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Smart gun company aims to begin production soon

Lucas Mearian | April 30, 2013
Smart gun company SGTi is ready to begin production of a new prototype technology that would use a fingerprint scanner to enable a weapon to fire. But like similar ventures, the company is struggling for financial backing.

The military is another venue for SGTi's technology, Miller said. The smart gun chip has enough non-volatile data storage capacity to hold up to 20,000 finger prints. So theoretically, the fingerprints of soldiers in an Army division could be programmed into every weapon in the unit. If an enemy combatant obtained one of the weapons, however, it would be disabled.

The idea of an enabling tape switch has been lauded by police departments because in a struggle with a suspect, the first thing they often go for it the gun. With the SGTi technology, once a gun is out of an officer's grip, it's disabled, Miller said.

SGTi's initial prototype used a Remington 870 shotgun and a smart gun mechanism about the size of a blackboard eraser

The company's only working prototype was created five years ago and incorporated into a Remington 870 shotgun. The computer controlling the fingerprint technology that is mounted on the gun is about the size of a blackboard eraser. A new prototype the company is producing uses microchips that make no discernible change to the profile of the weapon.

The new chip-level technology can be incorporated by a gun manufacturer or retrofitted to older weapons by an authorized gunsmith, Miller said.

Miller said his company's technology has nothing to do with any pro- or anti-gun position he holds. It's just about safety, he said. He also believes smart gun technology should be market driven and not enforced by government regulations.

"If America stopped manufacturing guns tomorrow, you'd still have more than 300 million of them out there," he said. "We've dedicated well over 10 years to come up with this solution. We have a lot of people in this company who've put a lot of blood sweat and tears into it and never gotten a penny out of it. If we were in it for the money, we would have been out of it a long time ago.

"Our motto is ... if we save the life of one child, it's a miracle to that child and everyone that child touches."


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