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Sooner or later?

Metal Storm developing personalised handgun

Shares in Brisbane-based ballistic weapons company Metal Storm soared on Friday, after it announced plans to develop a personalised handgun in partnership with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).

The new handgun is designed to improve safety and control standards in line with newly-passed legislation in the State of New Jersey, which outlaws the sale of any handguns, other than personalised handguns, within three years of such weapons becoming available.

Other states, including New York, Ohio and Tennessee, as well as the US Congress, were also understood to be preparing similar legislation, Metal Storm said on Friday.

Metal Storm's Australia general manager Ian Gillespie said the new handgun, expected to go into production within a couple of years, combined the company's existing electronic smart-gun technology and prevented anyone other than the gun's owner from firing the weapon.

"It remembers an owner's unique touch," Gillespie said.

"It recognised the individual's grip and is sensitive enough to work as effectively as recognising a fingerprint.

"It is it a very robust system that can work in all kinds of extreme conditions, left or right hand, whether you are wearing gloves or not, and even whether you are in muddy or wet conditions. It can also be programmed for multiple users if required."

Metal Storm's US-based chief executive officer Charles Vehlow said the new technology would save lives.

"The personalised handgun which we will produce, will be childproof and personalised to the owner and will aid significantly in reducing gun deaths, which in the US in 2000 totalled more than 28,000," Vehlow said in a statement.

Under the joint agreement, the companies will commercialise Metal Storm's O'Dwyer VLe electronic handgun, with NJIT's recently patented Dynamic Grip Recognition biometric authorising technology.

Vehlow said the handgun market in the US alone was massive, with more than 943,000 handguns being manufactured in 2001.

Metal Storm also reported a net loss of $2.87m for the half year to June 30, 2002, compared to a net loss of $2.97m the previous first half.

1 September 2003

I'm stocking up on dumb guns while I can... > :wink:
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