all of it\'s cultural propganda.....

All armed to the teeth and shoving the drugs in....

And this crap being promoted as the flower of the weed.

Mr Stiffy

The thing thing that strikes me as the most boneheaded part of a biometric authorizations is this: 1. Palm-reader style authorized weapon will not work with gloves. \" Hold on Mr. Bad guy, let me take my gloves off so I can authorize my gun to shoot you if you try to hurt me.\" Or does it not get cold in New Jersey? 2. Voice authorization. Lol, the authors of this bill have never been in a high-stress encounter before. Your voice will change because of combat induced stresses. Making the recognition \"fuzzy\" won\'t lock out everyone, and may lock out the proper user. 3. Dongle, ring, or bracelet. All can be removed from a person and used by a third party to gain access.

Make it harder to the innocent to protect themselves and only the guilty will thrive.

Facebook User

To keep your children from accidental gun death is a noble cause, but as the other commenters here point out--- biometric activation may likely cause (once again) the law abiding citizen to be killed trying to defend themselves on the street or in their home as they fumble to change the batteries that went dead because the gun wasn't used for 5 years.

Embeddable RFID tags the size of a grain of rice can be the solution to the activating "key" device. Embed the tag subdermally near enough to the hand that will hold the gun so the wireless interrogator in the firearm can establish a breakable link (in case the fire arm is activated, then dropped or taken), and you will sell me on the reliability of ownership only mayhem. Oh yeah--- make it so the firearm's default dead battery mode disables use...

Leo Elderkin

Sorry, I will keep my gunpowder fired weapons that work......... that is the best part about owning fire arms. The last american made piece of macinery not designed to break. Colt didnt get a bailout......

Whatcha Gonna Do

This is more pointless and cowardly gun control. You store your weapons in a safe when not used and keep them at hand when in use. Any device which interferes with any authorized person instantly using a defensive firearm, or introduces another point of failure, is not to be considered for civilian, police or military use.

Take note that MetalStorm, which is not an American gun company, has never produced a hand held or shoulder fired firearm for public sale. Theirs are electrically fired "Roman Candles" with multiple, stacked charges...which have problems all their own too numerous to list. It is as much a reliable firearm as it's GyroJet predecessors.

Notice also no US companies of note interested? That is because the people who buy their products are adamantly opposed to this. Do fearful people buy firearms? No, they pass laws to restrict them.

NSATC

While this is an interesting concept, calling it childproof when they're relying on an electronic key is somewhat too optimistic. I've lost track of how many times my nieces have gotten into their grandma's jewelry (where I suspect the "key ring" will end up sooner or later if this technology were to be used in the household).

Metal Storm is a project I've watched with some interest. While it does have certain drawbacks (the the main ones being that it requires a source of electricity to trigger the propellant charges and that the design makes it difficult or impossible to reload spent cartridge tubes) it is a solid system that does provide some significant advantages over traditional automatic handguns. The bullet storage system allows for multiple 'barrels' of rounds to be stored and stacked in a multitude of configurations without making the firearm significantly heavier than a standard handgun, as an example. Despite what NSATC claimed (who apparently decided they couldn't be bothered to do the research) the system is stable with few problems.

However, this particular firearm worries me. As far as I can tell from reading the article, the gun apparently would have to be turned in or exchanged in some form in order to get it reloaded once the ammunition has been expended, since there is apparently no way of swapping out ammunition, and it has no magazine of any kind. The last thing someone needs when they're fighting for their life is for their gun to run out of ammo and be entirely unable to give it more!

In short, good intentions, poor execution.

Andrew Christianson

I prefer the idea of an implanted RFID chip that authorizes a user. This would mean that even in the (waaaahhhhhh!) colder parts of the country for those that "need" gloves, there would be no problem if they had to all of a sudden drop everything in their arms, remove their overcoat (it's cold, remember?) and pull up the long and warm shirts and stuff (Remember, again, it's cold enough for gloves) and then fumble with their holster in their gloves to draw their weapon and use it in a split-second life or death situation, there would be no problem whatsoever.

The chip would be powered by the body and automatically disabled forever if removed. Rings can be stolen. Fingers can even be cut off and pressed to a print sensor. Chips removed from the body become worthless as does the stolen handgun.

Imagine, not being killed for your handgun because the thief wouldn't be able to use it.

Mike Aguilar

what would happen if you zapped one of thees guns with a tazer? use of embedded RFID tags sounds nice, but is laser spectroscopy a possibility? seeing as how all action is electric instead of mechanical, could law enforcement agencies broadcast a signal to disable the gun or jam RFID authorization?

Joseph Schneider
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