The US gun control debate is gridlocked, but new technology could help to prevent accidental shootings, says Margot Hirsch

Guns locked to owners' identities could stop needless deaths

(Image: Milton Reeder)

What is your foundation’s approach to the US gun situation?
It’s a polarising issue in this country – the political system is gridlocked. Many groups pursue a legislative approach to gun violence, but we’ve sidestepped the politics to address the problem through technology. Last year we launched a $1 million challenge to invite innovators, the majority of whom are gun owners themselves, to create safety devices that can be built in to new guns – or retrofitted to existing ones, because the US already has about 300 million guns in circulation.

What have they come up with?
We are now funding 15 innovators who are working on a wide range of gun-locking devices, such as biometric technologies that use a fingerprint or grip that is unique to an individual to verify their identity, so the gun can only be fired by authenticated users. We also …

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