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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Johns Hopkins: Survey: Majority of Current Gun Owners Support the Sale of Personalized Guns

A new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that almost four out of five current gun owners support the sale of both traditional and personalized guns through licensed dealers. However, only 18 percent of gun owners reported being likely to purchase a personalized gun for themselves when considering the additional costs.

Personalized guns — sometimes referred to as “smart” guns — include safety features to help prevent use by unauthorized individuals, including children. Some personalized guns require unique biometric information, like an individual’s fingerprint, to function. Others use radio frequency identification (RFID) to connect a gun to a wearable device, like a bracelet, watch or ring, to activate the firearm much like a keyless entry. While not currently available for sale in the U.S., personalized guns have been promoted as a way to help prevent gun-related injuries.

The findings, published online June 10 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, explore factors that may influence the purchase of a personalized gun, such as added cost and safe storage practices. The research suggests that low to moderate interest in purchasing a personalized gun could limit the intended safety benefits the technology offers.

Dr. Cassandra Crifasi, deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research and assistant professor in the Bloomberg School’s department of health policy and management, is the lead author.

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