U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Secure Weapon System (SWS) Smart Gun Technology, Phase I: Summary of Findings Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2001
9 pages
This report summarizes the first phase of a project to continue research and development that began in 1995 and focuses on smart-gun technology to reduce the criminal use of firearms and unintended accidental shootings.
The project began with a demonstration unit built to the FN Five-seveN pistol and used it as a starting point on which to base the project development. The project developed a functional requirement specification and used feasibility analysis and Failure Modes and Effects Analysis to develop the demonstration unit into an engineering model that more closely met the needs of the law enforcement community. Interviews with police personnel led to the conclusions that a Secure Weapon System must not be usable against a police officer, look like existing guns, be able to be fired if batteries are dead, and be able to fired amid an electrical malfunction. Other requirements included the ability to be operated by the officer’s partner but not by other people, reliability and durability similar to that of current guns, and usability if the officer wears heavy clothing or gloves. The development of the engineering model focused on reliability, durability, and resistance to environmental effects. This first phase of the project has been highly fruitful and has resulted in an engineering model that addresses police concerns while moving away from potential causes of system failure. The developers are eager to move to the second through fourth phases of the project. Photograph

Date Published: May 1, 2001