The 2016 International San Francisco Smart Gun Symposium was abuzz this week with a smart gun that will not fire if the authorized user’s finger is wet.
The gun is a Glock 22 which 19-year-old Kai Kloepfer altered by embedding a chip to read fingerprints. The fingerprint reader is akin to those found on iphones–which also won’t unlock the phone if the user’s finger is wet.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Kloepfer was first motivated to design the smart gun after seeing news of James Holmes’ July 2012 attack on the Aurora movie theater. But Kloepfer admits his smart gun would not have prevented that attack, as Holmes purchased all his guns legally–via background checks–and would, therefore, be the authorized user of a Glock 22 with a fingerprint reader.
Kloepfer’s smart gun is called “Biofire” and he expects to have “a live-firing prototype” in a few months. He has already won a grant from the Smart Tech Challenges Foundation and the support of Ron Conway, an investor “known for his early-stage backing of Google, Facebook and Airbnb.”
But Kloepfer’s smart gun does not fire if the authorized user’s finger is wet. Moreover, even when it does fire, the cycle from locked to ready to fire takes one and half seconds. One and half seconds is an eternity for an elderly person under duress or a single mom being charged by a gang of invaders in her own home. Kloepfer showed the WSJ that if he dries his finger–by rubbing it back and forth on his pants–he is able to get a good read and the gun will unlock. So that’s a couple of seconds drying the finger plus the one and the half seconds it takes to unlock the gun once the fingerprint is read. This is smart gun technology?
WSJ asked Kloepfer if the fingerprint reader will work if the authorized user is wearing gloves or his fingers are dirty. The response was that “the first Biofire model is designed for home users, who don’t often encounter these issues.” Hmmmm. So now we have a smart gun that will not work if fingers are wet and is not designed for the possibly of gloves or dirty hands?
The people at the Smart Gun Symposium were still excited about it.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.