05:29 GMT25 February 2021
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    In a move to boost gun safety amid regular shooting sprees across the US, President Obama has welcomed the idea of developing so-called "smart gun" technology, causing backlash among various rights groups over possible arms sales limitations.

    A smart gun, or personalized gun, is a weapon that can only be fired after being activated by its authorized user. The technology that was introduced as a measure to reduce the number of suicides and crimes committed with the use of stolen or seized guns is now backed by the American leader.

    Barack Obama expressed his support for smart weapons at a press conference Tuesday. He prompted several state agencies including the Defense Department and Homeland Security to "to conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology" with the further goal of its integration on a regular basis in the US.

    In his speech the US President compared the proposed technology to the fingerprint scanner features widely used in smartphones nowadays, fueling the long-lasting disputes over "smart guns" and doubting if they actually work.

    The opponents of the initiative argued that equating smartphones and weapons is fundamentally wrong, underscoring that guns are aimed at self-defense and are usually used in critical situations, according to Washington Post. "Unlocking" a gun in the same fashion of a cell phone under specific circumstances may cost one one's life, they highlighted.

    Various gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA) are alarmed that the move pursues the ultimate objective of mandating all the weapons sales across the nation. Previous attempts to mandate guns in some states across the country resulted in mass protests.

    However, many praised the announcement.

    "[T]his action will create powerful incentives for responsible conduct by gun manufacturers," Joel Mosbacher, a representative of a group linked to the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, told the Washington Post.

    "The gun makers are slow but I expect they will see the commercial opportunity and bring the NRA along with them," Robert McNamara, the head of TriggerSmart company working on technology to control guns with a ring, said.

    Supporters of smart guns hope the initiative will provide financial assistance for startups specialized in developing smart firearms and attract larger producers as well as assure buyers that such weapons are really effective.


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    gun control, Barack Obama, US
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