Reps. DeSaulnier, Lofgren, Beyer introduce bill to fund gun safety technology

Would create $10 million Dep’t. of Justice pilot program

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier

Washington, D.C. – On December 12, 2023, Representatives Mark DeSaulnier (CA-10), Zoe Lofgren (CA-18), and Don Beyer (VA-08) announced the introduction of the Advancing Gun Safety Technology Act (H.R. 6697), a bill that would help bring life-saving gun safety technology to the market. Specifically, the bill would create a $10 million pilot program at the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice to support private-sector commercialization of gun safety technology. This legislation is supported by Brady’s United Against Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety and Gifford’s Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Gun safety technology—like smart guns, user-authorized handguns, childproof guns, personalized guns, and safes and locking devices that include personalized technology—are designed to reduce the likelihood of an accidental or unauthorized use of a gun. According to the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, each year nearly 500 people die from unintentional firearm injuries, and unintentional firearm injuries account for 37% of nonfatal firearm injuries.

“With gun violence taking such a devastating toll on our communities, and as the son of someone who took his life by gun suicide, I strongly believe that we need to use every tool in the toolbox to address the gun violence epidemic,” said DeSaulnier (CA-10). “Gun safety technology will help reduce accidental shootings and gun suicides while protecting responsible gun owners, and this bill will help make that technology available to more people. I am grateful to join with my colleagues in introducing this important legislation.”

“We have a gun violence crisis in this country, and Congress should act on all fronts to help keep our communities safe. That includes by passing our Advancing Gun Safety Technology Act to boost innovators’ ability to market technology that can save Americans’ lives,” said Lofgren (CA-18). “My district was devastated by the Gilroy Garlic Festival and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority yard mass shootings, and I always value collaborating with colleagues committed to doing more to end the scourge of gun violence in America. This legislation is focused on safety and progress, and non-gun owners and gun owners alike should support this sensible bill.”

“Gun safety technology has the potential to save some of the tens of thousands of American lives lost to gun violence each year,” said Beyer (VA-08). “Many of those deaths are suicides and accidental shootings, which smart gun tech is designed to help prevent. Our legislation would help spur innovation to develop these technologies and bring products incorporating them to market, preventing gun violence and saving lives. I appreciate my colleagues Rep. DeSaulnier and Rep. Lofgren for their leadership on this legislation and look forward to building a coalition to advance it.”

“Innovators continue to advance gun safety technology, striving to minimize unauthorized access to firearms. However, additional funding is essential to bring these life-saving innovations to the market. An analysis of unintentional gun deaths suggests that 37% of fatal shootings could have been prevented by smart gun technology. Gun owners and non-gun owners alike stand to benefit significantly when firearms are manufactured, stored, and utilized with the utmost safety in mind,” said Gifford’s Federal Affairs Director Adzi Vokhiwa. “We applaud Representatives DeSaulnier, Lofgren, and Beyer for leading the charge for innovation in gun safety technology, and we strongly urge Congress to swiftly pass this bill.”

“Guns are now the number one cause of death for America’s children. If the same could be said for a type of medicine, toy, or anything else, action would be taken to save lives. To date, the gun industry has refused to invest in technology to make guns less dangerous, especially in the hands of children. The Advancing Gun Safety Technology Act will fill this gap and provide grants to entities looking to develop gun safety technologies. Stated simply, this investment will protect more Americans – particularly our children – from being irrevocably injured or killed by firearms. Brady is grateful to Reps. DeSaulnier, Lofgren, and Beyer for re-introducing this legislation,” said Kris Brown, President of Brady.

The Advancing Gun Safety Technology Act was previously introduced by former Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA).

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