Entries in Gun Control (4)


Smart Gun Technology Allows Owners to Control Safety with App

Yardarm(NEW YORK) -- Following TrackingPoint's "smart rifle," which has tracking and digital optic technology to create for a more precise shot, a California-based company has demonstrated a different type of smart gun technology.

Yardarm has introduced its Safety First technology, which can allow gun owners to remotely engage or disengage the trigger safety on their firearms. The technology has to be built right into the firearm, though no gun manufacturer has yet done so.

This is how it works: Inside the gun lives a processor, sensor and a SIM card, just like the one in your phone. All of that technology allows the gun to talk to a phone app. Using the app, a gun owner will be able to see information about their firearm when they are away from their gun.

The software will alert the owner if there is movement of their gun. Whether it is just a slight tap or the gun is taken a long distance, the owner will be able to geolocate their gun and engage or disengage the trigger safety. The app will require a password, when logged in a user will be able to manage any of their firearms with the Yardarm technology.

The technology does not allow, however, for the gun to be remotely fired.

"This is much more flexible for the gun owner," Jim Schaff, the vice president of marketing of Yardarm, told ABC News. "It allows the gun owner to set gun rules. It will send alerts -- it can email or SMS them -- and let them know if someone is handling their gun. Maybe they have kids at home. Maybe someone is robbing their house. Whatever it may be, they can track it."

Schaff told ABC News that the company wants the owner to have the choice. That's why there is the engage-and-disengage feature.

"We want to give the control to the owner of the gun," Schaff said. "The owner can set rules based on the motion sensor tech. If there is any motion, they can set it so it always activates the safety or they can go the other way. We don't want the tech to impede."

Even despite the ability to engage the firearm's safety, Joshua Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, thinks this type of smart gun tech is needed.

"There is a lot of interesting technology out there. The problem is the manufacturers haven't incorporated any of it," Horwitz told ABC News. "If you have remote access, you have to be able to engage or disengage -- that technology is not remarkable. What is remarkable is that it is widespread and no one is using it. Any type of thing where you can keep your gun locked is good, but it's not good that this isn't an option out there now."

Elliot Fineman, CEO of the National Gun Victims Action Council, agreed.

"Anything that would disable a gun so that the gun owner is the only one who could fire it is a very important step in the right direction," Fineman told ABC News.

He added that this sort of technology could also help specifically with the issues of kids getting a hold of their parents' guns.

"There are two things we hear about over and over. One is the situation where a kid under 19 goes someplace and kills some people," Fineman said. "The other thing that comes up is that of the 18,000 gun suicides that happen a year, 800 of them are kids. And what gun do they use? They use their parents' gun."

Horwitz and Fineman both cited other companies that are working on similar smart gun technology, including a German company called Unterfoehring, which has developed a personalized gun that uses biometrics to recognize who you are.

The New Jersey Institute of Technology is also working on a gun that knows the mold of your hand and won't work unless it recognizes the shape of the hand.

Horwitz and Fineman believe that the NRA has stood in the way of these smart guns making their way to market. The NRA did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Still, Yardarm said that two major gun makers are very interested in the technology, but that it won't be ready for commercialization until next year. The company expects the cost of the technology to add about $50 to the price of a firearm.

"The nature of this smart gun technology is so different," Schaff said. "It gives much more control to the gun owner. Gun owners will be much more interested in what we have. It's a low cost, low burden and it still leaves a lot of control to the gun owner."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Gun Store Owners React to Obama’s Firearms Proposal

David De Lossy/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After President Obama proposed federal laws to require background checks for all gun purchases, reinstate a ban on some assault-style weapons, and other actions, gun store owners had mixed reactions when asked how the possible changes could affect business.

“It’s not going to have an impact on our sales,” Jerry Aday, a store owner in Topeka, Kan., told Kansas First News.  ”As such, what’s having the impact on it is the fact that people are fearful they might not be able to buy anything, and our government is going to start tracking guns and that type of thing.”

Aday said when it comes to gun safety, the best bet is to focus on education programs.

He said last year gun sales were steady, but spiked in December.

“I want the gun laws, or whatever passes, to pass, to have an impact on the crime, an impact on the killings, an impact on the criminals,” he said.

At a shooting range and gun store in Raleigh, N.C., Lynn Howard, owner of the PDHSC gun shop, was anticipating the effects if national legislation is enacted.

“This is the doors being opened.  If this goes forward, what will fall next?” Howard said in an interview with ABC News affiliate WTVD-TV.

