Inside President Obama's Smart Gun Announcement

Even the NRA doesn't oppose smart gun technology.

ByABC News
April 29, 2016, 5:50 PM
President Obama speaks about his new gun control measures, Jan. 5, 2016, from the White House.
President Obama speaks about his new gun control measures, Jan. 5, 2016, from the White House.
ABC News

— -- The Obama administration has released a report outlining a strategy to push smart gun technology, something President Obama called for in his January executive action on gun control.

Here’re the details:

1. What's smart gun technology?

Smart guns are high-tech firearms that only work in the hands of their owner. In his January executive action on gun control, Obama called for several administration departments to work on a report "outlining research and development designed to expedite real-world deployment" of technology to "reduce the frequency of accidental discharge or unauthorized use of firearms."

"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?" Obama said in his tearful announcement address in January.

2. Who supports it?

Obama and gun control advocates argue that smart gun technology would reduce the number of accidental deaths from guns. The National Rifle Association doesn't oppose smart gun technology or the sale of smart guns, but is against any laws preventing Americans from buying or owning traditional firearms.

The president is interested in encouraging the use of smart gun technology in the federal government, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said today.

"The idea is, are there a set of standards and guidelines that can be developed that would ensure that smart gun technology could effectively be used by law enforcement officers?" Earnest said. "The idea is that, yes, the federal government is a bulk purchaser of firearms."

Four in 10 gun owners are willing to purchase a smart gun, according to a survey from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. (Nearly sixty percent of Americans would buy a smart or childproof handgun, the survey found.)

2. What's inside the Obama administration’s smart gun report

The report, from the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense, details how the government can push smart gun technology and the adoption of smart firearms: by incentivizing their production, encouraging state and local governments to purchase smart guns for law enforcement and working with stakeholders to develop criteria for smart gun technology.