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Columbus-based company designing fingerprint-reading device for guns

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Safe Gun Technology Inc., a Columbus-based company that started in the 90's, is looking to reduce the number of gun-related tragedies that occur as results of an accident or stolen weapon.

The company is working on a fingerprint-reading security device to be implanted inside guns enabling the gun owner to be the only one able to fire the weapon.

If the design is successful, children will no longer be able to accidentally injure themselves, and criminals will not be able to pull the trigger on a stolen weapon. 

"The Marshal's office will be the first to use it, I can promise you that," says Marshal Greg Countryman of Muscogee County. "We have a lot of burglaries in Columbus, Georgia, and often times, burglars are looking to steal jewelry, television and of course, guns."

"About 87 percent of gun crimes come from stolen guns," says attorney Charles Miller, Board member for Safe Gun Technology, Inc. "With this new technology, we are trying to make stolen guns useless. Once it's stolen, it cannot be in use if his or her fingerprint is not encoded in the device."

The fingerprint-reading device can record multiple finger prints, making it possible for more than one person to utilize the gun. If a criminal tries to break the device away, the gun will destroy itself, making it impossible for the criminal to fire at anyone.

The device has taken more than a decade to get to the developmental stage it is in today, because the company did not receive any major investments or government funding. Safe Gun Technology Inc. runs on donations and local investments.

The first prototype was made back in 2008, and cost less than 75 thousand dollars to produce.

In 2011, a full board of directors and engineers met to develop the current prototype.

Countryman and Miller are both excited at the possibility of their product being completed within a year.

Individuals in construction, business and law enforcement are on board with the plan, and hoping more people will begin to support the effort to create an effective product.

Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut triggered many people's interest in Safe Gun Technology Inc; the board members have worked closely with Sandy Hook Initiatives.

Military is expected to assist the company with testing and trying out the product once the market-ready prototype is available.

Miller believes that these fingerprint-reading devices will cost about 150 dollars. It has also been factored in design for both right-handed and left-handed gun owners.  

Many questions rise about this new product. Will it work if the person's hands have dirt or blood on them? What happens if the device runs out of battery?

While Miller and Countryman address these questions, they say that no product or technology can be perfect.

"We understand that we have to begin somewhere," Countryman explained. "But keep in mind that nothing is perfect. We have to start somewhere, and if we don't put in a good effort, then how can we expect to see changes for the better?"

For more information about Safe Gun Technology, Inc. and its product, visit their website at www.safeguntechnology.com .

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