Location awareness Although still a theory and not currently under development, with a tracking device embedded in the firearm, GPS (global positioning system) technology could allow guns to know their own location and the location of other guns within a certain range. This has the potential, for example, to reduce unintentional injuries for hunters or intentional injuries of police officers by armed assailants.
  Target recognition Still a theory and not currently under development, target-sensing technology could prevent a gun from being fired if a child is within the target field.

SOURCES: Chen and Recce, 2007; NAE, 2005; Newcombe, 2013; Valenta et al., 2013; Weiss, 1996.

Current and Ongoing Research

Like past technologies that reduce injury, the development of “smart” or user-authorized guns has progressed and likely will have an impact on firearm violence. The research to date illustrates three common conclusions:

1. It is unlikely that one technology will address all circumstances and requirements.

2. Connecting particular technologies with specific scenarios is critical.

3. Technologies will always vary in simplicity, cost, effectiveness, and reliability.

The current state of smart-gun technology appears to be reaching a level of maturity at which private-industry adoption is important and necessary to move the technology to broader use. For example, a smart gun developed in Germany has been approved for importation to the United States (Bulwa, 2013; Teret, 2013). The committee did not determine the exact status of smart-gun technology, but instead focused on the potential public health benefits of such technological developments. A determination of the state of the technology is part of President Obama’s 2013 executive orders to reduce firearm violence; a directive under Ac-

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