“Smart guns” are the latest piece in gun evolution: The guns may only be fired by an authorized user as detected by specialized technology. Our gun trust attorneys review the different ways smart gun technology is changing how gun owners access their firearms:

Similar to smart houses and buildings equipped with remote climate control and security features, and cars that open for specified drivers, one smart gun technology uses handprint, fingerprint or retina scans in order to identify the user. If there is no match, the gun is inoperable.

Aside from the identification methods above, some smart guns in development require the user to have an RFID (radio frequency identification). RFIDs are commonly used at concerts in wristbands to accurately identify valid ticketholders, in deliveries to track packages, and in retail stores to detect when products are shoplifted. In regards to smart guns, RFIDs will need to be worn on the person who intends to use the gun in order to enable the firearm; otherwise the gun will not fire.

Another feature of smart gun technology is geo-selection. A GPS system that identifies where the gun is located can control whether or not the gun can be fired based on its location. Users can establish multiple boundaries and zones from a computer interface, choosing no-fire zones and exactly where gun use is acceptable.

Some states are planning to propose mandatory smart gun technology requirements for gun owners once the services are available. Although individuals who invest in a gun trust to legally store their weapons have the ability to appoint authorized users of their firearms, there is still a risk of liability in the event firearms are ever stolen. Smart gun technology takes responsible gun ownership a step further by preventing the gun from firing if it is stolen and lowers the risk of accidental discharges. For those who legally share firearms in a gun trust, smart gun technology is another way to ensure only those individuals designated to use the guns are able to use them.