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Some 40 percent of adult Americans live in a gun-owning household, according to the Pew Research Center. As federal lawmakers remain deadlocked on any new restrictions, the increaase in gun death cases in the US highlights the urgent need to find solutions that would prevent children, criminals or people considering self-harm from pulling the trigger. “Smart” pistols designed to limit who can shoot them could be an option. A system developed by SmartGunz uses RFID chips — similar to the emitters many people use in their car to pay tolls — installed inside rings. When shooters grip the gun with the hand wearing the special ring, a safety mechanism unlocks, allowing the gun to fire.

Applications may include the protection of police officers who could have their pistol wrestled away by a suspect; or parents worried their kids could find their firearm.

Smart gun maker LodeStar Works bases security on user authentication. The 9 mm pistol the firm is developing can unlock in three ways: fingerprint sensor, smartphone app or a keypad to enter a code.

While the smart gun concept has received support from gun control advocates, some experts point out that it’s still a deadly weapon. Yet the technology has an appeal especially as political polarization appears to guarantee no new federal restrictions on guns in the near future, according to ndtv.com.