"If we can save one life, I think that’s the right thing to do. I think we can save tens of thousands of lives."
There's finally a smart gun on the market — but analysts warn that it's hard to say whether firearm enthusiasts will actually buy it.
As Bloomberg reports, the Biofire smart gun company's weapon, which only unlocks after scanning its owner's face or fingerprint, is hitting the market today after nearly a decade of research and development.
At only 26, Biofire's Coloradan founder Kai Kloepfer has been working on making a safer firearm since he was 15, when the mass shooting at a movie theater in the nearby town of Aurora, Colorado impressed upon him the need for gun violence solutions.
"These people just died right down the street, at the movie theater that I often went to," Kloepfer told Bloomberg. "I easily could have been there. It was a major shift for me. I felt like there was something I could do."
By 2013, the engineering-minded youngster submitted a prototype to a national science competition and won $3,000, and by the next year, he was awarded a $50,000 grant to keep working on what would become his company's smart gun.
While Kloepfer's $1,5000 smart gun indeed sounds ingenious, there remains one glaring issue: that many gun buyers, frankly, aren't looking for extra safety measures when purchasing firearms.
"You have to convince me that the kind of person who leaves a loaded gun out in the house will be the same person that selects a smart gun instead of a Glock," Jon Stokes, one of the co-founders of the gun rights organization Open Source Defense, told Bloomberg. "This is hard for me to buy."
All the same, Kloepfer's bet — and his backstory — make for a compelling argument for responsible firearm use, and he's hoping to be a test case.
"We want to prove that this market exists," he told Bloomberg. "If we can save one life, I think that’s the right thing to do. I think we can save tens of thousands of lives."
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