Kai Kloepfer on ‘Smart Guns’, Security, and Government Mandates

We’ve been following the work of Kai Kloepfer since Ron Conway and his Smart Tech Challenges Foundation first funded him with great fanfare back in 2014. Now that he has a working prototype in hand, Conway, with what seems to be characteristic understatement and restraint, has pronounced Kloepfer the “Mark Zuckerberg of guns” and someone who is “going to save America.”

In response to our latest post, Kloepfer told us that he views “smart guns as something that must withstand a free market and are offered as a choice to gun purchasers, not something that is imposed on the market” — a stance that’s very much in line with that of the majority gun owners.

So we asked Kai to expand on that a little and write something for TTAG addressing some of the questions gun owners have about his new creation…including mandates like the one that’s been on the books in New Jersey for more than twenty years. He was kind enough to do just that:

I’m Kai Kloepfer, the founder of Biofire Technologies, a startup working on developing Smart Firearms: a handgun with a built-in fingerprint sensor so only the owner or someone they have chosen can use them. I get a lot of good questions from gun owners that don’t tend to make it into most of the news coverage, and Dan offered me the opportunity to address some of those here.

What about the New Jersey Law/Mandates?

We at Biofire are strongly opposed to any smart-gun-specific laws or regulations, such as that currently on the books in New Jersey. We think smart guns can provide an option to better secure firearms for some firearm owners. They are not a solution that equally applies to all types of gun owners and they shouldn’t be forced on gun owners.

All the design work and development that we have been doing over the past four years goes towards creating a product that can stand on its own in a free market. We are making a product that is reliable and easy to use so that the gun community will see it as a viable option. We don’t need mandates to sell our smart guns, we will do that on the merits of our product.

As Dan has written, this is a major roadblock to smart guns, and has been since it was passed 20 years ago. We are closely following the repeal process and were disappointed to see Chris Christie veto the repeal of this law that we view as restricting gun owners’ rights.

Will your smart gun limit what I can do with my firearm?

No. The owner has full control over their own firearm.

The owner adds their fingerprint when they purchase the gun, becoming the “admin” user. They then have the option to add or remove anyone else that they choose, such as a spouse or trusted friend, just by authenticating with their fingerprint and following a simple process.

They also have the option to sell the firearm. Again, they authenticate with their fingerprint and follow a different process that wipes all the fingerprints from the gun, including the owner’s. This then allows them to transfer the gun, in any legal fashion, to someone else. The new owner then adds their fingerprint and the process starts over.

Will the government/anyone else be able to hack/remotely disable/modify my smart gun?

No. There are no communication devices of any sort in our smart gun. When we start selling them, people can take them apart and easily confirm that. There is no smart phone app, no Bluetooth, no Wi-Fi. This means that there is no way that anyone can do anything to the gun remotely.

This also means that the gun has no way of “verifying” or “registering” the owner with any government program. You need to observe any laws relevant in your state towards purchasing firearms normally, but once the gun has been purchased, the only person who can control it is the owner. Smart guns do not introduce any additional purchasing requirements or background checks over a normal firearm.

If they have physical access, we are making it very hard. The USB port at the bottom is used only for charging. The data is not connected to anything. The images of the user’s fingerprints are never stored on the gun, only mathematical representations of them that cannot be converted back into the image.

We are encrypting the fingerprint storage to make sure that fingerprints cannot be added without the owner’s action. Our final product will undergo a security audit by a third party, the gold standard for securing an electronic device. Plus, for any of this to even be a concern, a trained criminal must have broken into your house and spent quite a bit of time taking apart the smart gun.

What about left handed/ambidextrous use?

The current prototype only works with your right hand, but it is only a prototype. At launch we will have both a right and left hand model, and likely a more expensive model that has a sensor on either side and will work with both hands.

comments

  1. avatar mk10108 says:

    When the fingerprint ID works in the every real day world with sweat, blood, rain, dirt, then I’ll consider it.

    1. avatar Keystone says:

      You should add one crucial addendum:

      When it works under all those conditions, and *nobody* can wirelessly disable it.

      1. avatar JasonM says:

        Do you mean like this one that has no wireless communication and cannot be disabled remotely?
        Disabling this one would require opening up the gun to get access to the electronics, at which point the saboteur might as well just break the sear, trigger bar, or other vital mechanical component..

