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Review of Gun Safety Technologies

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2013
96 pages
Publication Series

This National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Research Report provides an assessment and market survey of existing and emerging gun safety technologies.


This NIJ Research Report presents an unbiased summary of current gun safety technologies, availability, and uses. The report is intended to inform future Federal research, strategy development, and innovation in gun safety technology in response to President Obama's directive to reduce gun violence; specifically action to "Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies." This report provides a comprehensive perspective on firearms with integrated safety technologies - firearms known by terms such as smart guns, user-authorized handguns, childproof guns, and personalized firearms. These firearms incorporate components that only permit an authorized user or group of users to fire the gun thus reducing the chances of accidental or purposeful use by an unauthorized user. The goal was to provide an objective, neutral perspective while detailing technologies and products that currently exist, or may exist in the future; clarifying what the technologies can and cannot do; distinguishing the differences between fact and fiction; and managing expectations about how these firearms could reasonably be expected to perform. The material is presented with the understanding that the use or misuse of any firearm, regardless of what technology may or may not be integrated, could lead to injury or death. The information is not an endorsement or disparagement of any particular technology, developer, patent, company, or approach; nor should it be construed with other conversations concerning firearms outside of the perspective of gun safety technology.

Date Published: June 1, 2013