The hype from people hoping to get rich on smart gun technology continued at the 2016 International Smart Gun Symposium when San Francisco investor Ron Conway told a teenage inventor, “Congratulations. You are going to save America.”
Conway’s proclamation was premature: Six months later, 19-year-old Kai Kloepfer invited a Wall Street Journal reporter for the first firing ever of his prototype. However, while showing the reporter how he had embedded a fingerprint sensor into the grip of a Glock 22, he pulled some wires loose and had to return to his parents’ garage to resolder them. When he returned, the prototype did fire—after a second and a half delay, and only if shooter’s clean, dry middle finger remains in the same place. In a further limitation of the gun’s usefulness, the technology reduces magazine capacity from 15 rounds to 9.
Conway said, “This is possible. It just has to be mass-produced.” However, there are bigger hurdles for this still-unreliable, expensive technology than just scaling it up for production.