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DOJ Seeks Feedback on Smart Gun Technology Proposal

Written by FEDagent on .

The Department of Justice's research, development and evaluation arm, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), seeks public feedback on a draft document they created to define the baseline specifications for new smart guns to be used by law enforcement officers.

Referred to as “service pistols with additional technology to enhance the security of the firearms,” these smart guns must seamlessly integrate technology into the firearm’s design without compromising the 54 reliability, durability, and accuracy that officers expect from their service weapons.

These voluntary baseline specifications will provide clear guidance to private industry manufacturers so they can develop technology that meets the needs of law enforcement officers, particularly in the areas of reliability, durability and accuracy.  

This baseline requirements document is the result of a series of executive actions by the Obama Administration dating back to January when President Obama called on the Departments of Justice (DOJ), Homeland Security (DHS) and Defense (DOD) to create a research and development strategy to expedite real-world deployment of advanced gun safety technology.

Three months later, the departments submitted to Obama a strategy to expedite deployment of gun safety technology in which they outlined a comprehensive plan to implement “smart guns.”

This report laid out a four-part plan whereby DOJ and DHS would “develop baseline specifications that defined, for the first time, the minimum technical requirements that law enforcement agencies expect from smart guns,” according to a statement by DOJ.

The first step of this plan called on DOJ’s research, development and evaluation arm, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), to put together a working group of firearms experts from DOJ and DHS who would create a draft list of these baseline specifications by July 15, 2016.

With this draft list now complete, NIJ is soliciting input on the document from an array of stakeholders, including everyone from academics to advocates and engineers to entrepreneurs, in addition to public comment.

NIJ will also host a two-day meeting for federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in mid-August to review and discuss the draft document. 

Informed by this feedback, DOJ and DHS will revise the specifications as-needed and finalize the document for publication. 

By engaging law enforcement experts and a broad range of stakeholders throughout this process, NIJ hopes to produce a final document that both reflects the exacting demands of law enforcement officers and advances the president’s goal of expediting the real-world deployment of smart gun technology. 

This process does not require that any particular individual or law enforcement agency adopt the technology once it is developed.

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Tags: DHS, DOJ, carrying firearms, DOD , NIJ, smart guns