Democrats Introduce Smart Tech Handgun Legislation

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A pair of Democratic lawmakers are advocating for new gun restrictions on manufacturers and dealers with the creation of new technologies that would block criminals and children from using a firearm.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York and Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts unveiled The Handgun Trigger Safety Act on June 2 that promotes manufacturing guns with new technologies, such as fingerprinting, to block criminals or other outsiders from being able to use a weapon against another person.

With the smart gun technology, a gun will only fire if it recognizes the shooter, according to The Hill. Some of these technologies use fingerprinting as the main code, with others opt to use Bluetooth bracelets or implant microchips that would unlock the weapon.

A second piece of legislation introduced by the Democrats would fund $10 million to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to research the causes and effects of gun violence and provide better information on how it can be prevented.

“The epidemic of gun violence in America is not preordained, it is preventable. In the 21st century, we should use research and advances in technology to our advantage and save lives from tragic and needless gun violence,” said Markey. “These bills will keep guns out of the hands that of those who shouldn’t have them and provide better information about what is causing gun violence and what can be done to prevent it.”

“Some would have us believe that the laws currently on the books are sufficient to address the tens of thousands of gun related deaths that occur each year,” Congresswoman Maloney said. “A few extremists even oppose basic public health research to help us understand why gun violence has reached epidemic proportions. They also oppose implementing new smart gun technologies that can help reduce the tragic number of accidental shooting deaths each year, many of which have taken the lives of young children.”

The proposal would force firearm manufacturers to implement smart gun technology on all weapons within the next five years. As for dealers, a period of 10 years will be allowed to update all used firearms with the current technology and laws. Moreover, dealers would be reimbursed for the funds it will take to update the old guns to the new methods. It would also provide research grants to help improve the technology over time, The Hill reports.

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is co-sponsoring the smart tech handgun bill.

The new gun proposal follows many other Democratic proposals this year aimed at restricting guns to members of the community.

President Barack Obama announced on June 1 a proposal that would ban gun ownership of any citizen who is defined as “mentally ill” or was involved and found guilty in a domestic violence case. This list of new regulations is still being crafted by federal agencies, and is expected to be implemented over the next two years of Obama's term.

Around the nation, statistics have shown that increasing gun laws has only created more violence throughout many communities. In Chicago, a city with some of the strictest gun laws, crime rates have increased – a 40 percent increase in shootings and a 29 percent increase in homicides from one year ago, USA Today reported.

Sources: The HillUSA TodayOpposing ViewsLos Angeles TimesEd Markey

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