KRISS/Sphinx Sister Company Nano-ID Develops Gun Tracking Technology

Over the weekend a concerned Swiss man emailed Rob Curtis (Gear Scout) and I about a story being run on TV and online by the Swiss National Television. The story said that Sphinx Arms (part of KRISS Arms) had developed a novel gun tracking technology that could be embedded inside guns and which would allow individual weapons to be tracked from the air. The technology seems to be some type of RFID technology, possibly used in conjunction with some type of microstamping.

On Sunday night I emailed the public relations agency that handles PR for KRISS Arms (USA) asking for a statement. They told me they had not heard about this Nano-ID technology and on Monday morning they issued this statement …

Sphinx Arms denies the information provided during a segment of the Swiss National Television’s news, wrongly stating that it had developed a ground-breaking technology to be used for firearms and ammunition tracing. This technology has been developed by Nano-ID Security Systems, a Swiss based company, which has requested Sphinx Arms to test and evaluate this technology only in conjunction with a project for sensitive material tracing and authentication in Switzerland. One of the key features of this technology is to prevent alterations or defacing of serial numbers.

Sphinx Arms confirms that no identification solution has been deployed and will not be deployed in any of its firearms produced and exported to countries out of Switzerland …

This firm denial would have been enough to put my mind at ease but then the ever-vigilant Rob Curtis discovered that Nano-ID and KRISS are sister companies owned by the same group and who share a building

It turns out that while Sphinx didn’t technically develop the system, GearScout has learned there are strong ties between Kriss Arms Group (Sphinx Arms’ parent company) and Nano-ID Security, essentially making them sister companies. The companies share the same office building in Nyon, Switzerland and are part of the same Gamma Applied Visions Group Holding company chaired by Andreas Jebsen.

It would have been better for the company to have come clean and admit they were sister companies. This omission calls into question the rest of their carefully worded statement.

I call on KRISS USA to make another statement addressing the fact they are a gun company assisting a sister company developing gun-tracking technology. The “don’t worry, we won’t export it” excuse has never satisfied US consumers and I doubt it ever will.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • wolfkiller

    time to boycott all sphinx products, as well as all products of their sister companies, also i suggest people try to find ways to counter this new tech.

    • privacy

      well how i killed the RFID in my passport was by a hammer, “an unfortunate travel mishap” as for on a firearm… microwave radiation should fry the chip if you find it. i’d recc=omend going to one of those future shops and buying a “pain ray” kit, they run around $75 and can kill a computer. strong magnets might work too.

      • au

        that will work until they’ll make it illegal to remove/disable RFID marker on your legally purchased weapon.

      • It’s not a chip and there’s no way to remove it. The nano particles are distributed in the steel itself. Magnets down’t work on nano particles since they are non-magnetic. There’s just no way to get around it as of yet.
        This is a whole other system compared to chips embedded in credit cards etc.

        • However it works, there’s a way to disable it. If it’s RFID, just because it isn’t in a traditional chip doesn’t mean it’s safe- any system capable of receiving or transmitting radio signals is capable of receiving strong enough radio signals to be overheated and rendered nonfuctional. You can’t engineer around that.

          The only other useful method I can think of would be unique radioactive signatures, and there’s no way the EU would approve something like that even if it enabled them to track guns from the air.

          • Very true–if there is anything like a radioactive signature that can be read that far away it’s not going to be approved for use.

            I guess you could stick it in an oven and bake at 350 for an hour it might mess things up a bit:-)

          • John


          • EE

            you and privacy have a point but as a percausion i’d say protect yourself when doing that. it’ll need some high output radio bordering on microwave to bust that i think. that or you could do what shoplifters do and line your gun cases with aluminum. that might hide the signal, works off of the faraday cage principal. (disclamer: i dont condone theft, and using “booster” bags to shoplift is a felony)

    • Um–just one problem with a boycott–they aren’t being distributed in the USA as of yet.That will be another month before they start shipping to distributors.
      I wouldn’t boycott the gun side anyway. Another part of the company does this nano tracking and only in Switzerland in cooperation with the army I believe it is.
      We won’t make a dent in this tech. It’s the wave of the future and it’s happening no matter what.

