A Gun That Takes Its Own Prints....


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Drizzt
March 11, 2003, 05:17 PM
The Scotsman Publications Ltd.
Scotland on Sunday


March 9, 2003, Sunday

SECTION: Pg. 31

LENGTH: 451 words

HEADLINE: INVENTOR AIMS AT SOUTH AFRICAN CRIME WAVE WITH GUN THAT TAKES ITS OWN PRINTS

BYLINE: Sahm Venter

BODY:


DO YOU feel lucky punk? This is an IFA, the most intelligent handgun in the world.

This is how Dirty Harry would have delivered his famous soliloquy had he been packing the latest innovation in firearms technology.

Motivated by the mounting death toll from shootings in his home country, South African businessman Nic Van Zyl has invented a new gun that can only be fired by its registered owner. Van Zyl's 'Intelligent Firearm' (IFA) uses a biometric sensor encoded with the thumbprint of its owner which prevents it being fired by anyone else.

As an additional safeguard, the firearm also contains a tiny camera which takes a photograph every time it is fired. And an electronic chip in the gun will contain a range of personal information about its registered owner.

In addition, the gun can only be fired when it is within close range of a special smart card issued to the owner.

Van Zyl said a steady stream of horror stories about people killed or injured when weapons fell into the wrong hands, moved him to invent a firearm.

The South African businessman said he was in advanced negotiations with a British company to buy the international production rights to his creation.

While the huge rate of violent crime in South Africa gave rise to his invention, Van Zyl believes it is needed around the world wherever guns are used.

"Firearms at the moment are causing so much havoc. It's so sad," he said. "Something has to be done. We can't stand by and watch the world take potshots at each other."

His invention has taken nearly 10 years to develop and now it is about to become a reality with the first private sales expected next year. According to Van Zyl, the British company, which he would not name, intends to manufacture a military version of the weapon.

"We are close to signing a deal," he said.

South Africa is awash with handguns that mostly start out as licensed, legal weapons which are lost or stolen.

Police who routinely carrying handguns are regularly robbed of them and private homes are often broken into for the express purpose of stealing guns. These weapons are then used in violent crimes. Children also get hold of their parents' weapons, often with tragic consequences.

Van Zyl said: "We can't change people, the only option remains to change the weapon. It does away with the temptation that a wrongdoer has to steal your firearm."

Interest had also been expressed, he said, by law enforcement and security organisations in the Far East and Europe, including the Metropolitan Police. "In the course of next year the weapons will be made available to selected outlets, particularly security firms."

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pax
March 11, 2003, 05:26 PM
I believe that our police and military guys put their lives on the line every day to protect the rest of us. These guys deserve the very best that new technology has to offer us.

I propose that we immediately pass a law which requires all such new technology to be given first to the police and military, before it is allowed in the civilian market.

pax

Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining. -- Jeff Raskin

voilsb
March 11, 2003, 05:31 PM
so which state in our great Union will be the first to require this technology in all guns? NJ? MD? CA?

Double Maduro
March 11, 2003, 05:34 PM
OK, battle situation and the shtf.

Your weapon malfunctions and you take the weapon from your dead buddy and guess what, YOUR THUMBPRINT DOESN'T MATCH and the weapon is worthless.

Not a good idea.

Or if you have to fire week side?

Not a good idea.

imho

seeker_two
March 11, 2003, 05:35 PM
"Firearms at the moment are causing so much havoc. It's so sad," he said.

And dragging those poor criminals behind them by the hand to every robbery, I suppose...:banghead:

Triad
March 11, 2003, 05:36 PM
Van Zyl's 'Intelligent Firearm' (IFA) uses a biometric sensor encoded with the thumbprint of its owner which prevents it being fired by anyone else.
So this will work 100% of the time? What happens if they're wearing gloves?
As an additional safeguard, the firearm also contains a tiny camera which takes a photograph every time it is fired.
A photograph of what? The person shooting it? I guess criminals are too stupid to put tape over the camera huh?
And an electronic chip in the gun will contain a range of personal information about its registered owner.
Why? What kind of info? What will it have that govt computers won't? What happens when the crooks download the info?
In addition, the gun can only be fired when it is within close range of a special smart card issued to the owner.
So this works 100% of the time too? What happens when they lose their card? What happens when the criminals figure out how to jam the signal?
The South African businessman said he was in advanced negotiations with a British company to buy the international production rights to his creation.
Probably the same folks that used to own S&W.:barf:
His invention has taken nearly 10 years to develop and now it is about to become a reality with the first private sales expected next year. According to Van Zyl, the British company, which he would not name, intends to manufacture a military version of the weapon.

