Jonathan Mossberg is a dreamer and a doer. Back in the late 1990’s, a string of shootings involving police officers killed with their own weapons sparked an idea: Build a gun that could only be fired by its owner — a smart gun.
“The original gun is what we might call a simpler gun. It only functioned with a magnet, and the truth is, any magnet from a kitchen refrigerator would have made it work. So that wasn’t technologically advanced enough,” Mossberg told us.
But Mossberg kept at it, and the iGun was born.
“It’s a very low magnetic frequency that communicates with the gun,” he explained. “Basically as soon as it’s picked up and it is immediately available to fire to an authorized person. Soon as it’s put down or taken away, it won’t fire.”
The user wears a special ring that sends a signal to a computer chip embedded in the iGun’s stock. Once the signal is close enough to be recognized, the trigger is released.
Some people have a problem with that, like Robert Flores. He’s a gunsmith with Ironsites Guns in St. Petersburg and a member of the NRA.
“The batteries. That’s the key thing. The weapons have to be 100 percent reliable, and if the battery is dead or if it takes you a couple of minutes to activate it so it can read the codes, there’s a delay there,” Flores worried.
But the bigger concerns for some people are the potential for government control, and the belief that gun prices would rise, or the weapons could even be remotely disabled.
“The NRA’s concern is that it’s going to be to the point where the government is going to mandate that all these weapons have that,” Flores explained.
And as for Mossberg? “Number one we want it to be a choice and not a mandate, so if you’re not interested in the technology we encourage you not to buy it.”
Right now, the iGun manufacturer says additional funding is needed to bring the gun to market, but once it’s on shelves, he believes it could be the secret to saving lives.