Utah company making guns safer with fingerprint trigger lock

Posted at 10:20 PM, Jan 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-07 10:03:07-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- “If we can set it up so you can't unlock your phone unless you've got the right fingerprint, why can't we do the same thing for our guns?”

President Obama asked this question during his announcement of new gun control measures Tuesday.

A Utah company is delivering the answer.

“We’ve been working on Intelligun for almost eight years now, we finished where you see now almost four years ago,” said W.P. Gentry, owner of Kodiak Industries in West Valley City.

The company makes the Intelligun. A grip that fits on a 1911 handgun, locking the trigger unless the correct fingerprint is sensed.

“That same pressure sensor identifies when it’s left your hand and automatically relocks the firearm,” Gentry said.

“I grab a hold of it and that’s when I can shoot the firearm,” Gentry said while demonstrating the weapon.

Gentry’s ‘smart gun’ has a sensor that reads a fingerprint in under a second. Once the fingerprint is positively identified, three green lights light up to indicate the weapon can be fired.

As part of his push to curb gun violence, President Obama has ordered to Department of Justice to study the impact ‘smart guns’ can have on reducing gun violence.

It’s a push that could benefit Intelligun sales, but Gentry said only if smart technology is a choice, not a requirement.

“If you want a firearm it’s your right to go have one," Gentry said. "If you want a firearm with this level of safety and technology, that’s your right to choose if you want that as well.”

The company is developing a grip that will fit on other handguns.

Kodiak Industries is not the only company making ‘smart gun’ technology. Competing products require the user to wear a watch or a ring to unlock their firearm.