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May 16, 2013

Tierney unveils bill calling for smart handguns

High-tech innovation would allow guns to be fired only by their owners

(Continued)

“If technology can help in addition to that, that would be great,” Caggiano said.

The push for smart guns has come up before.

Rosenthal, who is a gun owner and does skeet shooting, said back in the mid-1990s he met with Ed Shultz, the former CEO of Smith & Wesson, and asked about trigger locks and smart-gun technology.

In 2000, the company, facing mounting lawsuits from cities over handgun violence, voluntarily agreed to develop smart-gun technology and put other safety measures in place, according to Rosenthal and various reports.

“There was about 20 minutes of jubilation,” Rosenthal said. Then the National Rifle Association and the rest of the industry announced a boycott, and the gun maker nearly went out of business before it was sold off, he said.

“I think you need financial incentives and hopefully a law to hold them accountable. And we would need, hopefully, another gun company to do it, too,” Rosenthal said.

During the conference call, Ann Marie Crowell, a Saugus mother, told the story of how her 12-year-old son, Brian, was accidentally shot in the neck and killed on Christmas Eve in 1997 by his best friend, who was playing with his mother’s handgun, which she kept in her room for protection.

“Our lives have changed forever,” Crowell said, “and I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through as a parent having to bury a child.”

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.

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