Designing a location-aware gun magazine to keep schools and government buildings safe.
gUNarmed™ is a smart gun magazine designed to prevent unauthorized gun use in schools and government buildings. gUNarmed™ utilizes satellite data as a signal to activate a jamming mechanism in gun magazines in locations where guns are not permitted. This solution to gun violence simultaneously protects lives and gun-owner’s rights – these smart magazines are focused not on the person using the gun, but instead on the place the gun is being used. gUNarmed™ technology also gives gun owners the ability to control where their gun can and can’t be used.
“Satellite technology offers a unique opportunity to simultaneously reduce gun violence and increase the choices available to gun owners.” — Chloe Green
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Q: What inspired you to become involved with smart gun technology?
While there are many complex issues at the intersection of gun safety and the Second Amendment, I believe that there has to be a solution to the problem of gun violence in schools. There must be a way to prevent tragic, needless deaths, simultaneously protecting people’s rights. There has to be a way to make guns smarter without needing to replace every gun. When it comes to preventing gun violence in schools, the scope of the challenge is so big, in part because the underlying relevant numbers are so big. In the United States today, there are more than 300 million guns, and there are more than 54 million elementary and secondary students in public and private schools in America.
My earliest exposure to the subject of schools and gun violence came from conversations with my mom, who was a teacher. She had been teaching for several years when the shooting at Columbine occurred, and she related to me the events of Columbine and how students, teachers, and families were forever changed by that horrific act.
The tragedy of mass shootings weighs heavily on my heart. These events take a profound toll on American families. Watching the news and seeing the catastrophic impact mass shootings have on our lives as Americans has motivated me to pursue a solution, a solution that leverages today’s powerful technologies to both reduce gun incidents and preserve individual rights.
Q: Why does your innovation matter?
I believe that American citizens should have the choice to purchase a firearm that can be used in places they might want (and are legally permitted) to use it, and not be misused in locations where they would never want the gun to be fired (like schools). I also believe that my technology makes this solution possible. My solution to gun violence is focused not on the person using the gun, but instead on the place a gun is being used. gUNarmed™ is uniquely situated to simultaneously protect lives and gun owners’ rights.
Q: How is your technology different from other smart gun technologies?
My technology is distinct from other smart gun technologies in several ways. Most notably, my technology is capable of being phased-in to existing guns, does not require proximity tokens or fingerprint analysis, and utilizes satellite data to inform the mechanism of when and where a gun magazine should be jammed. My technology is focused not on the person using the gun, but instead on the place that the gun is being used.
gUNarmed™ smart magazines can be placed in any gun that utilizes a compatible magazine. Unlike some other smart gun technologies, my innovation does not require the purchase of a new gun.
The jamming technology within gUNarmed™ smart magazines is activated when a gUNarmed™ magazine crosses the satellite-controlled geo-fence set up around the perimeter of a school or courthouse or other building where guns are not permitted. When the microchip receives satellite data that the magazine has entered the location of a school or government building, the magazine jams. Additionally, at the same time that the magazine is locked, law enforcement officers and those within the targeted area, such as school principals, staff and students, can be alerted of the presence of the gun/magazine in the building. This is accomplished via a point-to-multipoint system and push technology, like that used in Wireless Emergency Alerts. While the would-be shooter’s gun is rendered ineffective, those in the vicinity can get to safety and law enforcement officers can get to the scene in time to prevent tragedy.
Q: Why is someone your age interested in developing solutions to gun violence?
I have always had a passionate interest in tinkering, making and inventing. I am convinced that I can create positive change in the world through determination and innovation. “Inventing today, changing tomorrow,” is my personal motto, a motto which guides me in my life as I take on what some may consider unconventional challenges for a young woman.
Q: Can your technology be hacked – how might your system be compromised?
Because my technology utilizes satellite data as the signal to activate the jamming mechanism, I have investigated a broad range of GPS and GPS-related technologies. I contacted a company whose technology uses Iridium’s constellation of 66 low-earth-orbiting satellites to provide high-power signals that can reach into building structures. Unlike GPS, this technology also has the benefit of being effectively ‘unspoofable,’ meaning that the system is essentially impossible to hack or circumvent with false location signals.
Q: Why should I care about your technology; do you believe that your technology can make a difference?
No single technology will solve every issue regarding gun safety. I believe, however, that gUNarmed™ can have a significant and meaningful impact on safety in America’s schools. Simply providing autonomy for each gun owner to decide where his or her gun should be used would help keep America’s children safer. I am convinced that, given a way to do so, most American gun owners would be willing to take steps to prevent their guns from ever being fired in a school or similar environment. My technology is intended to give gun owners the ability to make America safer. By inventing today with technologies like gUNarmed™, I hope to change the world for a better tomorrow – a tomorrow where students can go to school and feel safe, a tomorrow where gun rights are balanced with common sense, and a tomorrow without avoidable gun deaths.
Q: Why did you name your technology “gUNarmed™”?
I chose the name gUNarmed™ for my technology because it conveys the balance that I seek to create between preserving gun owners’ rights and creating “gun free” zones in places such as schools, where guns should never be used. The same person with the same gun can be armed for purposes such as defending their home, or for hunting, but unarmed if they attempt to take the weapon into a school.