Jonathan Mossberg is among a small number of pioneers looking to build a safer gun. But unlike many others, he was in the gun business when he started down that path.
His family is renowned for its premier line of shotguns treasured by law enforcement, hunters and the military. Mossberg already has spent more than a decade working to develop — and someday bring to the market — a firearm that the wrong person cannot fire. It is intended to work without fail in the hands of its owner in a life-or-death situation.
"We're gun people, so we know when you pick up a gun you want to shoot it," Mossberg said. "You don't want to swipe your finger. You don't want to talk to it. In an emergency situation, you want to pick it up and use it."
Mossberg's iGun Technology Corp., based in Daytona Beach, Florida, relies on a simple piece of jewelry — a ring — that "talks" to a circuit board imbedded in a firearm to let it know the user is authorized. The ring must be within centimeters of the gun for the gun to fire.
The road to a safer gun has been long. Initial efforts encountered a public wary of the technology, but that has eased as iPhones, tablets and other smart devices have become common.
Mossberg isn't the only one attempting to bring a bit of James Bond to firearms.
Others are exploring biometrics, like an iPhone lock that opens with your fingerprint. Some rely on radio-frequency identification, or RFID, technology, proximity sensors similar to the system Mossberg's company uses. Some use watches to send a signal to the firearm.
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