Smartphones, smart homes, and now smart guns.
In an effort to make guns safer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is funding a competition that encourages city college students to design safety features for firearms — with $1 million on the line.
“Many young people are traumatized by gun-related deaths,” Adams said, speaking at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall. “Having them participate in finding a solution and engaging in conversations on college campuses about gun-related death is very therapeutic.”
The competition will open Sept. 1, and colleges and universities can enter as many teams as they’d like through Jan. 1. Each team must have one graduate student or professor, and while the team leader must be affiliated with a school, anyone from the public can join in.
The designs must be submitted by June 1, 2017, and the top five teams will be awarded $10,000 in seed money from Adams’ discretionary budget to further their work. The school affiliated with the top team will receive $1 million from Adams’ capital budget.
The guns will be tested by the NYPD’s lab.
“The NYPD lab is the best at ensuring that a gun is operable and will be used without harming anyone,” Adams said. “Historically, the technology has been stymied. We want to break free of that prevention of allowing this technology to go forward.”
Features of smart guns could include fingerprint recognition, or a firearm with a location app if it is lost or stolen.
The concepts the students come up with will be evaluated based on several factors, including their adaptability to the market, the flexibility in the technology’s application, and the potential impact on public safety, according to Adams’ office. A panel of experts will pick the winners.
Those interested in participating can sign up at brooklyn-usa.org.