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Belgian Prof builds revolutionary smart gun

February 11 2004

BRUSSELS – A Belgian professor has developed a new handgun that he claims can be fired only by its legitimate owner, Belgian newspaper La Derniere Huere said on Wednesday.

Professor Jacques Destine, who is based at Liege university, began work on the new firearm the US Justice Department launched a world-wide call for tender asking scientists to develop a ‘safe’ handgun.

The US has a serious problem with firearms. According to the respected US gun-control organisation The Brady Campaign, in 1998 alone 30,708 people died there as a result of shooting incidents.

To his surprise, the Belgian professor won the lucrative contract and has just unveiled a prototype smart gun.

“We have made a weapon that only fires when it is meant to fire,” Destine told the newspaper.

The new gun contains 250 tiny electronic receptors, which register the way its owner grips its handle. Destine found that no two people hold a gun in exactly the same way and argues ‘grip patterns’ are as reliable as fingerprints for identifying a gun’s owner.

“Our idea was to make sure that the gun could only be used by its owner,” the professor explained.

The gun can be programmed to recognise both a left hand and right hand grip. The professor says this could prove useful for example for a police officer who may suffer a wound in his or her normal firing hand during a shoot out.

It could also be programmed to recognise a fellow officers grip pattern, the professor added.

The professor said the gun could even be set so that it could only be used at weekends, in the evening or for hunting animals – a pastime that apparently requires a particular angle of fire.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Belgian news