        I’d be more concerned about the non zero failure rate of the extra parts, the extra weight, the extra size (or reduction of mag capacity), and the battery life.

        1. avatar Rincoln says:

          Disabling it would require nothing more than a small targeted EMP blast. Welcome to your disarmed world. The feds already have EMP weapons.

        2. avatar Anon in CT says:

          Right – it needs to be made so that it fails unlocked.

        3. avatar Kendahl says:

          Rincoln: An EMP device that killed the gun electronics would do the same for all other electronics in the vicinity. The biggest issue with his system is its ability to correctly read compromised fingerprints or prints from poorly positioned fingers. Intrinsic reliability is a factor but, with good engineering, can be improved to the point where it’s of no more concern than mechanical failure.

        4. avatar meadowsr says:

          Rincoln: no EMP necessary; USB electronic bombs can be had for cheap on the internet–plug it into the USB port (“used only for charging”) and *zap* all the electronics are fried.

          If now the gun fails in an unlocked state, your fancy “smart gun” is all for naught. If the gun fails in locked state, now you’re left defenseless.

          There is NO upside to this “technology”.

    2. avatar Rodd H says:

      Force the police to be the Guinea pigs with this tech and see how that works.
      Then after version 2.0 and. A few years of field trials I might consider it

      1. avatar 2004done says:

        Now THAT is what I consider “reasonable” and “common-sense,” as well as Police refusing to participate in trials.

    3. avatar Chris says:

      Forget blood/sweat/dirt, I can’t recall how many times since the 5s came out (to include all phones made since) that the fingerprint sensor has failed to read to the point of forcing me to use the passcode with perfectly clean hands. And this is Apple we’re talking about, even they can’t make a completely reliable fingerprint sensor.

      There is no way I’m going to trust my life to technology.

      1. avatar JasonM says:

        You should get a Nexus or Pixel. They have a much better sensor. I don’t think there’s any sort of objective testing for them, but that seems to be the consensus among reviewers.

        But what about gloves? My phone can’t read my fingerprint through gloves. What happens if somebody attacks me on a cold day, and I need to use my gun?

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          The answer to your question about gloves is: you get beaten or killed, and your attacker gets a new project: spending ten minutes online to find out how to disable the mechanism that prevents the gun from firing without authentication. Then he has a new gun.

    4. avatar DO says:

      I don’t want to trust my life to anything battery-powered or electronic that can fail.
      I don’t want a firearm that needs to be charged to function or completely fails.
      No police officer or soldier who want to live will do it either and that will put an end to this ProgTard pipe dream.

      1. avatar JasonM says:

        It depends on how they build the lock. They could build it so that the electronics expend energy maintaining the lock (e.g. against a compressed spring), or they could build it so that the electronics expend energy maintaining the unlocked position, or they could build it so that the electronics just toggle it between positions.
        With the first way, a dead battery would automatically unlock the gun. But the first two ways would maintain a load on the battery when the gun is idle, and be terrible for battery life. So I suspect it’s the third way, which would mean when the battery dies, it will stay in the locked or unlocked position.

    5. avatar BLoving says:

      Y’know, all these remarks from the naysayers here kinda sound like “I don’t want a 6.5 Creedmore rifle, why are you even writing about one?”
      No one (besides New Jersey) has said you need this device. As the inventor himself has said, it isn’t for everyone. If it doesn’t fit your needs, don’t buy one (I probably won’t).
      As for the poor schmucks in Jersey, get on your phones and emails and make your so-called “representatives” lives hell until they change your state law. This device IS ideal for some folks and I praise American ingenuity for coming up with it. Looking forward to someone from TTAG to put one tthrough its paces and see if it really works. As a gun salesman, I consider it my job to sell my customer what THEY need, not what I want them to have.

  2. avatar pwrserge says:

    Basic question is does it fail into a “locked” mode or a “fire” mode. If it fails into a “locked” mode than it’s about as fail safe as a lawnmower converted into a beard trimmer.

    1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

      good question. Given that its default/inactive state is locked, I would assume that its battery/fail state would also be locked.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        Which means that I will never use it. If the battery / device fail status was unlocked, it would be fine basically make it an active restraint to the fire control group rather than a passive one that needs to be removed.

        1. avatar Sian says:

          Not every gun is made for self-defense. In fact many are not.

          For a gun that is purposed recreational use only, fail-safe is an acceptable mode, and 99.9% is an acceptable level of reliability.

