A high-tech gun lock even gun owners might go for

The words “gun control” often bring to mind measures to prevent gun ownership and use by regular citizens. If you say, for example, that you favor “gun control” over “gun rights” that seems to imply you’d like to do away with the liberties that allow Americans to own guns.

From Sentinl.

Identilock opens with a biometric sensor. From Sentinl.

There is, however, a middle ground within this debate. As in: There are gun rights advocates who believe in certain gun control measures. And there are gun control advocates who might be convinced that these measures are enough to safely preserve gun rights.

Two gun control options the general public may not know about:

Armatix, a smart gun that uses owner-recognition technology (through a radio-frequency enabled stopwatch) to prevent anyone but the owner from firing the gun.

Identilock, a biometric gun lock that attaches to a gun’s trigger so that only the owner’s fingerprint can unlock it.

Recently introduced to the market, Armatix was not well-received by gun enthusiasts and manufacturers, to say the least. Some fear the technology is too new to be dependable. If it malfunctions, the gun’s owner could be prevented from firing the gun when necessary.

Another argument against Armatix involves an old New Jersey law that anticipated the development of owner-recognition technology. The law states that once it becomes available, all guns sold in the state have to have it. And that, of course, is a slippery slope. Couldn’t the federal government eventually make the same requirement for gun sales across the country?

A recent article in Wired explains why Identilock, still just a prototype, has advantages over Armatix that may win over those in doubt.

The main advantage: Identilock is not part of a gun. It’s a detachable unit, separate from a gun, that locks the trigger. Also, the technology Identilock uses isn’t brand-new. Its biometric sensor is already proven in other security applications, plus it has the approval of the FBI.

Created by Omer Kiyani, a former victim of gun violence, Identilock has the same goal as Armatix: to provide an extra layer of protection against the misuse of firearms. It seems fair to call Kiyani a gun rights advocate, as a gun owner himself and the engineer behind a product that will be marketed to other gun owners. His unusual position, straddling both sides of the debate over guns in America, may give his product the decisive advantage over other smart guns on the market.

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