We ran a post this week noting a podcast from our friends at Student of the Gun in which Professor Paul Markel discusses the new Biofire Smart Gun. Let’s just say Prof. Markel isn’t persuaded by what he’s seen so far. You can listen to the 20-minute podcast here.
We contacted Biofire and they provided responses to some of the issues that Markel raised. We’re working on getting access to one of their newfangle contraptions ourselves, but in the mean time, here are Biofire’s retorts . . .
What is Biofire’s Smart Gun?
The Biofire Smart Gun is a 9mm striker-fired handgun that uses fingerprint and facial recognition biometrics to ensure that only authorized users can fire it. See a larger list of FAQ’s here.
Will the Smart Gun fail if I’m wearing gloves or have dirty hands?
If the Smart Gun’s owner is wearing gloves, its facial recognition system will arm the gun. If an authorized user is wearing a mask, the high-quality fingerprint scanner will arm the gun. The two systems work simultaneously, and whichever system recognizes the user first is the one that unlocks the firearm. Both systems are not required to unlock the firearm for an authorized user.
Does Biofire object to gun owners’ carrying firearms?
Definitely not – while this Smart Gun was designed to be used for home defense, Biofire supports owners’ freedom to choose whatever firearms they like. We are looking forward to offering compatible holster solutions in the future for the customers that want them.
Can Biofire remotely access a Smart Gun?
No – the Smart Gun has no onboard WiFi, Bluetooth, or GPS. The Smart Gun cannot be remotely accessed through over-the-air communication of any kind, including by Biofire.
Do you have to keep the Biofire Smart Gun in the dock or cradle?
No – the rechargeable, high-endurance lithium-ion battery in the Smart Gun lasts for months, and the firearm can be stored in a number of ways, according to the owner’s personal preferences. Some customers may choose to keep it connected to a dock or cradle for ease of access and continuous charging, and many Smart Gun owners will choose to keep it completely separate from the Smart Dock. There is no locking mechanism associated with the dock itself.
Does the Smart Gun negate the need for firearm training and education, especially when it comes to children?
As a company, Biofire strongly supports continuous training, education, and dialogue for gun owners and those who live in households with firearms. We believe it is very important for parents and guardians to both observe and teach their children safe firearm practices, and to treat every firearm as if it is loaded and unlocked – even a Smart Gun.
Does the Smart Gun delay access to armed response?
The Smart Gun provides instant access as well as peace of mind: it unlocks in less than one second, and it locks again the moment it leaves an authorized user’s hand. The shooting experience is seamless: authorized users can simply pick the gun up and fire it as they would any other handgun.
Does the Smart Gun only work for one person?
The Smart Gun works for up to five authorized users. The owner can add or remove temporary users for a set amount of time (for a day at the range, for example), and can also add or remove permanent trusted users at will. Changes to the Smart Gun’s authorized users require the owner to confirm using their personal biometrics.
Read full article here