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Are ‘smart guns’ finally arriving in the U.S.? Here is what we know

Two big companies unveiled smart gun products that may be available to buy by the end of this year

Jonathan Mossberg, whose iGun Technology Corp. is working to develop a “smart gun.”
In this photo taken April 7, 2016, Jonathan Mossberg, whose iGun Technology Corp. is working to develop a “smart gun,” demonstrates the firearm, in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Lisa Marie Pane, Associated Press

Smart guns, which can only be fired by verified users, will finally become available to American consumers after decades of questions regarding reliability, per Reuters.

LodeStar Works, a four-year-old company based in Pennsylvania, unveiled a 9 mm smart handgun for shareholders and investors in Boise, Idaho. SmartGunz, another company from Kansas, has given law enforcement agents a similar product for beta testing. Both these companies hope to release these products commercially this year.

Verification systems that these guns use can cut down the number of unintentional suicides from when children get their hands on guns. Smart guns can also prevent adults from taking or stealing weapons to harm others, according to Gizmodo.

The LodeStar gun would retail for $895. “We finally feel like we’re at the point where ... let’s go public,” LodeStar co-founder Gareth Glaser said, per the report. “We’re there.”

But it’s unclear whether American gun owners even want these types of guns. According to a survey of U.S. gun owners, around 79% of gun owners who knew about smart guns said they thought they should be able to buy both smart and traditional guns from their licensed dealer.

“If I had a nickel for every time in my career I heard somebody say they’re about to bring us a so-called smart gun on the market, I’d probably be retired now,” said Lawrence Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.