I'll be damned. He found a way to screw up the SA80 even more.
Van Zyl said: "We can't change people, the only option remains to change the weapon. It does away with the temptation that a wrongdoer has to steal your firearm."
How are you going to change the hunderds of millions of guns already out there?

Chris Rhines
March 11, 2003, 05:43 PM
Wonderful. I can just see this kludge in action.

"So I wake up at 0-dark-30 to the sound of mutant commie biker hordes pounding down my door, and I grab my handy IFA scum-snuffer and take up a position at the top of the staircase. Only to find that the scum-snuffer won't work because when one is awakened at 0-dark-30 by hordes of commie mutant bikers, one rarely has the presence of mind to grab the smartcard. Or a place to put it."

"So I race back to the nightstand, pursued by Iraqi-offhand-style gunfire, grab up the smart card and stow it somewhere (I'll leave that part to your imagination) and whip around, ready to confront evil, when- WHAP!!! I take a .25 slug right through the hand. Nuts."

"I try to return fire with the good old scum-snuffer, but the blood and chunks of flesh seem to be interfering with the fingerprint reading. Ah, bingo! I'll switch to my left hand, that'll fix things!"

"Except that like most people, my left thumbprint differs a bit from my right thumbprint. Crapola."

Next act in this morbid tale is for the commie mutant bikers to riddle my carcass with bullets (or hack me to death with polearms), deactivate the safety features on the good old IFA scum-snuffer with a hammer and an icepick, and ride off into the sunset, content in knowing that pathological idiots like Mr. Van Zyl have made their chosen occupation so much safer. Thanks, bud.

Note for the record - Nic Van Zyl is described as a 'businessman' rather than an 'engineer.' Ya think?

- Chris

P12
March 11, 2003, 05:44 PM
Van Zyl said: "We can't change people, Aaaahhh, the problem is exposed.

Lead diets usually will change someone's outlook on life. I have always said; I think we would run out of bad guys, before we would run out of bullets.

They just keep getin' further and further away.....

Double Maduro
March 11, 2003, 06:03 PM
and I thought I was being harsh.

roflmbfao.

Not really funny, espically when the antis hear about it.

El Tejon
March 11, 2003, 06:14 PM
Don't know about Suid Afrika but around here it can get a little cool in the winter. Sometimes we wear gloves. Will it work then?

Sometimes you get in a fight and your hands become bloody and/or sweaty. Will it work then?

Sometimes my buddy runs out of ammo. I give my bug to my buddy. Will it work then?

pax has the right idea. Mandate that the po-po use it. I think one patrol through Gary or the Southside of Chicago will rid us of this foul "invention".

Nathaniel Firethorn
March 11, 2003, 06:33 PM
1. A short web search shows that Van Zyl's been slurping up ZA government research bucks on this since at least 1998.

2. Even ignoring all the many other issues with them, the best fingerprint sensors available, under the best conditions possible, only have a true-positive rate of 80%.

3. Despite this, if Van Zyl manages to manufacture and sell one of these things anywhere in the USA, then three years later it will be the only thing the PRNJ inmates are allowed to buy.

- pdmoderator

DeltaElite
March 11, 2003, 06:50 PM
Pax,
Sadly they might just try to make me use crap technology like that, to which I would heartily decline.
It is garbage and no one should be saddled with that kind of silliness. No one.

benewton
March 11, 2003, 07:34 PM
I have to go with Pax.

After all, so many are killed with their own weapons, and our POLICE deserve only the BEST that we can provide.

