Company hopes “smart gun” will help stop accidental shootings
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - As the debate surrounding gun control rages, one start-up company hopes its modification will save the lives of children. Lodestar calls it a “smart gun.” It’s a Glock-17 with its patented modifications.
The weapon can be unlocked in three ways: through an app, a pin pad on the side, or the fingerprint of an authorized user. Co-founder Ginger Chandler says the goal is to keep unauthorized people, like children, from using the weapon. The latest Child Fatality Report from the state shows a firearm accidentally killed 6 children in Tennessee in 2020, and 20 people under 18 committed suicide using a gun.
“It may seem like a small number to some people, but it’s a huge number if it were your child,” says Chandler.
The gun owner can program multiple authorized users into the weapon and fingerprints for each user. Chandler says that would allow spouses, family members, and other trusted users to fire the gun.
“We did a lot of work and a lot of research finding the best biometric, and I tell you what, we have it. I mean, it’s astounding,” says Chandler.
Chandler knows this isn’t a magic solution.
“What we’re not advertising is it’ll help all gun safety issues… we couldn’t design for all of that.”
But with the National Shooting Sports Foundation reporting that women made up more than one-third of the 5.4 million first-time gun buyers in 2021, Chandler believes their gun has real appeal.
“I think that it’s going to be that person that is concerned about their environment. There’s some unrest; they’re worried that they have small children at home. It’s gonna be somebody who’s comfortable with technology. They’re not worried about trying something new, and they’re worried about their firearm being picked up or used by somebody inappropriately.”
Chandler says they’re in their final round of testing and fundraising. Once that’s complete, they hope to set up production in Chattanooga and have a weapon on the market within 12 months. She says, for now, they will only be offering the Glock-17 with the modifications already on the weapon. However, she does envision a time when a gun owner could send in their already purchased weapon to have the changes put on.
WSMV4 reached out to the NRA and a local chapter for comment but did not hear back.
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