U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Smart Gun Technology Project, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1996
168 pages
A research and evaluation project was completed to determine if technologies are available to meet police requirements for a firearm that eliminates the ability of an unauthorized user from firing the weapon.
The project looked at police requirements for a smart gun, whether technologies exist to meet these requirements, and how a smart gun should operate. Several categories of technologies were investigated, and the usefulness of promising technologies was demonstrated in models. Project findings indicate that many police officers have been killed by adversaries who obtain the officer's firearm and that officers have very idealistic requirements for smart gun technology. Police officers want their firearms to operate predictably and to be reliable in all environments and circumstances. Although many technologies have favorable attributes to meet a subset of police requirements, there is no perfect smart gun technology at the present time. Demonstration models used with 14 smart gun technologies illustrate operational concepts and validate both police requirements and technology evaluations. Additional information is provided on engineering requirements of smart gun technologies, automatic identification technologies, and biometrics technologies. Appendixes contain further information on operational environments of police officers, the smart gun technologies questionnaire, a summary of preliminary requirements for smart gun technologies, and a list of patents on smart gun technologies. 38 references and 36 figures

Date Published: January 1, 1996