The Smart Tech Challenge is looking for high tech solutions to control access to firearms and prevent accidental shootings. For example, a grip-sensitive handgun that only lets the owner pull the trigger.
A Yale University study estimates there are 1.7 million homes in the U.S. with unlocked and loaded firearms inside. One company is developing biometric locks, for fingerprint scanning.
"Our device would allow them to put it under the bed or in a closet for quick access, because a biometric responds very quickly, but it also prevents other people who are not authorized, such as children from accessing it," said Ben Tomb from Protector XT.
Legendary angel investor Ron Conway is spearheading the competition. He says he got involved in gun safety after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut in 2012.