Customers also expressed concerns for their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

“It’s not the ‘Bill of Needs.’  It’s the Bill of Rights.  It’s our right, as a citizen, to own whatever firearm we desire,” said Derek Ward, a customer.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Security Company Patents Door to Fend Off Gun Violence

Barbecan Security Systems(NEW YORK) -- One Washington-based security company says it believes it has a new technology to keep gun violence out of many public places.

Barbecan Security Systems, LLC. says it has been granted a patent for a "Linear Revolving Door" robotic security portal.  The company says the system would scan for weapons without slowing down pedestrian traffic, the way security checkpoints at airports do.  Barbecan says its elaborate revolving doors could be installed in shopping malls, schools, banks, airports, stadiums, military bases and other places.

Bob Osann, managing director of Barbecan, said the concept behind the linear revolving door evolved after the Virginia Tech school shooting in 2007.

"I found it unacceptable that someone could walk into a building and kill 32 people, when in theory you could keep them out," said Osann.

In a statement, Barbecan says "a guard at a building entrance won't stop a determined and well armed attacker -- especially if they have suicidal motivations."  

The company says "gun control is not the answer."  It says it believes it has a better one.

The linear revolving door is equipped with sensors to follow the position and movements of anyone walking through the entrance.  Barbecan says the sensors "would know where their arms are, legs are.  It will keep out of their way and move at their pace."  The technology would adapt to the speed of the individual inside a portal outfitted with metal detectors to keep a possible shooter from entering a public space.

In the company's video animation, people walk through as the double revolving doors robotically follow their pace. If a person's pace picks up, the panels of the portal doors move more quickly.  If their pace slows or they stop, the rotation doors will too.

The security system will be covered on top, so that a person cannot sneak a weapon past the detectors.

"When a threat is detected, the portal reverses and the potential assailant is backed out of the portal," said Barbecan Security in its description.  "The LRD will not let an armed gunman enter a building.  Period."

The LRD gives entrances with high traffic the option to stack portals to accommodate for even higher traffic volumes -- in other words, it can be operated to adjust to the flow of traffic depending on the time of day or when traffic flow increases or decreases.  Osann said an attendant or software could set the speed or flow of the portals to match the amount of foot traffic passing through.

Since 2008, Osann said, the company has been sending patent applications in the U.S. and overseas.  Osann said he believes now is the time to use such security technology, following the shootings in Aurora, Colo., Newtown, Conn. and elsewhere.

"The purpose of this is primarily to save lives and eventually to reduce the amount of episodes we keep seeing," he said.  "I don't see these problems going away.  When we started on this, my estimation was that it'll just get worse -- and guess what, it's just gotten worse."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Florida Auto Dealership Offers Controversial Gun Promotion, Triples Business

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SANFORD, Fla.) -- Buyers in the market for a new car are familiar with dealer promotions like zero percent financing or free extended warranties. But a truck dealership in central Florida has a "Buy a truck, get a free AK-47" deal, to the distress of some gun control advocates.

Nations Trucks in Sanford, Fla. began offering $400 vouchers last week for its truck buyers to redeem at a nearby gun store. The general sales manager, Nick Ginetta, said sales have tripled since the start of the promotion.

"First and foremost, we did this to coincide with our customer base," said Ginetta, who said his showroom displays deer heads and other hunting decor with its 4x4, diesel trucks and diesel sport utility vehicles. "My customers are sportsmen. They go hunting, fishing, and four wheel driving."

Ginetta initially scheduled the promotion to run until the end of November, but said he may extend it through the end of the year because of customer response.

Customers who want the semi-automatic firearm may redeem the vouchers at Shoot Straight, a gun store in the nearby town of Apopka. Ginetta said all customers must undergo a standard state and federal background check before doing obtaining a firearm. Instead of receiving a voucher, customers can also receive a $400 markdown on their truck, or purchase other items at Shoot Straight if they choose not to obtain an AK-47.

Ginetta said he chose to highlight an AK-47 weapon in part because of its controversy as a notoriously commanding weapon. Ginetta said he doubts he would receive as much media attention from local and foreign media if he had chosen a less contentious firearm such as a pistol.

"My obvious intention was to sell more trucks, but now it's a Second Amendment issue," said Ginetta, who is a firearm owner, though not of an AK-47.

The reaction to the promotion has been positive overall, but 20 percent of calls to the store are citizens concerned about safety, according to Ginetta.

The Sanford police department has not received any complaints, said Sgt. David Morgenstern, but he is alarmed that the redeemed guns could get into the wrong hands.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio