19-Year-Old Developing Fingerprint Locking Smart Gun

Kai Kloepfer has been designing a fingerprint-recognizing smart gun since he was 15 years old, but it might be a while before the technology hits shelves.

Described as the “Mark Zuckerberg of guns,” Kai Kloepfer is a name that might become a fixture in the firearm industry. At age 19, Kloepfer is in the process of developing a smart gun that locks if it doesn’t recognize the fingerprint of the person holding it.

With firearm safety at the forefront of his concept, Kloepfer started development on the project at 15 years old.

“I kept coming across these numbers about accidental gun deaths and suicides and things like that. We could have 1,200 children dying from gun accidents every single year, and that’s more than even your worst mass shooting,” Kloepfer told The Wall Street Journal. “But there’s a pretty good chance we could make a big dent in that, and that’s substantial measurable change.”

But Kloepfer’s smart gun design may not be welcomed by the firearm industry. There are several reasons why, but a major reason is that gun owners and manufacturers alike don’t necessarily trust the technology.

“Your iPhone typically now has fingerprint recognition technology — it doesn’t always work. When it doesn’t work, you’re inconvenienced,” Larry Keane, general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told The Wall Street Journal. “In a firearm, if you’re using it for self defense and it doesn’t work, you’re not inconvenienced, you’re dead.”

Watch the video above for more on Kloepfer’s smart gun.

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