Password: IDon’tDial911

If you’ve been following the U.N. vs. NRA debate this week during the U.N. Small Arms Review Conference (we’ve been watching it for quite a while here at FP), you might get a kick out of a gun-control idea that a German inventor is trying to patent in the United States. His invention? Password-protected bullets. ...

608121_bullets5.gif
608121_bullets5.gif

If you've been following the U.N. vs. NRA debate this week during the U.N. Small Arms Review Conference (we've been watching it for quite a while here at FP), you might get a kick out of a gun-control idea that a German inventor is trying to patent in the United States. His invention? Password-protected bullets. With this ammunition, gun owners will apparently not be able to discharge their weapon until they insert some sort of code, such as a biometric or numeric password. 

Sounds like it could be a good idea for owners who want to protect their kids at home or for people who use their guns for weekend recreation rather than everyday security. But I have to disagree with the New Scientist's Barry Fox, who writes that, despite the higher cost, "many firearm enthusiasts would surely pay a premium for such added security." If the NRA's resistance to U.N. measures that aim to curb the illicit trade of some of the world's deadliest weapons is any indication, I have to think that password-protected bullets aren't going to be flying off the shelves, at least in the United States, anytime soon.    

If you’ve been following the U.N. vs. NRA debate this week during the U.N. Small Arms Review Conference (we’ve been watching it for quite a while here at FP), you might get a kick out of a gun-control idea that a German inventor is trying to patent in the United States. His invention? Password-protected bullets. With this ammunition, gun owners will apparently not be able to discharge their weapon until they insert some sort of code, such as a biometric or numeric password. 

Sounds like it could be a good idea for owners who want to protect their kids at home or for people who use their guns for weekend recreation rather than everyday security. But I have to disagree with the New Scientist‘s Barry Fox, who writes that, despite the higher cost, “many firearm enthusiasts would surely pay a premium for such added security.” If the NRA’s resistance to U.N. measures that aim to curb the illicit trade of some of the world’s deadliest weapons is any indication, I have to think that password-protected bullets aren’t going to be flying off the shelves, at least in the United States, anytime soon.    

There’s a lively discussion of the new technology over at the New Scientist‘s Invention blog, where most of the comments seem to fall into the “cold, dead hands” camp: 

“Security for guns means having a loaded one on your hip: that way no one takes it from you. Security also means that you don’t rely on physical safeties on the gun, you obey the four basic safety rules and use the big safety “between your ears.””

“I can see my house getting broken into and finding out that the intruders had weapons. My luck when I try to defend myself my gun tells me it has a low battery.”

Kate Palmer is deputy managing editor at Foreign Policy.

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