By: Robert Davis

Biofire Technologies founder Kai Kloepfer says “smart guns” are a way of making firearms safer without placing new regulatory burdens on the gun market.

Smart guns – still in the prototype stage – require fingerprint authentication to be operated, much like a smartphone.

“An advanced fingerprint sensor built into the smart gun reads your fingerprint when you pick up the firearm to make sure that the owner has allowed you to use it,” Biofire’s website states. “Each smart gun can register as many users as you need. You have full control over who is allowed to use the firearm and can sell the firearm to a new owner.”

A Johns Hopkins University study from 2016 found 60 percent of Americans are in favor of smart gun technology. Ten percent of gun owners and 56 percent of political conservatives surveyed were willing to purchase the guns, according to the poll.

“We don’t believe this technology should be federally mandated in any way,” Kloepfer told Gunpowder Magazine. “This is, fundamentally, a safety option for gun owners.”

The National Rifle Association has argued against smart guns, saying the technology is a way for gun control advocates to require the purchase of one type of firearm over others. A commonly cited law in this argument is New Jersey’s Childproof Handgun Law, which requires all guns in the state to have smart gun technology once it becomes available.

“The [New Jersey] law was originally intended to help develop the smart gun marketplace, but it’s not helping as the law is currently written,” Kloepfer said. “We’re one of leading companies in smart gun space, if not the leading company, so they take our opinions on legislation about smart guns very seriously.”

Kloepfer and his team are actively trying to repeal this law by meeting with representatives and discussing the issues. Biofire stresses on its website smart guns are simply an option for gun owners to better secure their weapons and, “They are not a solution that equally applies to all types of gun owners and they shouldn’t be forced on gun owners.”

Gun control advocates have latched onto smart gun technology as a way to reduce gun violence.

“This technology helps reduce the number of people able to use a firearm without its owner’s permission.You can’t regulate human behavior, so the next best option is to make guns themselves safer,” Kloepfer said.

Robert Davis is a general assignment reporter for Gunpowder Magazine. Contact him with comments or tips at

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