      • Lady Silversweetheart


        That’s all well and good but by your own admission the technology involved is embedded in the steel itself. What’s to stop the company in question in just adding the material and not saying anything about it? And in the same realm how would you even begin to try and detect something that is nano-sized and embedded in the material to verify?

        So, while you say that you wouldn’t boycott the gun side of things when you have a tech that currently has no counter, no easy way for the consumer to detect, and is embedded in such a way that it can’t be removed or deactivated I argue that it’s a VERY good reason to do so.

        • Not a thing prevents them from doing that except compliance with the law.I doubt anything like that can be used without disclosure.
          Im just not ready to condemn a company until I know all the facts. Right now we have rumors and suspicions but no hard facts.

    • Esh325

      Go and knock yourself out if you like.

  • VP Biden

    Well, that sounds like a neat trick… Let’s barry it and move on to something more productive.

    • We reported the news which is our duty to the readers. We won’t solve this question now so lets calm down and wait for some facts to surface.

  • flyingburgers

    It was reported elsewhere that the tracking technology is… a QR code. (The US military has been using Data Matrix for a number of years)

  • Marc

    Sphinx is a very small (7 people in 2009, probably more today), specialized company which has only fairly recently been bought by the KRISS Group. I wouldn’t be surprised if nobody at Sphinx proper knows all of KRISS’ assets. Also Sphinx is based in Matten, a 2 hour drive away from Nyon.

  • Joseph B Campbell

    Are not being used in the United States, yet? You think!

    • No I don’t think it is— Seriously a major news outlet says this whole thing is so–we run with it. Yet we hold the belief that the news media always lies to us. That’s a bit selective. So it’s true if we want it to be but not true and they are lying to us if we don’t want it to be?
      I’m curious if anyone has searched and found this broadcast and weighed what was said?
      Wait until we get the facts before we get upset about it.

  • Tim U

    So don’t buy from them if you don’t like it. It’s not like we don’t have thousands of guns to pick from as it is. There’s always a workaround to everything, even if it hasn’t been discovered yet.

  • Squidpuppy

    The problem is that if a technology is enabling and readily implementable, it will spread. And if it appears to meet gun control agendas, the government may require it at some point. If the detection technology can be placed in a police squad car, then they can detect if you’re transporting a firearm. We all know what that means: being stopped even if you’re transporting for entirely legal reasons, say to a range or hunting venue. This is dangerous.

    • Sable

      Legal reasons also include sh*ts and giggles, I don’t NEED a reason to keep a firearm in my vehicle.

  • Anonymoose

    And everyone who read this blog just collectively crapped their pants…

  • Dear Lord we panic over something overseas. Can just calm down?

  • tincankilla

    Oh hey, another thing to panic about – just wait until gun retailers start selling “pre-tracking” guns for a 50% mark up next week.

  • microwaves kill RFID chips. Just saying.

  • JeffTD

    Black helicopters with green beams looking for our guns!

  • All my firearms are old. neener neener neener!

  • canadaguy

    Seeing a lot of negative comments here… think of this development from outside American laws. You guys might have the right to carry, the right to own firearms, many nations do not. A development like this could help sway public opinion in areas like Canada or Britain where gun laws, especially those for handguns are rather unfair.

    For example, here in Canada as of a few weeks ago they changed transport conditions for handguns and restricted class weapons, Where before you had an authorization to transport, that was issued and only issued by your province’s CFO through your gun club. This allowed you to transport your handgun, locked in your trunk, to and from the gun range. Now you need written consent from your gun club, prior to any time you intend to shoot. So if you enjoy taking your handgun to the range each Friday, expect a written consent note every week.

    However if the government had the technology to view where restricted weapons are at all times, maybe we wouldn’t need ATTs or stupid laws. I know a lot of liberals who are terrified of guns being stolen by criminals. With technology good enough, a stolen gun could be rendered useless, or be tracked faster.

    Maybe one day it will be advanced enough to lock out guns. I think even gun hating countries like Canada would allow self-carry knowing that the Police could deactivate anyone’s weapon they intend to arrest.

    Are these feasible? No, not at the moment and most likely will not be for a long time, but you shouldn’t fear technological development like this.

  • MrApple

    All I have to say to this is, “Hell no.”

  • Jack

    Kriss and Sphinx are right now under investigation by Swiss authorities for illegal arms trade wirh Saudi Arabia.