Firearm Safety Application
Applications for Personal Identifier are many. Here is one that is a favorite.
The gorilla application in the room is, of course, the replacement of credentials-based identification verification. There are many others just as significant, one of which is gun safety.
A study published in the journal Pediatrics showed that an average of 5,790 children in the United States receives emergency room treatment for gun-related injuries each year. Most of these visits result from a child in possession of a firearm belonging to a family member. There are methods of locking firearms that should prevent or reduce this statistic, but they seem to be failing. The why of it is difficult to nail down but may be nothing more complicated than the owner forgot to apply the gun lock, or they refuse to use one because it’s too restrictive.
Preventing unauthorized use of a firearm is a daunting task compounded by tradeoffs and effectiveness. Locked up in a safe is the best solution when not in use. It is also the most restrictive. Gadget locks attached to trigger guards or action mechanisms are also practical but only slightly less restrictive. And of course, those who must be armed and ready when needed have no such options. Consider law enforcement officers, professional guards, and even armed teachers in schools. There is nothing sadder than the evening news item of an officer or innocent bystander harmed by the officer’s own firearm taken from someone charged with using it to give protection. We need a method that is safe with no restrictions. Proposed is Personal Identifier.
Equipping a firearm trigger mechanism with Bluetooth transceiver and circuits for locking or unlocking the mechanism is well within the scope of present-day technology. Doing so in a way enabling that mechanism automatic recognition of the owner’s identity and thus controlling the unlocked or locked state provides a solution as good as a safe without the restrictions.
An implementation of this proposed method using personal identifier provides an ideal solution. The Bluetooth enabled trigger mechanism or lock queries the owner’s smartphone for identification verification. Receiving an affirmative response unlocks the trigger mechanism or releases the trigger lock. Otherwise, the mechanism stays locked and unusable. The stolen firearm becomes disabled once leaving its owners possession by as little as one meter.
I wonder, will something of this nature ever make its way to reality protecting the innocent without restricting the right to unrestricted use?