November 23, 2015 -
Tech startup Veri-Fire has developed a prototype for a biometric trigger lock that unlocks a handgun only when the owner’s fingerprint is scanned or a 4-digit pin is entered, according to a report by The Blaze.
Guardian, a custom adapter that slides over the weapon to block the trigger, was developed by U.S Air Force veterans Skylar Gerrond and Matt Barido to prevent young children from accessing firearms.
Once the Guardian-protected gun is unlocked, it remains open until the user re-locks it. The guard can also be physically removed with a screwdriver.
The guard fits most semi-automatic handguns with the exception of revolvers. Additionally, the company is in the early stages of developing similar products for rifles and handguns.
Manufactured using a 3-D printer, Guardian is fitted to the exact make and model of a firearm to prevent people from sharing them among multiple weapons.
On its website, Veri-Fire addresses any privacy concerns that prospective users of Guardian may have regarding the security of their biometrics data.
“Guardian is completely self-contained and has no external data connections or wireless communication capabilities,” Veri-Fire said. “That means that fingerprints that are enrolled in Guardian cannot be remotely accessed by anyone, including Veri-Fire. It also means that Guardian cannot be remotely locked, unlocked, or altered in any way. You maintain full control of your personal information.”
Additionally, Gerrond and Barido are quick to emphasize that Guardian is not a smart gun.
“This is something that’s optional and it’s available to consumers for their existing handguns,” Gerrond said. “We don’t want to get into the smart gun debate and all the associated stigmas. We want to offer this for consumers who choose to use it, if it makes sense for their application.”
“Smart guns don’t solve what we’re trying to solve. There are 150 million existing handguns, 19 million used for home defense, 6 million reported to be in homes with children. It’s the home defense with kids in the home,” Barido said, adding that Guardian “is literally the same thing as a biometric safe.”
Veri-Fire recently launched an Indiegogo campaign for Guardian, pricing the biometric lock at $179, which is half off the $299 retail price it will be sold for after the campaign.
In just seven days, the startup has managed to raise over $21,000 of its $100,000 funding goal with a December 31st deadline.
Last week, opponents of New Jersey’s smart gun law and its author, Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), agreed that the law should be revamped as it has inadvertently hindered the development of smart gun technology.