SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Washington Ceasefire, a 32-year-old non-profit based in Seattle, is announcing the launch of The Smart Gun News blog (www.thesmartgunnews.com). The blog is designed to bring all the voices concerned with smart gun technology to one central place, where citizens, developers, public health and elected officials can get the latest information on this fast evolving topic and formulate and express educated opinions.
Smart guns could potentially reduce the 31,000 annual gun deaths by as much as one third. This total includes almost 20,000 suicides, about half of which involve a third party firearm. Suicide research now clearly shows that if a deadly weapon can be made less readily available even for an hour or two, the likelihood of a suicide attempt decreases significantly. Smart guns could also go a long way to reducing the approximately 10,000 gun injuries annually to children and teens, as well as the chances of significant injury to the 5800 law enforcement officials who are assaulted annually.
The Smart Gun News Blog will include updates on the latest industry news as well as regular interviews with leading smart gun developers such as Ernst Mauch and Robert McNamara as well as public health leaders such as David Hemenway of Harvard and Steven Teret of Johns Hopkins who both are strong advocates of smart gun adoption. Of keen near term interest are the opinions of police leaders regarding the potential of a 9mm smart gun for the 900,000 law enforcement personnel across to country. Interviews with several beat police officers show a high daily for someone taking their gun and using it against them.
Despite recent, high profile, gun related tragedies and a new national poll showing that 40% of gun owners in the U.S. would consider swapping their guns for safer guns that can only be fired by their authorized user, smart gun technology in the United States currently faces significant obstacles in becoming available to law enforcement and consumers.
A highly contested mandate law known as the 2002 Childproof Handgun Law of New Jersey, which states that only smart guns be sold in the state within 3 years of a smart gun being sold anywhere in the country, has invited fierce opposition by pro-arms groups and 2nd amendment groups, and indirectly stymied availability and discouraged product investment.
Yet some pro gun group leaders such as Alan Gottlieb of The Second Amendment Foundation are open minded about the topic. Mr. Gottlieb noted on YouTube that he would be one of the first to buy one, once he became confident with the technology. Research by Washington Ceasefire suggests a generational divide on the issue of smart gun “comfort” with a majority of gun owners under age 45 expressing the possibility to swap out for a smart gun while only 23% over 65 willing to consider the transition.
About Washington Ceasefire
Washington Ceasefire is one of the oldest organizations dedicated to reducing gun violence. The 5,000-member citizen activist group seeks to achieve its goal by a combination of advocacy, public health education and media outreach. Earlier this year the Group sponsored the largest gathering of smart gun developers and field experts yet and it plans to host a second global smart gun event early next year. Last year alone the group has been a resource on the issue of smarts guns and gun violence to a wide variety of media outlets including the New York Times, CBC, BBC and Al Jazeera.