News Column

'Smart Gun' Tech Could Disable Stolen Weapons

May 22, 2013

The Associated Press

A high-tech startup is wading into the gun control debate with a wireless controller that would allow gun owners to know when their weapon is being moved -- and disable it remotely.

The technology, but not an actual gun, was to be on display Tuesday at a wireless technology conference in Las Vegas.

The new Yardarm Technologies LLC system would trigger an alarm on an owner's cellphone if a gun is moved, and the owner could then hit a button to activate the safety and disable the weapon. New guns would come with a microchip on the body and antennas winding around the grip. It would add about $50 to the cost of a gun, and about $12 a year for the service.

"The idea is to connect gun owners more directly with their guns, no matter what the circumstance," said Yardarm CEO Robert Stewart.

The Yardarm system is one of several recently introduced high-tech offerings: The iGun only fires if it recognizes a ring on a finger, the Intelligun uses a fingerprint locking system and TriggerSmart uses radio frequency identification.

National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said his organization is concerned about added costs and the reliability of "smart guns" in general.

"We believe that the technology does not exist today where a so-called smart gun can operate with 100% or close to it reliability," he said, "and a firearm that does not function when it is required to is not a smart gun."

The Associated Press

Source: Copyright USA TODAY 2013

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