New tax breaks benefit manufacture of 'smart guns' - WSMV News 4

New tax breaks benefit manufacture of 'smart guns'

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Many already use passwords and touch screens to secure computers and smart phones. Now, some gun manufacturers are working to apply the same technology to safeguard firearms.

One example, the Identilock, saves fingerprints and only works when the gun's owner swipes. Another, the Armatix, only shoots if the user is wearing a special wireless watch.

Soon, "smart guns" like these may be produced in Tennessee because of a state law that went into effect July 1 giving tax breaks to companies that produce them.

"This was just another benefit to them to say if this stuff's going to be made, we want it made here," said Rep. Mike Stewart (D-Nashville).

Stewart co-sponsored the legislation that is already stirring up controversy.

Bob Nash, a retired Metro police officer, worked for the department for 33 years.

"I think smart guns are a great technology and really offer a smart technology for a lot of gun owners who want that extra layer of protection to keep them out of the hands of children," Nash said.

Buford Tune, another Metro police veteran with 25 years of experience, disagrees. He currently trains police, security and civilians to get their handgun permits.

"It's just not something that's practical," Tune said. "This is not a space age movie where I can say, 'gun, shoot.'"

Tune said he believes smart guns will actually put users in more danger if the technology fails them when they need protection and they don't have time.

"When you have the extra steps in there for self-defense, that's not going to be practical at all," Tune said.

But with the tax breaks, it may not be long before the smart guns show up in Middle Tennessee.

"To me, we use technology everywhere else," Stewart said. "Why wouldn't we use it in firearms?"

Stewart said he isn't aware of any Tennessee gun manufacturers that have begun producing smart guns because of the new law.

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