American Senator Dianne Feinstein proposes gun legislation that includes biometrics

December 28, 2012 - 

American Senator Dianne Feinstein has proposed a new legislation in response to the Newtown, Conn., murders that represents a tougher ban on assault weapons and would see all gun owners fingerprinted and photographed for positive identification.

According to the New York Times, Feinstein’s proposed legislation would not only outlaw the manufacture and sale of new semiautomatic guns but would also mandate federal registration and background checks on gun owners who legally purchased guns after the old ban on these weapons expired in 2004.

As the New York Times article reports, “the old assault weapons ban prohibited only firearms that had two or more military-style characteristics. That meant the ban could be skirted simply by eliminating a minor characteristic like a bayonet mount and flash suppressor.”

On Senator Feinstein’s website, details of the proposed legislation are outlined and indicate that biometrics will play a role in positively identifying registrants and owners of guns, using a photograph and fingerprint, along with more stringent background checks and definitions of excluded and included guns.  This proposed legislation will be the major gun control initiative for the incoming Congress.

Ever since the Newtown, Conn. murders earlier in December at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, there has been much discussion about how biometrics could have prevented this tragedy, whether it be through implementing biometric entry systems into schools, using James Bond-style biometric smart gun technology or as Senator Feinstein has proposed, using biometrics to record the identity of those procuring guns and facilitate a more comprehensive background check system.

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About Adam Vrankulj

Adam Vrankulj is an editor for His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj