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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

Lautenberg Announces $1.1 Million Appropriation for Smart Gun

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.

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.