U.S. must invest in ‘smart guns’ to reduce avoidable deaths, activists say

U.S. must invest in ‘smart guns’ to reduce avoidable deaths, activists say

Leading community proponents of “smart guns” that will fire only for authorized users are calling on President Obama and city leaders across the US to order thousands of such weapons for law enforcement officers, as a way of increasing public safety and boosting a nascent industry that has been sidelined by the mainstream gun lobby.

Obama has spoken with increasing frustration about Congress blocking gun control proposals that emerged in the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in Connecticut just over two years ago.

Campaigners against gun violence are urging the president and Eric Holder, the attorney general, to take far-reaching executive action by naming the government as a pioneer customer of the kinds of weapons that feature fingerprint-, palm print- or radio signal-activated security systems.

Orders from police departments would also help so-called “smart guns” catch on with manufacturers and consumers, they said, in the same way the widespread use of Glock pistols by police officers has made the Austrian brand wildly popular with the gun-buying US public.

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