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Obama calls for research into smart gun technology to reduce gun violence


The Obama administration announced Tuesday a series of commonsense executive actions designed to reduce gun violence in the United States, which includes the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security conducting or sponsoring research into gun safety technology, such as biometrics.

The move is in response to the staggering rise in gun violence in the country, which has resulted in more than 100,000 deaths in the last decade alone.

The administration’s past attempts to rally Congress to pass gun safety reforms that would broaden background checks and decrease gun violence have repeatedly failed as Congress has refused to take action and pass such laws.

In a televised address, President Obama detailed the main commonsense actions in lowering gun violence, including keeping guns out of the wrong hands through background checks, making U.S. communities safer from gun violence, and increasing mental health treatment and reporting to the background check system.

The President ordered the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security to conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology.

Additionally, these departments will regularly explore the availability of smart gun technology in an effort to find ways to further its use and development to improve gun safety overall.

“We’re going to boost gun safety technology,” Obama said in his address. “Now today, many gun injuries or deaths are the result of legal guns that were stolen or misused or discharged accidentally. In 2013 alone, more than 500 people lost their lives to gun accidents, and that includes 30 children younger than five years old. In the greatest, most technologically advanced nation on earth there’s no reason for this.

“We need to develop new technologies that make guns safer. If we can set it up so that you can’t unlock your phone unless you’ve got the right fingerprint, why can’t we do the same for our guns? If there’s an app that can help us find a missing tablet — which happens to me often the older I get — if we can do it for an iPad, there’s no reason we can’t do it for a stolen gun.”

In November, opponents of New Jersey’s 13-year-old smart gun law and its author, Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), agreed that the state law should be revamped as it was inadvertently hindering the development of smart gun technology.

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