        2. avatar pwrserge says:

          All guns should have the ability to be used for self-defense and thus should not fail into a locked mode.

        3. avatar Komrad says:

          really?
          so a humane dispatch gun (B&T VP9) should be able to be used for self defense?
          how about unlimited class railguns?
          8 guage kiln cleaning guns?
          olympic free pistols?

          face it, there are already guns out there that would be infinitely worse than a semi-auto handgun, even if the handgun was equipped with a electronic lock
          there are also guns that would be less reliable than a electronically locked firearm

    2. avatar Renner says:

      Keep in mind if it fails in unlocked mode, all the unapproved person has to do is short the battery, possibly even at the usb port. There’s always an analog answer to a digital problem. Criminals will have no problem finding a way around this, and the answer will be spread around the interwebs faster than the latest Clinton scandal.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        Ok… Any device can be defeated. I only care that my gun works when I need it to.

  3. Why is this technology not in cars? Carjacking is a thing.

    1. avatar Rodd H says:

      For the same reason it’s not on guns
      . The technology doesn’t work every time.
      There’s a reason it’s an option on your phone as well.
      I’ve tried using mine on the phone and gave up because it was a pain the arse

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Thousands of deaths each year due to drunk drivers and there’s no mandatory tube to blow in to unlock the ignition?

      We need to push them on this. If you mandate ‘smart’ guns, mandate universal ‘smart’ ignition interlocks.

      If it could save just *one* life…

    3. avatar DO says:

      Because, as a car jacker, I point my gun at your head and say “Override it or die…right now…decide!”.

      1. “Okay, last step is for you to put both hands on the steering wheel. I’ll hold your gun while you do that”.

  4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I like Mr. Kloepfer’s responses. While a handgun with that type of access control technology does not interest me, I can imagine it would appeal to some people and I wish him the best.

    Before we pile too much condescension upon the design, we should recognize that this particular implementation of access control is optimized to prevent an unauthorized user from immediately being able to use the firearm. Of course a criminal can defeat the device if they have unlimited time at a location of their choosing … that applies to ALL access control systems. Rather, this device prevents a child, friend, or acquaintance from being able to fire a handgun if they happen upon it. It also prevents a criminal from being able to fire a handgun if they (gasp!) take it away from you in a physical struggle!

    1. And the Samsung Galaxy works fine too.

      1. avatar Cjstl says:

        My old S5 wasn’t bad. My new S7 Edge… not so much. I’ve gone back to inputting my pin because it’s so hard to use the fpr.

    2. avatar Cjstl says:

      Maybe it would prevent a criminal from taking it from you in a struggle and shooting you with it. Depends on whether you have to keep your finger on the reader in order to fire, which I imagine is not the case. There is probably a set period in which the gun can be fired once it has been unlocked. Would definitely be interesting to know.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Cjstl,

        That is an outstanding question and makes/breaks this implementation in my opinion.

        1. avatar Ing says:

          I read elsewhere that the unlock time is two seconds and the time-to-lock is one second.

      2. avatar Stuki Moi says:

        This.

        If they could miniaturize the reader and speed up authorization to where it could fit on the trigger face and “instantaneously” and reliably authenticate for every pull, it would really increase desirability for a lot of potential users. Safely pocket/purse carry, reholster and open carry a striker gun, yippieee!!

        Then stick some coils and magnets on the slide and frame, and recoil recharge the battery.

        1. avatar Renner says:

          Awesome idea – Recoil recharge. At least for a regularly used gun.

        2. avatar pwrserge says:

          The problem is that the face of the trigger doesn’t exactly give you a hole lot of your print to scan.

    3. avatar DO says:

      I want to be able to fire my gun in self-defense when I happen on it, regardless of battery charge or electronics. That is why no gun of mine will every have this kind of built-in fail circuit. Ever.
      We have better ways to keep people who should not access and use our guns from using them: safes, unloading, and training.
      You mean to say we can leave guns lying around for toddlers to get if we have this? Hah!

  5. avatar Cjstl says:

    I guess a gun that only you or your spouse could use would eliminate the need for a nightstand safe. But you better remember to keep that USB port plugged in. Sure would hate to have a dead battery if something went bump in the night. Plus, wouldn’t a biometric gun be subject to the same drawbacks as a biometric safe? No one wants to experience a failure to read when you’re under duress. Like trying to unlock your phone after you’ve just washed your hands…

  6. avatar FedUp says:

    I hope he brings it to market and triggers the NJ ban. We can’t sue the ban off the books until somebody has been harmed by it and that can’t happen until the ban is active.

