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Review of Gun Safety Technologies

US Department of JusticeOffice of Justice Programs810 Seventh st N wWashington, DC 2053Ider jrKarol v

MasonAssistant Attorney GeneralActing Director, Nationale of JusticeThis and other publications and productsof the National Institute of Justice can beational Institute of justiceOffice of Justice Programsnnovation· Partnerships·neighborhoodshttp://wwwojpusdojgov

RESEARCH REPORe National Institute of Justice(NIJ)was tasked with supporting thePresident's Plan to Reduce Gun Violence, 2 specificallyThe President is directing the Attormey General to work with technologyissue a report on the availabilty and use of those technologiesIn support of this Executive actionhas conducted a technologyassessment and market survey of existing and emerging gun safetcriminal justice communities and others with an interestis assessment builds on previous technology reviews on this topic areaproduced by Sandia National Laboratories in 1996and 2001 and theNational Academy of Engineering in 2003 and 200e assessmeamines smart or personalized technologies implemented into firearmsthat prevent anyone other than an authorized usergun safety technologies include proximity devices, such as radio frequencyentification (Rps and magnetic rings, and biometric devices, suchas fingerprint scanners, The assessment also examines firearms that employectronic or sof tware components integrated into safety mechanismsreport summarizes past and present research and development(R&D)and product development efforts in industry, academia, and governmentIt includes a technical assessment of each development effort and containsan estimation of technology maturity for each effort reviewede assessment was led by a general Engineer in the Office of Scienceand Technology at NIJ with assistance from technical staff at the sensorurveillance, and Biometric Technologies Centercited in the text as the"SSBT Center")

The SSBT Center is operatedManTech International Corporation under NIJ award 2010-1J-CX-K024and is a centerthe National law enforcement and cechnology centeNational Institute of Justice I NIJgov

A Review of Gun Safety Technologiesovides scientific and technical support to NIJ's sensor, surveillanceand biometrics R&D efforts as well as technology assistance, informationand support to criminal justicncies The primary roleCentersof Excellence is to suppoograms in different technicalareas and to assist in the transition of law enforcement technology from theboratory into practice by first adopters They assist NIJ in identifying thetechnology needs of theusticenity and conduct relatedsearch, test, and evaluation activities The Centers of Excellence are theauthoritative resource within the NLECTC System for both practitioners andtheir technolog,o assist with information gatherinAI9 of technology and technology-relatedd a workshopRepresentatives from a majority of the entitiescovered in this report were present to have the opportunity to discuss theichnology, R&D efforts, product development, and technology-relatedissues

Relevant staff from the Department of Justice, Department ofHomeland Security, Department of Defense, and the Office of Science andechnology Policy attended as well as participants from several outsideorganizations including firearms manufacturers, the sporting arms andAmmunition Manufacturers'Institute(SAAMI), and the Johns Hopkinsenter for Gun Policy and Research Discussion topics included moderistory of gun safety technology and early R&Dsca19946): existing and emerging gun safety technology and smart guns today(ca 2006-present); availability and use of gun safety technology andmart guns today, including a broad discussion of potential users and userrequirements: technological barriers to developing reliable and effectivechnologies and products; and market barriers to introducing reliable andeffective technologies and productsIn support of research activities, NIJ and the SSBT Center pursued severalsources of information from February to May 2013: site visits, face-tface meetings, telephone interviews, technology demonstrations, emailcorrespondence, literature review, online investigations, NIJ archivaldocuments, and Bureau of Justice Assistance(BJA) archival documentsNational Institute of justice

RESEARCH REPOR11BT Center staff visited the following organizations in March andun Technology CorporationNew Jersey Institute of TechnologUniversity of Massachusetts LowSafe GhnologyArmatix Gmblfollowing organizationswhich may not have beack of interest but ratha lack of an ongoing program inresponsive to email correspondence and telephone callColt DefenseManufacturingSturm, Ruger CoEach entity listed in the Technology Developers section, except for SandiaNational Laboratories, was afforded the opportunity to review a draftersion of the following report content: the Technology Readiness Levelssection, the general portion of the Technology Quick Reference Tablesection, their specific table

the brief general portion of the TechDevelopers section, and their specific subsection from the Technologyevelopers section, The content on Sandia National Laboratories is drawnpublicly availafrom Sandia was soughpartice report as a wholwas reviewed by personnel at the Department of Justice, Departmentof Homeland Security, and Department of Defense with knowledge orce with firearm technology or smart gun R&DNational Institute of Justice I NIJgov

