Personalized firearms, also known as “user-authorized” or “smart” guns, are firearms that incorporate cutting-edge technologies, like the fingerprint recognition feature available on smart phones, to prevent firearm use by unauthorized users. A 2003 study analyzing data from seven years of unintended firearm deaths or deaths of undetermined intent found that 37% of the deaths could have been prevented by a personalized gun.1   A 2001 survey found that 73.6% of Americans favor requiring all firearms to incorporate user-recognition technology.2

For additional information about personalized firearms, including background information and state and local laws on the topic, see the Law Center’s Personalized Firearms Policy Summary.

  1. Jon S. Vernick et al., Unintentional and Undetermined Firearm Related Deaths: a Preventable Death Analysis for Three Safety Devices, 9 Inj. Prevention 307, 307-08 (2003) (analyzing data from Maryland and Milwaukee). For additional background on personalized firearms, see Krista D. Robinson et al., Personalized Guns: Reducing Gun Deaths Through Design Changes (Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Pol’y & Res.) (Sept. 1996). ⤴︎
  2. Tom W. Smith, 2001 National Gun Policy Survey of the National Opinion Research Center: Research Findings (Dec. 2001). ⤴︎