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Boulder teen working to create a biometric smart gun 

Posted: December 22, 2015 at 8:22 am by , in Featured, Morning Magazine

“The gun knows who is firing it and only the owner or people the owner chooses can fire that gun.”

18-year-old Kai Kloepfer graduated from high school in 2015 and plans to attend MIT in 2016. He has just launched a crowdfunding campaign  to fund the development of a “smart gun” – a fully-functional live firearm with integrated fingerprint sensor. “The gun knows who is firing it and only the owner or people the owner chooses can fire that gun.”

In his sophomore year of highschool, Kloepfer was looking for something for his science fair project “I was looking for something with more of a social impact.”  The Aurora theater shooting had just happened and Kloepfer started looking at fire arm deaths in the US and he found that 21,000 firearm suicides every year and that a child dies or is injured by a firearm every 30 minutes “Those numbers are significantly larger than any mass shooting that has ever happened and more importantly they’re preventable.”


With the funds raised from the crowdfunding campaign, Kloepfer will commission a team of engineers from VisionWorks Engineering in San Diego, California to advance his current prototype to the stage where it can be mass-produced.Klopefer says his smart gun is designed to prevent accidental shootings, thefts, suicides, and wrongful use. “When the user grips the gun normally, it reads his fingerprint and compares it against a list of users that is stored inside the gun. If it matches, the gun is ready for fire, otherwise it remains locked and secured. The fingerprint sensor itself employs military-grade encryption with a key unique to that firearm to ensure the highest possible degree of certainty that the owner and their designees are the only people who can use the gun. He is designing a full gun with the biometric safety integrated into it, where he can control every step of the process to achieve greater precision and reliability.