A Review of Gun Safety TechnologiesIJ also released a Federal Register notice on February 20, 2013, toert the public that Nid was conducting this review This public noticeed stakeholders to self-identify and provided accessiblerelay relevant information and comments to NiJ through an online resourcehostedonthenLectCwebsite(wwwiustnetorg)oradedicatedemaiaddress established for this effort (gunsafetvtechnology @usdoj gov Nocomments were received from the public that were found to be responsivee needs of the reporte assessment did not include any research intture socialor community policy or politics: did not cover integration of gun safecedures in the field (e g, policeol duties); and did not include physical testing of identified deor products

However, the report will discuss documented criticalquirements of the gun owmer or user in order to properly enable smartgy The objective of thebiased sary ofg technologies andavailability and use of those technologies to inform any future FederalR&D strategy and innovation in gun safety technology across thepractice and technology ecosystemAcknowledgmentsThe Nationae of Justice would like to acknowledge personnelom the following organizations for providing information regarding theirchnology, products, intellectual property, and other activities related toafety technology (in alphabetical order): Armatix gmbH, Armatix USAomac Systems, iGun Technology Corporation, Kodiak Industries, NewJersey Institute of Technology, Sate Gun Technology, TriggerSmart, ande University of Twente NIJ would like to thank personnel at thelational Center for photographs of the Sandia demonstrators and one ofthe Colt prototypes NIJ wouldge personnel Trolarms Technology Branch, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms andExplosives; the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technologyrectorate; and the US Army Armament Research, Development arineering Center for reviewing the draft manuscript of this reportNational Institute of justice

RESEARCH REPORSince the mid-1990seamsfirearms with advanced gun safety technology to varying degrees ofaturity These firearms, often called smart guns or personalized firearmsare designed to contain author ization systems which generally combian authentication mechanism that actuates a blocking mechanism inseamless process that is designed to take less time than handling andfiring a conentional gun At least three products-two handguns and ashotgun-have been developed by innovators in the prvate sector thatare at a technological maturity level thatleast be described aKodiak Industries, and iGun Technology Corporation There areersonal ized firearms availableercially in the Unitedbut Armatix and Kodiak are planning to bring their respective productsmarket in 2013of two main parts, the iP1 and the iwl, The iP1 is a 22 caliber pistolat is activated by the iw1, a device wom on the wrist like a watcthat communicates using radio frequency identitication

Armatix reportsat it has sold the Smart System in Europe and Asia and is pursuingapproval for commercial sale in the United Statesin laboratories for certification by relevant Federal and state authoritiesand organKodiakles of Utah developed the Intelligun, a tingelocking system installed on a model 1911

-style 45 caliber pistol tolock the firearm for operation immediately for authorized users Theigun system will add an equivalent weight of less than one roundto the total weight of the firearm and is reported to have an expectedfailure rate of 1 in 10,000, which is reported to be less than the expectedfailure rate of the firearm it is installed on Kodiak launched the intelligunin 2012 and debuted it in 2013 at a widely attended annual firearNational Institute of Justice I NIJgov

A Review of Gun Satety Technologitrade showAstem installedis available for pre-order from Kodiak with a projected delivery datelater in 2013chnology corpororia developed in 1998 theshotgun that could be considered the first personalized firearm to goeyond a prototype to an actual commercializable or production-readyproduct The M-2000 operator wears a ring with a passive RFid tagbedded that transmits a specific code when energized by the Rireader onboard the shotgun, iGun performed a number of tests andermined that the unit was reliable, igun shelved the proiect duerket research showing limited consumer demand but estimates that998 to assemble 50 working unitsa decade from990s threld-2000s to investigatenologies and develop functional prototypes of handguns wielectronic safety mechanisms built in that would prevent anyone other thanan authorized user from firing it NIJ supported requirements gatheringand technology reviews in this topic area, which were published by SandiaNational Laboratories in 199610 and 2001

1 Various scenarios such as lawcementbeing seized in the field and used against office homesafety, and preventingof stolen firearms in criminal activities were considered as possible useimpact In additionto the present, the Bureau of Justice Assistance has also provided justover $1 5M to fund a project begun through NIJ NIJ also participaterworkshop and review efforts by the National Academy of EngineeringIn total, the Office of Justice Programs(OJP)has supported at least$ 12 6M in gun safety technology research over the past fifteen yearsthat has catalyzed the development of some early experimental designsat have incorporated a range of technologies that have helped builda foundation upon which subsequent efforts have followed The histolNational Institute of justice

of research and development in smaras shown this to be achallenging technology area, and a number of well-known names fromsued serious efforts to prodnctionototypes over the years While none were successful enough with theirdesigns to bring models to the marketplace, the initial R&D has provided a97, NIJ awarded $500, 079 to Colts Manufacturing Company, Incof Hartford, CT, to develop a smart gun based on an earlier design iteveloped independently based on radio frequency communication Thedevice had a wristband that communicated with the firearm whichenabled a mechanical actuator in the handgun when in close proximityMarch 2000, two prototypes demonstrated that it was possible to integratenot ruggedized enough to permit serious test firing, so reliability evaluationsould not be conducted

