- Smart guns
- User-authorized handguns
- Childproof guns
- Personalized firearms
Each of these interchangeable terms prompts debates about gun law changes. If the owner of a smart gun can designate users—how will this affect public safety? What if the ID system malfunctions? Once a system passes the prototype stage, what type of test engineering guidelines need to be established to ensure the smart guns are truly childproof? The technology is designed to help prevent accidental shootings and restrict the use of weapons to specific individuals, but monitoring the creation of the technology needs its own restrictions in order to prevent accidental flaws in design. All of these variables are creating delays for availability.
Smart gun technologies have been in developmental stages for over 20 years. The North Carolina Journal of Law and Technology reported earlier this year that one developer “allows the gun maker to designate specific areas that the guns cannot be used.” This offers even more control to the owner of the gun—not only can they authorize specific users, they can disable the firearm based on its location. With 3D printed guns and these fast-advancing changes in firearm design, it is conceivable smart guns will be commercially available in the near future. However, out of over a dozen smart gun technology developers outlined in the Department of Justice’s report, none have made an official announcement for a release.