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      Yeah, and I’m sure every judge in new jersey is just waiting to side with the nra and overturn some of their longstanding progressive gun laws.

      Man, this glue smells AMAZING!

    2. avatar Accur81 says:

      If Hillary becomes president we lose SCOTUS and the federal courts.

  7. avatar sagebrushracer says:

    “offered as a choice to gun purchasers” That choice will not be palatable unless you are able to successfully lobby for the disposal of poison pill laws like the one in NJ.

    Can you imagine the public back lash if the same law were applied to cars?

  8. avatar dph says:

    Seems like an awful lot of work to perfect something that the majority of potential buyers don’t want or need and won’t buy. But I guess when you’re burning through someone else’s money it’s all good. This guy would have been right at home during the dotcom boom.

    1. avatar Stuki Moi says:

      If the stuff worked 100%, there is law enforcement interest in this. Despite retention holsters, many officers are always aware that their gun can be taken from them. Hence, there is a tendency to draw the gun and keep distance. With 100% certainty your gun couldn’t be used against you, you could instead choose to be a bit more humane about guiding someone who seems a bit wayward.. While a less common concern for civilians, increased prevalence of open carry, will likely bring similar concerns to the fore there.

      Since the founder expects the “free market” to reward his investment, I’m assuming he’s initially angling for department contracts, as those buyers are the only ones with the resources to thoroughly test the functionality before committing to it. Then, once enough LEOs have carried the guns for awhile without issue, civilians will be more likely to trust the tech as well.

      1. avatar 2004done says:

        What a good idea, license-less NJ Open AND Concealed Carry (after only a NICS) when these “foolproof” guns are finished. Too bad NJ legislators didn’t think about how this “fix-everything” would have made everything ‘perfect’ in their nanny state (end sarcasm).

  9. avatar I1ULUZ says:

    There are people that might consider a firearm like this for their home use. They may not consider a dumb firearm safe enough. So it would bring more into owning a firearm. The Model T was built by the same company now makes 526 HP Mustang. I am not interested in a smart pistol, I believe in KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid in products. But give him credit for trying to bring something new to the market, he’s not looking for handouts from Uncle Sammy to fund his idea.

  10. avatar SDF says:

    What if my finger has been cut? What if my finger is gone? What if the sensor is covered in blood? How about mud? How about other materials or fluids that could cover the sensor? What happens if my finger moves when I adjust my grip? The normal question of what happens when the battery is dead still applies. Will gun powder and lead residue from a day at the range affect the ability of the unit to authenticate my soiled fingertip?

    This device MUST fire when I pull the trigger 100% of the time. There is already enough uncertainty in a high stress situation. Hoping that I’m not in the the typical 1% failure zone that I see reported with most biometric identification products is a non-starter. No thanks.

  11. avatar gs650g says:

    He may have control over the gun features now but how about the future?

    1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      There are lots of possible futures including ones where we are not allowed firearms at all much less smart guns…
      The key is whether we allow these futures to come to fruition.

      (PS. I recently sold my ’80 gs850g.)

  12. avatar CLarson says:

    At least this is a much better design than the overpriced .22 caliber joke that the European company was peddling a while back. I am not in the market for one of these, but this technology might be a blessing for those living in the fascist areas of the country. Pols will have less excuses for their unconstitutional gun bans. No more kids and thieves to worry about, right?
    It will be interesting hearing the gun “just went off stories” in media for people owning these. “Yup, I accidentally picked up a gun keyed only to me, pointed it at my buddy/wife/ex/family pet’s head for 3 long seconds and it just went off.”

  13. avatar Rabbi says:

    Biometric sensors will fail when the grip of the hand is not perfect on the gun, finger is cut, greasy, bloody, oily or dirty.

    There is no place for it on a pistol or gun safe, period.

    Yes, there will be buyers, but only people that are ignorant of the inherent problems.

    1. avatar 2004done says:

      So it will be sold strictly to the approving Legislators in NJ?

