03 February 2015

"Smart gun" explained

A world-class gun designer has invented one that would be safer to own. 
In nearly 30 years at Heckler & Koch, a legendary German gunmaker, Ernst Mauch designed some of the world’s most lethal weapons, including the one that reportedly killed Osama bin Laden. A state regulator once called him a “rock star” in the industry...

Mauch’s assault rifles and grenade launchers become coveted by armed forces­ around the world, including the United States. He was the first foreign-born winner of the Chinn Award, an annual prize from the National Defense Industrial Association honoring achievement in small-arms weaponry. He still consults regularly with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.

Now the gun world sees him a different way: as a traitor. The target of their fury is the smart gun Mauch designed at Armatix, a start-up near Munich. The very concept of the weapon has been attacked by U.S. gun rights advocates even as it has helped Mauch resolve a sense of guilt that has haunted him his entire career...

Mauch’s solution, the iP1, can be personalized so it only fires if the gun’s rightful owner is wearing a special watch connected wirelessly to the weapon. It has not been the hit he imagined for the multibillion-dollar U.S. market. Second Amendment advocates, fearing the technology will be mandated, launched angry protests this year against stores in Maryland and California that tried to sell it. The industry that once revered him now looks at him with suspicion. ..

“My best partner is our Lord,” he said. “More or less, I think He is supporting my life.”

“I would ask them to give us a chance to tell them about the potential for a modern gun,” Mauch said. “I don’t know why they are scared of this.”  He is not anti-gun, he wants them to know. Told that there were more than 300 million guns in the United States, Mauch smiled and said, “I like that.”
More at The Washington Post.
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