Fingerprint Recognition to Keep Guns From Firing in the Wrong Hands

November 17, 2015 | Elizabeth Knowles

Guardian Prototype
Photo credit: Veri-Fire

Nobody but you should be using your gun.

Americans own approximately 19 million guns for home defense. How many of them are stored safely with no chance of the wrong person firing them? That’s a hard question to answer, but the Veri-Fire team has come up with a solution: Guardian. The new technology makes it possible for gun owners to be safe and responsible without hindering their ability to be ready in a crisis.

Guardian is not a gun, but rather a 13-ounce safety device that can be attached to a trigger guard and prevent a gun from being fired without its user scanning a correct fingerprint. You might think that this sounds time-consuming or unreliable in an emergency situation, but it takes less than one second to unlock the gun, and it is possible to manually override the device with a PIN. Furthermore, it does not depend on your remembering a combination or having some sort of physical key with you. You don’t go anywhere without your finger.

As their slogan says: “Ready, Reliable, Responsible. Guardian is the Lock. You are the Key.”

SEE ALSO: Is the “American Dream” to Blame for Mass Shooting Epidemics?

Using Guardian is really quite simple. Five different users’ fingerprints can be stored and they can be changed at any time when it is unlocked. When Guardian is attached to the gun, it is positioned where the trigger finger naturally falls and physically prevents the trigger from being accessed. Once the fingerprint is entered, Guardian slides forward to reveal the trigger. No alterations are made to the actual gun as the safety device is attached via a custom adapter. If desired, it can be entirely removed from the gun in under five minutes once it is unlocked.

The device is battery operated, but the fingerprints and PIN stay logged even if the battery is removed. Its expected battery life is about a year, and the battery can be changed with the gun in the locked position.

If you’re worried about revealing your biometric information, don’t be. Your fingerprint is stored in Guardian but is not transmitted externally and cannot be accessed remotely.

Veri-Fire has been crowdfunding through Indiegogo and hopes to make the guns available as early as July 2016. The makers say, “Over the last six years, we've poured our lives into creating Guardian and we couldn't be more proud of the product today, but if Guardian saves just one life it will all be worth it.”

See how it works in this video:


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