Nancy Vazquez does what she can to keep her kids safe from guns in her home, but she still feels uneasy
Nancy says, "I do have concerns even though the guns are locked up, and the children don't have them. There's always the big, what if they get a hold of the key?"
Nancy has a right to be concerned. Guns and kids are a bad mix, but now engineers have developed a new smart gun. It can't be fired unless it recognizes the owner's hand size and grip.
Donald Sebastian, Ph.D., of the New Jersey Institute of Technology says, "The idea is to use the science of biometrics, the ability to identify the individual by some unique attribute in this case literally by the way that you squeeze the gun when you pull the trigger."
Unlike other gun safety mechanisms, the smart gun's grip recognition makes it impossible for another adult or more importantly, a child, to duplicate the gun owner's one of a kind hold on a gun.
"Underneath the different elements of your finger and under your palm there are different amounts of pressure that indicate how hard you are squeezing, right at the very point by point where you touch the gun, we put sensors."
The ergonomically designed gun has 16 computerized sensors embedded in the handle. The sensors capture the unique pattern and pressure of your grip, plus the size of your hand. If someone else tries to use the gun, the information will not match the stored pattern of the owner's and the gun won't fire.
"We need smart gun technology, frankly, because we still have too many incidences of unauthorized access to weapons in the home."
Experts say smart gun technology might someday help prevent tragedy but can't replace talking to your kids.
"My hope is by educating my children, they'll know to either walk away from the situation or go get an adult."
It may be the smartest gun lesson of all.