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Obama Launches ‘Smart Gun’ Program

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President Obama announced on Friday the launch of a “smart gun technology” development program.

The Obama administration aims to implement the use of "smart guns" by law enforcement across the U.S. Smart gun technology utilizes "user-authorization technology" -- such as fingerprints or touch ID -- to ensure that firearms can only be operated by their owners. 

“As I said in January, these commonsense steps are not going to prevent every tragedy, but what if they prevented even one?” Obama wrote in a Facebook post. “We should be doing everything we can to save lives and spare families the pain and unimaginable loss too many Americans have endured.”

“First, we've jumpstarted the development of smart gun technology. Today, many gun injuries and deaths are the result of legal guns that were stolen, misused, or discharged accidentally. As long as we've got the technology to prevent a criminal from stealing and using your smartphone, then we should be able to prevent the wrong person from pulling a trigger on a gun," he argued.

“So, my administration released a plan today to expedite the development of smart gun technology," the president continued, "including by identifying the requirements that smart guns would have to meet in order for law enforcement to purchase and use them effectively, and keep themselves and the public safer in the process.”

In January, Obama directed the Departments of Defense (DOD), Homeland Security (DHS), and Justice (DOJ) to prepare a report outlining a strategy for expediting the development of smart gun technology.

Those agencies released that report on Friday, laying out requirements that gun manufacturers would need to meet in order for federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to purchase and use such technology. 

In his Facebook post, the president also announced that the background check system will now require federal mental health records of individuals prohibited from buying a gun to be reported. 

“We're doing more to make sure that those who are already prohibited from obtaining a firearm can't get their hands on one,” his statement reads.

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