  14. avatar Accur81 says:

    I’ve got fingerprint / thumbprint recognition on my iPhone. It does the following:

    -Adds a good, although incomplete, level of protection against unauthorized use
    -Delays me using the phone
    -Requires a specific way to hold the phone in order to authenticate
    -Won’t work when wet
    -Won’t work if my finger or thumb is dirty
    -Won’t work if my finger or thumb is injured
    -Won’t work if my injured finger or thumb is covered by a bandage.

    Each of these issues would stop or delay the use of a handgun. Add dead batteries to that equation and you’ve just taken any firearm to the bottom of the heap in terms of fast access and reliability. Also notice that Kai isn’t rapidly whipping his modified Glock out of the holster, doing a Mozambique, reholstering, and repeating. Why is that? I’m thinking you could add fragile to the about list of disadvantages. And temperature sensitivity. And water sensitivity.

    So the prospect of a slow, expensive, unreliable, fragile, temperature sensitive, moisture sensitive gun that has to be charged frequently in order to work is just not appealing.

  15. avatar Soylent Green says:

    Can I get this tech applied to my bedside bat as well? And the rocks in my yard? Kitchen knives? Cars? Alcohol bottles? Pill bottles? Swimming pools?

    I’ve generally no interest in such a device, but I can see the merits, and it could actually INCREASE the ranks of the POTG. Lots of people wouldn’t buy a normal gun, but would buy a biometic firearm because of the perception of increased safety. It would be interesting to see the design FMEA (failure modes and effects analysis). I wonder, if a defense situation arose, and the gun failed to unlock, and the owner was murdered, the lawsuit could chew them up and spit them out. Low occurrence, for sure, but oh so high risk.

    I do think Kai’s responses are very professional, and appear non biased, which is nice to see, given how such devices are normally marketed to us.

  16. avatar Anonymous says:

    I’ll pass. Batteries suck.

  17. avatar Anonymous says:

    Hey you know what we need? More traceability of people. We need RFID pills injected in each wrist to allow:

    -Our guns to only be fired by us
    -Our phones to only be unlocked by us
    -Our house doors of our house to unlock when we touch the doorknob
    -Our cars to start when we put our hands on the wheel
    -Our trunks to open when we touch them
    -All doors in America to open when authorized people touch them
    -All computers to unlock when authorized people touch them
    -vending machines to dispense beverages and deduct our account when we touch them
    -grocery stories to allow a sale (after we bag our own groceries no doubt) with a wave of our hand.
    -And all our actions to be recorded and monitored by the gov.

    1. avatar 2004done says:

      Sounds wonderful to the DNC, we are almost there, except for “undocumented” illegal aliens, and Voter ID!

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “…-vending machines to dispense beverages and deduct our account when we touch them…”

      You’re close, but no cigar.

      The vending machine will query the national database on you and determine you have purchased your limit of sugary drinks for the month and deny the sale…

      1. avatar gs650g says:

        Bloomberg would back universal background checks on soda in a heartbeat.

    3. avatar 16V says:

      There’s a small but (frighteningly) growing number of people who have RFID’d themselves. They set up their homes, vehicles, doors, etc to do most of what you reference.

      The SSN was never to be used outside the SS system. It was (and likely still is) illegal to use it for any of the things it’s used for today. Yet, here we are.

      There will be some “reason” in the near future that everybody gets chipped at birth – on the slim chance that we/Muslims don’t destroy civilization in the next 20 years.

  18. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    My question is ultimately how you do firmware updates on something like this if the USB cord is power only.

  19. avatar Joe says:

    Forgot the most obvious questions. What about EMP? What about batteries?

  20. avatar Noishkel says:

    Wait a minute… a 19 year old kid has been working 4 years on his smart gun? So… who exactly sold a 15 year old a handgun? Any one bother to ask the WSJ that? Good investigative journalism. 😐

    1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      Perhaps it was a gift…

      1. avatar gs650g says:

        In most states there would a legal question about him working with a handgun. In jersey it’s a capital offense.

  21. avatar DO says:

    If this type of solution is so good, why don’t we see a national call for all vehicles to have “breathalizer” lockouts on the ignitions? that would be the same kind of punish all for the transgressions of the very few.
    The outrage of the ProgTards would truly be epic entertainment.

  22. avatar Ralph says:

    Beta test it on the cops.

    This is gonna be fun. Pass me a beer while I watch.

