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Biofire: The First Worthwhile “Smart Gun”?

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Note: The New Jersey law that would ban sale of regular guns once “smart guns” were deemed commercially viable is no longer on the books.

0:00 – Introduction
4:12 – Electronic elements
6:50 – User “presence” system
8:30 – Mechanical gun elements
11:11 – User enrollment/setup
15:29 – On the Range
18:14 – Security standards
20:59 – Conclusions

Biofire is a Colorado company that has spent the last 5 years or so developing a biometrically authenticated pistol, using both fingerprint and facial recognition systems. The gun is currently in the prototype/pre-production phase, and they are planning to have production models available around the end of the year.

Obviously, there is a wide skepticism about this sort of technology in firearms, and I shared this skepticism when I first spoke with Biofire. The situations in which biometric ID systems could become a liability seem too numerous to count. What convinced me to give the pistol a closer look was Biofire’s explicit focus on a particular target market where the technology fills a very real gap in current options: home defense for those with children or other people regularly in the household. For that situation, one must choose between an array of flawed options – trigger locks, rapid access (hopefully) safes, or keeping a gun separated from its ammunition. The idea of having a gun which can be left loaded and immediately accessible but only usable by a few specific individuals is an appealing one.

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