NEWARK, August 16- Furthering its efforts to develop Authorized-User-Only technology for handguns, Smith & Wesson has announced a partnership with the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, N.J. In a formal agreement signed July 18, 2001, Smith & Wesson agreed to work with NJIT towards integrating the university's biometric identification system into the electronically fired Authorized-User-Only prototype handguns that use ammunition developed by Remington Arms. The NJIT approach is a different technology from other biometric identification systems being evaluated by Smith & Wesson.
Smith & Wesson has been actively investigating Authorized-User-Only technology since the early 1990s," said Kevin Foley, vice president of research and development. "This is a very expensive undertaking and the more resources available to investigate all the options the better our chance of finding a workable solution sooner. The application of technology to produce an Authorized-User-Only firearm cannot compromise the product. Such a gun must be as reliable as current handguns. It must deliver features that a gun owner desires and it must be affordable. Ideally, it should function instantaneously is a manner transparent to the user.
"We have explored a number of technologies over the last several years. Along the way we have investigated and discarded several ideas that did not meet our objectives. While we are currently beginning development of prototype guns with the electronic firing system we continue to explore biometric technologies."
"Providing options for safe storage has long been an important issue at Smith & Wesson," stated Ken Jorgensen, director of marketing and communication. "We were the first handgun manufacturer to provide a lock with every handgun. We have developed an unobtrusive integral lock for our extensive line of revolvers. It gives the owner the ability to render the handgun inoperable when desired and it will not activate under recoil or interfere with the normal operations of the handgun when unlocked. This offers firearms owners one more option as they take personal responsibility for the safe and proper storage of their handgun.
" NJIT Vice President for Research & Development Dr. Donald H. Sebastian said he was delighted by Smith & Wesson's agreement to become a partner in the development effort. "Our report to the State called for a public-private partnership as the best way to make the dream of user-authenticating firearms becomes a reality.Smith & Wesson is an important addition to our consortial effort, bringing considerable expertise in the design and implementation of advanced, gun safety systems and the credibility of the largest domestic producer of handguns. Combining our dynamic grip recognition with Smith & Wesson's proprietary technology will accelerate the development of safe and practical solutions for improved gun safety - an objective that we believe all should applaud."
Smith & Wesson has been the leading innovator in handgun development since its founding in 1852. The company has been instrumental in developing popular calibers such as .38 S&W Special, .357 MagnumŽ, .41 MagnumŽ, .44 MagnumŽ and .40 S&W. The company has also been a leader in the use of groundbreaking metallurgy including stainless steel, titanium and scandium alloys. Smith & Wesson is the world's leading manufacturer of handguns for sporting, law enforcement and military use. Saf-T-Hammer Corp. (OTCBB:SAFH), Scottsdale, Arizona based firearm safety and security company focused on preventing unauthorized gun use and unintentional firearm accidents acquired Smith & Wesson in May 2001. Saf-T-Hammer customers include sporting goods distributors, law enforcement distributors, law enforcement retailers, law enforcement agencies and gunsmiths.
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