WHAT: U.S. Senator Frank.R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) will announce at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) that his office has secured a $1.146 million federal appropriation to accelerate the development of a safer and more secure personalized handgun. The device has come to be known as “smart gun.” Following the announcement, professors and post-doctoral students at NJIT will be available at a hands-on laboratory in the side of the room to explain how the gun works. The lab will feature a prototype that reporters may handle.
NOTE: Lautenberg’s announcement brings cheer to advocates hoping to speed “smart gun’s” arrival at the marketplace. For the science story, reporters will be able to see and pick up a prototype featuring multiple sensors embedded in the handle. Professors will be available to explain how the sensors, using principals of biometric and electronic engineering, make the invention work.
WHO: Attendees will include U.S. Senators Lautenberg, Jon S. Corzine (D-NJ), N.J. Governor James McGreevey and N.J. Congressman Robert Menendez.
WHEN: Jan. 6, 2004, 11 a.m.- noon
WHERE: Rm. 3730, GITC Building, Lock St. and Central Ave., Newark
BACKGROUND: NJIT has led the smart gun initiative throughout the nation since the spring of 2000 when the university received the support of the New Jersey State Legislature. To date, NJIT has received $1.5 million in funding from the legislature for the project. In December of 2002, New Jersey became the nation’s first state to pass legislation specifying that three years after it is determined that personalized handguns are available for retail sale, dealers and manufacturers will not be able to sell, assign or transfer any handgun legally unless it is personalized. The federal dollars follow a year of important developments for smart gun. This past fall, NJIT joined forces with two commercial partners to speed development of the gun. These collaborations built upon the work of associate professor of information systems Michael Recce, Ph.D., who received a patent last spring for his behavioral biometric, Dynamic Grip Recognition. Recce’s invention enabled NJIT researchers to embed multiple small electronic sensors in both sides of a gun’s handle to identify the user.