  23. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

    Many gun owners see firearms as self defense tools, and as such would have reservations about “smart guns”. There are however people who see guns as sporting items only, who would never consider self defense as an inalienable right. I have over the years met some, as have others on TTAG. RF dealt with some recently in NYC. Many POTG have taken an anti to the range, seen them enjoy the experience, yet fall back to their anti position for any number of reasons, often having to do with the inherent dangers of guns, arising from accessibility by children, the psychologically impaired or the suicidal. Those smiling first timers with these reservations are the potential buyers of such a product. These people would see as features, that which we view as bugs. The same way some of us like semi autos, some hate revolvers, some love rimfire, some hate magnums. There is a market for all tastes. The one thing preventing these types of “safe” guns from entering the market and succeeding or failing under their own merits are the clear and present danger of enforcement of smart gun technology on all, irrespective of their personal preferences. Thank you, NOT, New Jersey.

    1. avatar DO says:

      “he one thing preventing these types of “safe” guns from entering the market and succeeding or failing under their own merits are the clear and present danger of enforcement of smart gun technology on all, irrespective of their personal preferences. Thank you, NOT, New Jersey.”
      Well said. But only in an alternative universe (maybe not even then) would anti-gun statist not demand it apply to all firearms. So there we are: in complete opposition.
      As proof I offer this:
      California’s ProgTard AG, Harris, made micro-stamping a must for all new pistols to be added to the Roster of Safe Handguns last year despite that fact that no manufacturer has implemented it.

  24. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    Off topic….
    Does Brownells & Magpul know how maddenly frustrating their popup ads with the evasive delete ‘X’ are?
    Do they think we’re happy to be chasing them around to uncover the articles on this website?
    Do they think I am more or less likely to make a purchase from them after this inter-web experience?
    Just askin’….

    1. avatar 2004done says:

      You’re NOT alone, but I still have to buy from Brownell’s, because Numrich isn’t always available.

  25. avatar Pausert says:

    I will get a smart gun when I can get the Lawgiver from Judge Dredd.

    That includes the full auto and grenade ammo options too! 😉

  26. avatar Truth says:

    The market is never hurt by having more options available.

    The die-hard people of the gun will reject this, for many valid reasons. But – news flash – there are a whole lot of people who aren’t die-hards, who might be very interested in something like this.

    For example – women and purse carry. We repeat a million times over, off-body carry is a dumb idea, because it is. But the simple absolute fact is, a whole lotta women are not going to carry a firearm on their body. But they would carry one in their purse. And if there was one that cannot, under any circumstances, be used against them? That’s a sale, guys. That’s another armed female. And that’s a nail in the coffin of the stupid liberal argument that “a gun is more likely to be used against you.”

    Another example – home carry. We can argue til we’re blue in the face that it’s a great idea to home carry, but there are a tremendous number of people who just aren’t going to. When they’re home, they don’t want a holster on. And they’re not going to just leave guns lying around the house when somebody brings their kids over, or the grandkids are coming to visit. And they’re not going to go putting safes everywhere. And not everyone wants to make a mad dash to the safe and try to sort out the combination, when they hear a window breaking. But a smart gun, fingerprint-driven, that they could leave even in plain sight but that can’t possibly hurt anyone? That’s a sale, guys.

    The #1 problem with defense rights in this country is that there aren’t enough people exercising their defense rights. Want to expand that number? Remove their objections to the sale. This smart gun removes some objections for people who CURRENTLY AREN’T IN THE POTG RIGHT NOW. No, no self-respecting die-hard POTG is going to want or use a smart gun. So what? Few of us would wear a pink leather jacket either — but there are a hell of a lot of pink leather jackets being sold out there.

    There’s a market for this. And anything that expands the market, and gets more people into being POTG, is a good thing.

    1. There’s no market for this. You really think there are a million people out there that are saying “I would like to have a gun but…”?

      1. avatar Truth says:

        I think there are a huge number of people who are averse to guns for reasons that they’re terrified of the liberal arguments — that it’ll just “go off”, or that someone will take it and use it against them, or that if it’s stolen they’ll be arming criminals.

        This development removes all those fears.

        Sure, it sucks as a gun. But that’s not the point. If you can deflate the anti’s arguments, and get more people more comfortable with ANY gun — even a “smart” gun — how is that a bad thing for preserving defense rights in this nation?

        The first rule of selling is to overcome the customer’s objections. People who know nothing about guns know literally nothing about guns. That doesn’t make them anti’s, that makes them uninformed. So what they do hear, scares them. Remove the scare, and you might convert them. Once they’re comfortable with their bogus “smart” gun, they may very well step up to a more reliable, more rational defensive option.