Although Colt evidently also funded R&D internallyto move its technology forward, it curtailed further efforts in this areaBetween 2000 and 200of Springfield, MA, to develop a handgun that could only be used byan authorizedWesson explored different methodscodes, biometeprints, and skin tissuespectroscopy approaches Prior to the cooperative agreements withmith Wesson reported it had internally funded a grip sensor that wascoporated in the handle of the handgun Although Smith Wessonproposed a goal of delivering 50 prototypes for test and evaluation, reliablyintegrating the electronics into the firearm proved to be a challenge andonly two demonstration items were deliveredBetween 2000 and 2006, NlJ provided $2, 606, 156 to FN ManufacturingInc, of Columbia, SC, a subsidiary of FN Herstal, to develop an RFenabled handgun called the Secure Weapon System(SWS)prehensive technical report on the SwS and a designed, developedand integrated prototype that represented the combination of selecterNational Institute of Justice I NIJgov

RESEARCH REPORHighlights990s, numerous teams have developed firearmsth advanced gun safety technology-often calleds oese firearms are designed to contain authorization systems whichally combine an authentication mechanism that actuates a blockmechanism in a seamless process that is designed to take less time thandl ing and firing a conventional gtAt least three products-two handguns and a shotgudeveloped in the private sector by Armatix GmbH, Kodiak IndustriesGun Technology Corporation that could atpersonalized firearms available commercially in the UniteStates yet today, but Armatix and Kodiak are planning to bring theirArmatix of Germany has developed the Smart System which iscomposed of a 22 caliber pistol called the iP1 that is activated by theiWi, a device wom on the wrist like a watch that communicates usingArmatix reports that it has sold the smart System in Europe and Asiad is pursuing approval forial sale in the United statesKodiak Industries of Utah recently launched the Intelligunbased locking system installed on a modstyle 45 caliber pistolhat is available for pre-order from Kodiak with a projected delivery dateater in 2013itelligun system will add an equivalent weirless than oround to the total weight of the firearm and is reported to have anexpected failure rate of 1 in 10,000, which is reported to be less thanexpected failure rate of the firearm it is installed orNational Institute of Justice I NIJ


4A Review of Gun Satety Technologienology Corporation of Florida developeda shotgun that could be considered the first personalized firearmwhere the user wears a ring with a passive RFid tag embedded thatcommunicates with an rfid reader onboard the firearmun performed a number of tests and determined that the unit waseliable and estimates that enough components were created in 1998 toassemble 50 workingbut the project was shelved due to markethe reliability of smart guns remains a topic of interest since earlyefforts at development in the mid-1990s, with relability indicated as themost important concern by law enforcement practitioners regarding thetended function for a specified period of time under stated conditionsest protocols already promulgated by U

S Govemment agencies andother standards organizations, or protocols that could be developedcould be used to test engineered firearm systems under differeoperating conditions to provide quantitative metrics on reliabilityNational Institute of justice

RESEARCH REPORable of contentsAbout the ReportAcknowledgmentsxecutive SummaryAective on Risk, Reliability, and Person-centric Technologies 19oken-Based TechnologieBiometric Technologiesechnology Readiness Levels27echnology quick Reference Tablesddle Tiechnology DevelopersSandia National laboratoriesColt,s Manufacturing Company, Inc36Smith WessonNew Jersey Institute of TechnologyUniversity of Twente5Armatix gmbHriggerSKodiak Industries69Online resourceslossary of Acronyms UsedReferencesNational Institute of Justice I NIJ


A Review of Gun Satety TechnologieA report published in 2005 entitled Technological Options for Useruthonzed Handguns: A Technology-Readiness Assessment discussedis in the context of two defined types of handgun owner: (1)peoplesponsible for public safety (ie, law-enforcement personnel) and(2) people concerned with personal safety and handgun misuse,Academy of Engineening(NAE) CorUser-Authorized Handpublished this report seeking to clarify theeloping a reliable user-authorized handgun (UAHG) to reducecertain types of hangoal of this work is to provide an objective, neutral perspectivesafety technologies and their availabilin the near future, it is impor tant to clarify what the technologies can andcannot do, to distinguish the difference between fact and fiction, andectations about how these firearms couldexpected to perform

The material presented here should be considereda sober manner with the understanding that the use or misuse of anyfirearm regardless of what technology may or may not be integrated couldAny information presented here shall not be construed to be anendorsement of any particular technology, developer, patent, companyor approachhere shall not be construed as disapproval Finallthe varidperspectives and opinions on firearms, ay topic discussed here with anexus to technology that may also overlap with another dimension of theater national conversation about firearms shall not be construed to bession of the topic outside of the technologically focusedperspective presented hereNational Institute of justice