Obama Ponders 'Find My iPhone' For Stolen Guns

Obama Just Proposed Creating a

Over in the US, president Obama announced a new executive order to stop gun violence in that country, with several new policies including a national registry for gun vendors. But he also called for gunmakers to "update firearms technology," which would include not only biometric locks but a new idea to track guns with an app.

"If there's an app that can find a missing tablet, which happens to me a lot," he said. "If we can do it for an iPad, there's no way we can't do it with a stolen gun."

Though the concept of "smart guns" — firearms that are biometrically registered and can only be unlocked with the fingerprints of the owner — has been talked about for decades, this idea is a new twist on existing technology that could help keep guns from getting into the wrong hands.

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It's completely possible to do this using all the tech we have now. Networked guns, for example, are being proposed by some police departments to not only track the locations of guns but report back to authorities when and where they're discharged.

Besides the part where Obama has to convince gun manufacturers to embed a trackable chip into their guns, there are plenty of privacy issues to confront. A gun is a little different to locate than a missing iPhone, although you’d hope people wouldn’t use the tool to go looking for their missing guns. Could firearm owners use the “Find My Gun” app to locate their rifle that was just tucked in the back of their garage? Or would the ability to search be limited to law enforcement officials?

As Obama said in his speech, guns now kill as many people as cars in the US. Because there’s so much technology and research dedicated to preventing cars from killing people, traffic deaths are going down. The same thing should be happening for gun deaths.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais


Comments

    I see way too many problems with this, first of all, in an ideal world where this actually gets put on the vast majority of guns:
    - What happens when an attacker comes in to your home and you go to shoot them in completely legal self defense and the stupid finger print reader can't recognise your finger print?!
    tech is not always 100% foolproof. Nothing is, but you're adding more vulnerabilities to the fire arm not working as intended.
    - What if/when some ingenious hacker finds a way to find other people's guns and then goes to steal them or uses that information to decide who to attack/mug/ steal from? Again, just adding another avenue for abuse.

    Reality is that it won't work, at all. First you would have to get manufacturers to put this technology on all NEW guns, then and you'd have to figure out a way to retrofit all of the old LEGAL guns. Ok you're doing a great job if you managed to get this far, but the super even better part, what are you going to do with the absolute mountain of illegal, unregistered, stolen guns? Guns don't become obsolete the way iPads do. Most people don't need to upgrade. They just get more guns or different guns. Which then goes back to even if you do manage to do this for all of the legal guns, will this just be something that 'always works' or do you need to update some sort of software/interface after a while?

      Your first complaint is it will stop you sooting someone... no sympathy from me. What if the biometric is so good it stops you from accidently shooting a love one with facial recognition.

      As long as the gun doesnt beep an error message your intruder wont know the difference.

      Stolen guns cause they have hacked your app...eaiser ways to get that information on registered gun owners than app hacking

      This makes perfect sense for the military and police departments. Allows for full accountability of firearms and would be relatively easy to instigate. G-Cars are already jacked and fully track able.

      Also on the note of the supa-1337 haxor, if someone can just crack into GPS and have a nice master map of all transceivers, the list of where guns are is so much less important. In fact it's so much less important it's probably the last thing on the list of things I'd be scared about.

      I think you're smarter than that.
      I think you merely posted before critically evaluating your initial thoughts.

      Why would it use a finger print scanner on the trigger? The scanner would either be the full palm or having the scanner on the frame where your finger should be until you want to pull the trigger, or even on the handgrip where your other 3 finger tips rest.

      what are you going to do with the absolute mountain of illegal, unregistered, stolen guns? Guns don't become obsolete the way iPads do.

      No but they do get confiscated by police when they are found and then destroyed. Make it illegal to own a gun which does not have a biometric safety. Re-engineering the magazine, in the guns that have them, with the smarts and some toggle in the frame that collapses the firing pin unless the computer says to, to retrofit older handguns and make the law that all new handguns sold must have these features from sale. Even have the ability to have multiple profiles on a gun so that you or your spouse or even your child can use it and record who was holding the gun and if it was fired. Hell include a gyro like they have in a mobile and you could get a read out of what angle the gun was at, ie. raised at a target or at rest towards the floor, and even what direction it's pointing. Put a camera in the front and you can get a video of any shot being fired and what it was fired at.

      All these things can tell police specifics about a crime.

      Defendant says they were startled. Gun went from pointing at the ground to at the victim and bullet fired within a tenth of a second. It was the response of a startled person. Or gun was brought up and paused to aim before firing. Not the response of a startled person.

      Another way to get around how to tell who is holding the gun is to have an RFID of some kind. Perhaps built into a ring or watch, or even embedded in the palm of your hand or finger.

    Isn't the largest problem here simply that tracking an iPad or phone requires the device to be on, or at least powered? Running constant wi-fi and biometrics will drain power, and if you're not a regular user of your weapon it could easily run out while sitting in a drawer, safe or closet for weeks, months or even years.

    I would hate to see the press if some poor woman is found raped and murdered with her flat, uselee gun next to the crime scene.

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