Connected pistols, which only respond to people identified in advance, could be marketed this year in the United States, where lawmakers are deadlocked on the regulation of firearms.
The interest of integrating electronic chips into certain weapons, and the reliability of these, have been debated for years.
The aim would be to prevent children, criminals and suicidal people from pulling the trigger.
But there is no evidence at this stage that the followers of armed self-defense are not ready to adopt them, nor that these so-called “smart” pistols do not work as well as promised.
Read also“Weapons are in the DNA of the United States”: journey to the heart of American excess
“I don't have a crystal ball to know if it's going to be mostly positive, mostly negative or ultimately the same failure as other connected guns in the past,” remarks Adam Skaggs, a legal adviser at Giffords, a firearms regulatory association. The company SmartGunz has used RFID (radio frequency identification) chips, such as those used in badges for electronic tolls, for example. The user must wear a connected ring to be able to shoot. Boss Tom Holland is targeting police officers who fear an apprehended person will turn their gun on them, or parents worried about their children finding their gun. “People who want a more 'safe' weapon can make that choice if they feel thatthey need lethal protection at home,” he explains. His products are already being tested by police units around the country, and he hopes to market them to the public in the spring.
Some 40% of American adults live in a home where there are guns, estimates the Pew Research Center firm.
Nearly 23 million units were sold in 2020, a record, according to Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting, which forecasts 20 million for 2021. The pandemic and protests against racial discrimination have contributed to a sharp increase in homicides in 2020 , although levels remained below the peaks of the 1990s.