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This Time Is Different, Latest 'Smart Gun' Creator Says

A Colorado-based weapons startup believes it has found a way forward for a nation where many are searching for anything that could help lower the toll of gun violence, with a new model of a "smart gun" that can only be fired by its rightful owner, reports ABC News. "We have something that's actually going to, for the first time ever, deliver on that promise of a firearm that only works for you," said Kai Kloepfer, the founder and CEO of BioFire Technologies. The company launched its $1,499 "smart gun" last month during a demonstration. The weapon will fire normally as long as the user's fingerprint or face is stored in its memory banks. For anyone else, the company says, the gun is little more than a paperweight. ABC News military analyst Mick Mulroy said that using the smart gun felt similar to using a regular firearm. "I thought it worked really well, and I can see the application when it comes to both safety and still having the ability to put the gun in operation quickly," said Mulroy, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and retired CIA paramilitary operator.


Kloepfer said BioFire's goal is to cut down on the deaths and injuries that are caused by people using someone else's gun without authorization, like the child who takes a parent's weapon to school, or the person struggling with mental health problems. Kloepfer grew up near Aurora, Colo., where during his high school years a 2012 mass shooting at a movie theater motivated him to design a safe gun. BioFire is not the first company to attempt to bring a smart gun to the American firearms market. When leading firearm manufacturer Smith & Wesson agreed to promote smart gun technology in the late 1990s as part of a lawsuit settlement, the National Rifle Association criticized the company, leading to a boycott that prevented the release. In 2002, New Jersey enacted a law that mandated the only guns that could be sold in the state would be smart guns once the technology was available for retail purposes. But the mandate backfired and legislators repealed the law after they became concerned it was hampering the development of this kind of technology by manufacturers. Kloepfer said that this time he believes it's different, following so many more mass shootings in so many places. "Whether you own 100 guns, or you've never touched one before in your life, I think we can all agree that anything we can be doing to prevent gun deaths in America is something we should be doing," Kloepfer said.

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