        Put it this way – the introduction of something like this will not cause the market to shrink in any way. But it potentially could cause the market to grow, notably.

        1. You willing to buy 100 shares? Not me. It’s dead in the water. Solution looking for a problem. Those people you describe buy a gun and hide them in a closet with the ammo in another closet. They’re not going to get this gimmick and then have it handy. If this gun sells to 100,000 people, 75,000 already own guns. This isn’t the way to bring in new gun owners. We want educated gun owners that know how to handle “dumb guns”. Pipe dream. That is all.

    2. avatar Cjstl says:

      That is a very good point. I keep a Taurus Poly Protector in a safe in my bedroom. The simple point-and-shoot revolver is something even my gun-averse wife could use in an emergency. I keep my Glock 19 disassembled and locked in my range bag. I have practiced quick retrieval of the revolver in case of a home invasion, and I’m fairly comfortable with the process. Unfortunately, my wife’s sleep apnea has me spending many nights sleeping downstairs on the couch. I don’t want the discomfort of sleeping with a gun on my body, so most nights I’m unarmed in one of the most vulnerable places in the house.

      I’ve thought about purchasing a separate safe for the Glock and keeping it within easy reach of the couch, but I would have much less time to deal with retrieval if someone were to break in. So in this case, a gun that could easily be stored loaded under a blanket without worrying about the kids or their friends being able to accidentally fire it, just might fit the bill. But I do see this as a limited solution.

  27. avatar Kaz says:

    In addition to all of this (although this will largely defeat the purpose of theft prevention, which was dumb anyway), it *needs* to FAIL-DEADLY.

  28. avatar Ted Unlis says:

    Can’t fault Kai for trying to make an entrepreneurial buck, but the truth of the matter is he’s up against the same technological roadblocks that have resulted in the failure of all prior attempts at a user specific fire control system in a firearm over the past three decades. A feasible instantaneous 100% reliable and foolproof “smart” fire control mechanism does not exist and probably never will. We’ll know the technology has been perfected only after “smart guns” render level III security holsters obsolete following years of testing and trials that result in “smart” handguns becoming standard issue for all of law enforcement.

  29. avatar DaveL says:

    We are encrypting the fingerprint storage to make sure that fingerprints cannot be added without the owner’s action.

    If somebody has physical access, I’m pretty damned sure they’re not going to hook this thing up to a PC and try to hack the software. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts it would be much, much easier simply to disable the lockout feature mechanically.

  30. avatar anarchyst says:

    I will disable any “smart gun” technology, and will start a viable business performing the service for others…

  31. avatar Lib lurker says:

    The magnatrigger magnetic system is also an option for people who want it. It works on proximity so if your gun is taken it is instantly locked, unless cocked

    It has been around for years (decades?) though since cops stopped using revolvers it seems to get no reviews

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Thanks for mentioning this, Mas Ayoob mentions it on his blog.

      Straight mechanical, no electronics at all, just a magnetic ring on the shooter’s finger.

      http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2015/08/20/added-safety-from-tarnhelm/

      http://www.tarnhelm.com/magna-trigger/gun/safety/magna1.html

      Hey, TTAG – how about sending a revolver to them for the conversion as a review article?

      1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

        Magnetic activated triggers /deactivated safeties is a decades old technology that never got past the experimental phase with LE for the same reason Kai Kloepfer”s fingerprint activated gadget will never see widespread use, neither device will absolutely positively work every single time with zero delay or failure.

  32. avatar VaqueroJustice says:

    “Our final product will undergo a security audit by a third party, the gold standard for securing an electronic device.”

    You know what I would consider a valid third party security audit ?

    Use the same system to secure a cooler full of whiskey and beer.

    Place the cooler, labeled with it’s content, Near the registration desk at

    the next Def-Con.

    My bet is that someone will be drinking a beer inside of ten minutes, thirty tops.

  33. avatar Fred Frendly says:

    Smart guns and stupid people. What could possibly go wrong?

  34. avatar Kyle says:

    It’s nice that the guy seems genuine in wanting to create a safer firearm, but I think he’s a fool. When you have gun control proponents and various states with unstoppable gun control, you do not go and develop the technology that will only allow them to further their gun control efforts. With such technology on the market, it will only be a matter of time before California makes a push for it.

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