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Second Amendment New gun design uses RFID to boost safety

Discussion in 'Bill of Rights' started by tulianr, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    (I placed this in the Bill of Rights section because of the two sentences near the end of the article. Emphasis mine. - tulianr)

    New gun design uses RFID to boost safety

    By Mary Catherine O'Connor | March 2, 2012, 5:48 AM PST

    TriggerSmart, a startup that has patented a system that relies on an RFID reader embedded in the handle of a firearm to authenticate its owner, is the brainchild of gun enthusiast Patrick O’Shaughnessy.

    A news item he’d read, about a police officer who had his gun stolen from him and used against him, inspired the concept. He and his partner Robert McNamara, after finding that biometric technology had too many shortcomings, decided RFID technology was up to the task and decided to have a go at designing a prototype and filing for a patent. There was just one small problem: getting a gun.

    “We could not get our hands on a gun in Ireland,” McNamara, in his thick brogue, explained to me.

    Eventually, the pair legally cleared that hurdle and ended up creating a prototype with the help of researchers at Georgia Tech Ireland, which works with the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta to commercialize technologies developed in Ireland.


    In the two years they’ve been working on the project, says McNamara, they’ve been able to develop a prototype and have secured their intellectual property in the United States, their initial target market for the gun technology, and have also patents filed and pending in 58 other countries including many throughout Europe, as well as Russia, China and Israel.

    Here’s how it works: a passive (batteryless) RFID tag is embedded in either a ring or a bracelet worn by the gun owner. Encoded to the tag is a unique number that an RFID reader embedded in the handle of the gun is programmed to recognize. As soon as the reader detects the tag, a microcontroller sends a message to a solenoid that is linked to the gun’s safety, making it possible to pull the trigger. “All that works in less than a quarter of a second,” says McNamara. “So as soon as you are ready to shoot, the gun is ready to shoot.”

    Reader module inside gun handle

    But if the reader does not detect the RFID tag, it will not allow the gun’s safety to disengage. This way, if a gun were wrestled away from its owner, the safety would re-engage (the reader could only detect the tag at very close range, so the user would need to be holding the gun for the safety to open). And if, say, a child were to discover the gun, or a thief were to steal it, he or she could not disengage the safety.

    The type of RFID that TriggerSmart uses, 13.56 MHz, is the same technology on which many RFID-based identification cards are based. It’s also the technology used in the RFID-secured passports, issued by the United States and many other countries.

    “We know it will work,” says McNamara of the RFID-controlled safety. But the next step — embedding the RFID reader and antenna into a shock-proof casing that can be sealed into a gun handle and put through rigorous testing with live rounds — is the most important one.

    “Our idea, like putting seat belts in cars, is a safety thing. You need to prove the reliability,” he says.

    How long it will take TriggerSmart to prove that reliability is anyone’s guess. Certainly, the idea of a smart gun isn’t a new one — other attempts have included biometric readers that authenticate the gun owner based on fingerprints, or his or her heartbeat.

    But the advantage that RFID has over those technologies is its immediate responsiveness. Gun owners want to know they can pick up their guns and use them, without delay, in the event of an emergency.

    “If I had $500,000 at my disposal now, I’d have a reliable smart gun ready within the year, but realisticially speaking, I think you’re looking at three to five years.

    There are some states that have already introduced legislation with regard to smart guns. A New Jersey law states that once smart guns become available, all gun stores will need to sell only smart guns. Other states have smart gun laws ready to go through [their legislative systems]. So we are trying to get some political support in those states, particiular in New Jersey,” says McNamara.

    New gun design uses RFID to boost safety | SmartPlanet
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    and what happens if a White Noise Jammer is operating in the area??? Gun is locked, and the Cop Gets his A$$ shot off.... This is just STUPID, on it's face..... Technical things should be left to folks who understand the Technology......

    another thought just occurred to me.... Any such REQUIREMENT for a Locking Mechanism, would violate Heller, if the Weapon was inside a persons Residence.
    In the Heller Ruling REQUIRING that a weapon be LOCKED UP, and or Unloaded, violates the 2nd Amendment. SO, I would think any such State Requirement, could be successfully challenged, in Federal District Court, as a Heller violation. Just thinking....
  3. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    NJ already has a law that will require this type of technology if it becomes proven... ALL firearms in the state will HAVE to be retrofitted with this in order to be legal.... Glad i don't live there...
  4. greenebelly

    greenebelly Monkey+

    Jammer would render useless. Or the state/fed could set up magnet based "gate" on highway to overload, wipe, chip. Dumb if this is put I to place.
  5. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Adventure Riding Monkey Founding Member

    Having experience working with hardened and very reliable (normally) military electronics, and now working in the IT field, I have long since proven something my old Navy Seniorchief once told me - an electronic device can and WILL fail at the worst possible time.
    Seeing that strand of electrical wiring running alongside the recoil spring does not fill me with confidence in this new scheme. This idea will get good people killed.
  6. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    This concept was tried several years ago, and cops refused to use them. They felt that the one time it failed to recognize them in time, would be the time that killed them. This had to be at least ten years ago, probably more. the cops had a ring they were to wear.
  7. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    In the world of IT and Electronics we strive to create idiot proof gear.
    Unfortunately, the universe is beating the hell out of us by making better idiots.

    I'd love to see how this 'technology' holds up on a Desert Eagle in 50cal, a super redhawk in 44mag or a 10mm glock.

    Technology can not solve what is in actuality a mental problem.

    And I am seeing this 'solution' as a bigger problem. What happens when the police and military have pre-smart weapons and the citizens do not?

    Yeah, call me cynical but give me a lever gun in 45-70 and a single action colt.
    tulianr likes this.
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    When they convince the Cops to buy and carry these Weapons, then I WILL "think about" thinking about going down that road. Other than that "not in my world"
  9. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    what if there is a hidden off switch, for remote activation? TPTB show up to do wrong, and all civilian guns go dead.:(
    STANGF150 likes this.
  10. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    In s SHTF scenario- make sure you get the ring or bracelet when you secure the weapon.....that you found on the ground. :rolleyes:
    oldawg likes this.
  11. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    and what happens to all those weapons when the EMP Blast fries all the electronics.... all the shooters No Longer shoot... Duh....
    Yard Dart likes this.
  12. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    More ammo for us?
    tulianr and oldawg like this.
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