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Owner-Authorized H A N D G U N A Workshop Summary Lance A. Davis and Greg Pearson, Editors NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES The National Academies Press Washington, D.C. www.nap.eclu
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Funding for the activity that led to this publication was provided by the National Acad- emy of Engineering Fund. International Standard Book Number 0-309-08975-1 (Book) International Standard Book Number 0-309-52609-4 (PDF) Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distin- guished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the Na- tional Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engi- neering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages educa- tion and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given tO the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal govern- ment and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of further- ing knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general poli- cies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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STEERING COMMITTEE FOR NAE WORKSHOP ON USER-AUTHORIZED HAND GUNS LANCE DAVIS, Chair, National Academy of Engineering, Washington, D.C. MARK BEHRENS, ESQ., Shook, Hardy & Bacon, L.L.P., Washington, D.C. PHILIP l. COOK, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina T. DIXON DUDDERAR, Lucent Technologies (emeritus), Chatham, New Jersey CHARLES F. WELLFORD, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland Project Shad GREG PEARSON, Study Director and Program Officer, National Academy of Engineering RAYMOND A. NASH, OR., Consultant ROBERT CHERRY, NAE Fellow, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory CAROL R. ARENBERG, Editor, National Academy of Engineering V
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Preface On lune 2, 2002, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) convened a one-day workshop to consider issues related to the development of owner-authorized handguns firearms that would operate only for an authorized user. Nearly 40 individuals represent- ing diverse organizations and perspectives attended the session. The work- shop explored the technical feasibility, legal implications, and possible soci- etal consequences of handguns engineered to prevent or reduce unintentional discharge or intentional, illegal use. The project was funded by the NAE and is consistent with the Academy's interest in topics that lie at the intersection of technology and society. The planning of the work- shop and the preparation of the summary report were substantially aided by the volunteer services of the workshop steering committee. This report summarizes the presentations of invited speakers and panelists. Lance Davis Steering Committee Chair and Executive Officer National Academy of Engineering v
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Contents Overview Workshop Summary Session 1: Technology for Owner-Authorized Handguns Speaker Presentations, 9 Panel Presentations, 18 Session 2: Liability Concerns Speaker Presentations, 25 Panel Presentations, 31 Session 3: Impact on Health and Crime Speaker Presentations, 39 Panel Presentations, 44 References Appendixes A List of Participants, 53 B Workshop Agenda, 56 v'' 1 9 25 39 52 53
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