Handguns are a danger in any industrialized country, and despite active gun registries and police crackdowns, their use only seems to be increasing. Now, designer Sun Xiaotian has come up with a novel way of protecting the peace and the "piece" - the Fingerprint Gun.
Initially, we had mistakenly believed this to be a gun that took fingerprints for identification, sort of a scary-TSA device that looked evil but was in fact harmless. In actuality, the Fingerprint Gun is intended to function as a normal, bullet-firing device with one simple exception - the inclusion of a memory chip and fingerprint scanner on the back end of the gun to ensure the person firing it is the legal owner.
The idea here is that a safety-conscious citizen would buy and register the Fingerprint Gun and have their prints encoded in the memory chip. If they wanted to shoot something, they would need to place their thumb on top of the fingerprint scanner at the back of the gun to have it read. Once a correct match had been confirmed, a small indicator light would turn green at the barrel of the gun. If a finger not belonging to the owner was scanned or if no fingerprint was present, the gun simply wouldn't work.
The Fingerprint Gun: making gunplay that much safer.
As great a concept as this is, it suffers from the two most common problems in the gun safety world.
1) Making a gun "safer" by electronic means can also render it unusable in an emergency situation, which is typically when a howeowner would need it. If a pistol-wielding maniac breaks into a home, an owner grabbing for their gun might simply forget about the security device present or find their hands too clammy with sweat to get the fingerprint to take. The scanner could also fail, rendering the gun inoperable. Guns are designed with as few moving and electronic parts as possible in order to ensure that they work when needed
2) Bad guys won't register their guns. Making this available would have the beneficial effect of ensuring that a child in a home can't use the gun or that a gun stolen from a home is essentially useless to a thief, but those committing criminal acts aren't registering their guns and they won't be purchasing - illegally or otherwise - guns that use an added layer of security.
Regardless, the concept is worth noting, and Xiaotian has done a good job of keeping the intrusive nature of the security device to a minimum. Still, we don't expect to see this loading up in our local gun vendor's shop any time soon.