So, them first, for their own good, of course.

As for me, the '74ish CDS serves for the winter weapon.

Not even a transfer bar safety, but every time the trigger is pulled, it goes "bang".


Works for me....

Standing Wolf
March 11, 2003, 09:48 PM
What a plethora of stupid ideas!

MountainPeak
March 11, 2003, 10:29 PM
Hey Gaston, there you go!:) Does the gun photograph the shooter or the shootee? Seems to be rubbing salt in the wounds of all the LEOs that have lost their guns, if it is the shootee. Film at 11:00. South Africa could save more lives with zipper control. Seems they have a problem with sexually transmitted diseases.

Beorn
March 11, 2003, 10:36 PM
This is too silly to even consider.

This will never work, We aren't in a Judge Dredd comic book!

Weimadog
March 11, 2003, 10:51 PM
Your weapon malfunctions and you take the weapon from your dead buddy and guess what, YOUR THUMBPRINT DOESN'T MATCH and the weapon is worthless.

That gun works by reading a thumb print, right? Well,the dead buddy won't need his thumb any more....


Weimadog

jmbg29
March 11, 2003, 11:48 PM
Pax,

I humbly propose a friendly amendment to your suggestion.

I would like to see the first working copies issued only to those LEOs in charge of guarding our scumba...er, politicians.

S_O_Laban
March 12, 2003, 12:33 AM
jmbg29 writes I humbly propose a friendly amendment to your suggestion.

I would like to see the first working copies issued only to those LEOs in charge of guarding our scumba...er, politicians.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOW WE ARE GETTING SOMEWHERE!!:D

Nightfall
March 12, 2003, 12:40 AM
A firearm that won't fire with gloves... that requires you have some sort of 'card' with you at all times... that maintains information on you internally... that takes a picture every time you shoot it... and how does he propose to stop people from just painting over this lens or taping it up? Will it contain some sort of light sensor that shuts down when it is covered? Will it then fire at night? How can this camera see in the dark? Unless it contains revolutionary mini night vision technology, it can't. Which means somebody needs only to shoot at night to avoid detection. Or they can just hold the gun in a position rendering the camera void (unless, once again it contains revolutionary tech that zooms and focuses on a human face at any position).

What good does this information and photo tech do unless the firearm is found on scene? Unless of course it actively transmits it's information to some police/military source. A firearm that regularly sends out information seems like a poor choice in a military situation, as well as the myriad number of other reasons. Hey Big Bro, coming shooting with me?

What happens when water gets in the works and shorts the system? The gun can no longer be fired. Sorry soldiers, citizens, police officers in rain. All a criminal has to do to disarm you is soak your firearm. It's waterproof? Sounds good. Until it has to endure battlefield stress.

Bad guy doesn't need to take your gun anymore. He can take a little piece of plastic card and render you defenseless. A pick pocket can now take your wallet and your means of defense without touching your firearm. Does this card contain military TS level tech (once again, miniaturized beyond possibility) that prevents jamming? What happens if it gets bent in your wallet or damaged somehow, and you don't find out until it's too late?

How long until we need to replace all this fancy tech from recoil damage? This technology does not come cheap, and will doubtless increase cost by a three digit number... minimum.

It's all neat to dream about, but we are decades and decades away from the technology needed to make any of this practical, affordable, or realistic. I'll keep my old fashioned firearms, thanks. Please don't burden our LEO or military, nor our civilian populace with this garbage until it is so perfected that it's flawless. Life/death situations are not the place to introduce wild, unreliable new tech.

Minute_Of_Torso
March 12, 2003, 01:22 AM
"Firearms at the moment are causing so much havoc. It's so sad," he said. "Something has to be done. We can't stand by and watch the world take potshots at each other."

I am so sick of hearing how these nonsense arguments! :fire:

These "please won't something think of the children" statements have been debunked over and over and over and over again . . . and it doesn't seem to have done any good! I spend at least a few minutes every day explaining what most of you have so eloquently explained, and yet I know I'll have to do it again the next day. Well, at least it gives me something to do on break time.

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