HARTFORD – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) reacted to the White House release of a report outlining a research and development strategy to expedite real-world deployment of smart gun technology. The report, prepared jointly by the Departments of Defense (DoD), Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security (DHS), was ordered by President Obama in a January 2016 memorandum as part of the administration’s executive actions to curb gun violence. 

“In a world where thumbs secure smartphones and retinas unlock wall safes, you can’t tell me that we can’t sell smart guns with technology that prevents it from firing if it falls into the wrong hands,” said Murphy. “I appreciate the White House report today, which moved this conversation forward in an important way. I’m determined to do everything I can to make sure the federal government incentivizes the sale of smart guns so we can save lives.”

Blumenthal said, “The smart gun initiative offers potential sweeping significant safety steps that will save lives and stop tragic gun violence. New devices now in development can be speeded by using federal dollars and leadership as leverage to support research and development of life-saving technology. Safety technology, once unimaginable, is now in use in cars, drugs, and other devices—and should be both affordable and feasible for guns. This presidential initiative offers hope for a major breakthrough in stopping the public health crisis and epidemic of gun violence, but is no substitute for congressional action on common sense, sensible measures like universal background checks. If children cannot accidently find a weapon, and criminals can’t use stolen or traditional guns, lives will be saved. The goal of this initiative is to create market demand, not arbitrary mandates, for safer firearms—a promising new strategy.”

Murphy and Blumenthal have been strong advocates for smart gun technology. Earlier this year in a hearing with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Murphy requested an update on the DoD, DOJ, and DHS report on smart gun technologies, and emphasized that the agencies can leverage their ability to procure guns with smart technology to promote research among private gun manufacturers and sellers, ultimately improving gun safety across the board.