Pentagon Ordered by White House to Test Smart Guns

The Obama White House has now given the task of testing so-called “smart gun technologies” to the Pentagon. The order is a part of President Obama’s newest executive order aimed at gun control. Within the executive order is language that mandates the Pentagon (more specifically the Defense Department) “conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology that would reduce the frequency of accidental discharge or unauthorized use of firearms.”

To date, not much more information has been revealed about this testing, but many insiders are of the mind that this new directive does not mean that armed services will be forced to buy smart-guns for combat use. The general consensus is that President Obama is calling on the vast resources of the Defense Department to help move forward research and development in smart-gun technology which, ultimately, would make its way to the civilian arms market. The intent, one presumes, would be to reduce civilian casualties (i.e. gunshots), not military casualties.

FingerprintSmall arms testing is conducted by the US Army for all of the services. The Army currently has massive resources for testing all types of small arms and has been evaluating small arms for decades. It cannot be said that the testing facilities that are being called upon for this task are not the best in the world. This may be the reason Obama issued the order to the Department of Defense in the first place. Small arms, in this context, means pistols and rifles.

There are currently a few technologies already in use (or close to being in use) that can prevent a weapon from being fired by unauthorized personnel. One such tech is the fingerprint access retro-fit systems being offered by a few companies. These systems lock a weapon’s ability to fire unless an authorized fingerprint is scanned into the system. This biometric sensor system is still being improved by the company.

As part of the overall effort to improve gun safety, the Smart Tech Challenges Foundation was formed in San Francisco in 2013. Their stated goal is “to foster innovation in firearm safety,” according to their website. The Smart Tech for Firearms Challenge has already granted about $1 million to global innovators to help them develop more reliable and affordable user-authentication features for a variety of firearms.

Many arms experts believe that Obama’s directive is more symbolic than anything else, and will not lead to anything substantial that is not already in the pipeline. Current estimates suggest that there are over 300 million firearms in the US.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Robert Partain

Robert Partain has been a professional writer for over 25 years. He spent ten years on active duty in the Army working as a medic and training NCO. While he covers any topic associated with military life, he specializes in writing about legislation that can affect active duty service members and veterans. Robert currently lives in the small town of Arab, Alabama.
Robert Partain
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