A Limerick businessman has met with US officials to discuss rolling out gun technology which could prevent mass shootings and make America a safer country.
Triggersmart Technology — owned by Limerick entrepreneur Robert McNamara — works by radio frequency and makes it impossible for anyone other than the authorised gun owner to pull the weapon’s trigger.
The technology was developed with Georgia Tech in Athlone.
Mr McNamara, from Rathkeale, Co Limerick, but now based in Dubai, visited the White House last Friday and met with the US attorney general, Eric Holder. Vice-president Joe Biden, who has led a taskforce on gun control in the US, has been made aware of the product and is said to be responsive to it.
Mr McNamara’s company is to meet with White House officials again in the coming weeks to try and finalise a deal to roll out the technology across the US.
Mr McNamara’s business partner, Pat O’Shaughnessy, from Newcastle West, Co Limerick, said yesterday: “Yes, it’s true we are in talks with the White House about it. We are hopeful, but nothing has been signed off on yet.”
It’s hoped the technology could be used to try and limit the number of mass shootings that have rocked America in recent years.
On Dec 14 last, 20 children and six teaching staff were gunned down at a primary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
The debate over gun laws in the US has ratcheted up since.
There have been 31 school shootings in the US since the Columbine massacre in 1999, when 13 people were shot dead.
“We want our product to be acceptable to both sides [in the gun law dispute],” Mr O’Shaughnessy said, referring to the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) opposition to US President Barack Obama’s stance on gun safety.
“The NRA are the biggest political lobby group in the States and they see any measure on gun restrictions coming under the banner of ‘gun control’. So, therefore we want our system to be seen as ‘gun safety’ rather than gun control.
“One of the recommendations in President Obama’s gun policy statement is that he wants to try and examine the existing and developing technologies out there, and that is the part of the White House drive that we are involved in,” said Mr O’Shaughnessy.
David McGuinness, senior engineer with Georgia Tech, said: “There is an [electronic] reader located on the firearm and the activator would be placed in a ring or a bracelet, so when they both come into contact the reader will identify the tag and the gun can be fired.”
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