President Obama suggests smart gun technology to curb gun violence

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President Barack Obama unveiled a plan Tuesday to cut gun violence and suggested smart gun technology aimed to help. (KGO-TV)

During a speech at the White House, President Barack Obama unveiled a plan to cut gun violence and suggested smart gun technology that would require someone's fingerprint to fire a gun.

One of the guests was Margot Hirsch, the head of a Bay Area foundation that funds gun safety technology.

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The head of the Smart Tech Challenges Foundation knew the president would discuss background checks and gun shows, but not this: "If we can set it up so you can't unlock your phone unless you get the right fingerprint, why can't we do the same thing for our guns" Obama said.

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It's the exact technology Hirsch's foundation funds. The head of that company was inspired by the James Bond 007 films, specifically a scene where one of the actors says: "It's been coded to your palm print, so only you can fire it," referring to a gun.

In the movie it saved James Bond's life, but in reality it could save many more preventing two of the most common tragedies involving guns. "A child couldn't fire it and kill themselves or another loved one. In the case of suicides, a large percentage of those suicides are committed with someone else's gun," Hirsch said.

It's built as a retrofit for existing guns and so is another device called TriggerSmart. "Where you don't authenticate on a fingerprint, it's actually a token like a bracelet or a ring," Hirsch said.

In a TriggerSmart commercial, a man holds a gun saying: "Which immediately disengages the blocking mechanism and now the gun is ready to fire."

It might be good for law enforcement. "Police officers will be wearing gloves, they don't have time to rip off a glove and authorize a gun," TriggerSmart founder Robert McNamara sid.

And with the president's announcement, you may see the federal government buying these technologies. "If a child can't open a bottle of aspirin, we should make sure they can't pull a trigger on a gun," Obama said.

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