Fingerprint Safety Invented By Teenager

Kai Kloepfer is developing a smart gun. Basically it is like something out of Hollywood. Remember when Sylvester Stallone played Judge Dredd or in the last Bond film, Skyfall, Bond had a special PPK? The guns in those movies had a fingerprint safety mechanism so that only a certain person could use the firearm. Warning, the video you are about to watch is heavily loaded with emotionally driven content about mass killings. Very little content on his actual prototype.


Here is the finger print scanner. Clearly it does not work for left handed shooters.

smart gun 2 smart gun


Of course the problems can be solved with education; training and informing people. However there is a certain point people will still be stupid. Just like driving a car, complacency causes accidents. Now we see car technology trying to keep us safe. Early warning detection for blind spots. Some cars can tell if you are nodding off.

Would an electronic safety actually be useful? Has all the car technology helped stop accidents from happening? Sure some of the really bad people have limited driver’s licenses and their cars are equipped with a breath analyzer so those may have prevented a possible death. But not all cars are equipped with it. I think if this kid can make this viable, then so be it. It won’t replace the guns that are out there. Just like guns with different methods of safeties do not replace guns without safeties. But if someone wanted an extra layer of safety on their gun who am I to tell them they can’t have that?

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • JRb123

    “Warning, the video you are about to watch is heavily loaded with emotionally driven content about mass killings. Very little content on his actual prototype.”

    Then why post it? Why give their propaganda another hundred views?

    I’m not trying to be snarky, I just want us to think this through all the way.

    • Daniel

      You do have an option not to watch. That’s what I did. Or diddnt.

    • floppyscience

      He posted it for people who still want to watch it and learn a little about the prototype.

      Do you have a problem with him leaving access to the video there, even with a clear warning?

    • Y-man

      Obviously he posted this with some sarcasm! We all need a good laugh for the weekend…

      Thank you Nicholas C.!

  • Joshua

    So advanced it stops working when you wear gloves.

    • Ken

      Only police and military should be able to use a gun without leaving fingerprints on it.

  • Ben

    I will never own a “smart gun.” Smart people are perfectly safe with dumb guns.

    And because of NJ’s ridiculous smart gun law, I have to oppose the introduction of this technology at all.

    • Daniel

      Ca as well I believe.

    • Sianmink

      Because of the politics in NJ and CA, the only way to get rid of these stupid laws is to bring the gun to market, where the law can then be decisively challenged in court under 2nd and 14th amendment grounds. It’s a clear violation when the only legal means of self defense allowed is 1: very limited quality 2: unproven and unreliable technology 3: Underpowered and unsuitable for self defense 4: prohibitively expensive.
      The time to do this is now, because who knows if a future Supreme Court will be as friendly to our rights as this one.

  • Ian Thorne

    So under stress when my finger placement isn’t perfect I get killed? Gloves for winter use = death. Dirty fingers from work messing with the sensor? Kiss your ass goodbye. I think I’ll pass.

    “Smart” guns are for “dumb” people.

    • GRComments

      I can’t even get my iphone to recognize my finger when I’m NOT stressed. Well, after trying a bit, I am stressed. Sometimes, it’s so reticent to recognize me that I could pull a gun, load it, and then fire it faster. Something that works that slow would frighten me.

    • Tim Pearce

      Got a papercut on that finger? Won’t fire. Having to use your other hand for whatever reason? Won’t fire. Having to use your significant other’s gun for whatever reason? Won’t fire.

  • Vhyrus

    I’m sure a high school student has extensive experience buying, maintaining, and shooting handguns so he can adequately assess the market and devise appropriate technology…

    I have a laptop with 1000% more processing power and it still doesn’t read my fingerprint successfully half the time. Even when it does it takes several seconds to actually unlock. That’s fine for a laptop, not for a gun.

    • Tim Pearce

      If we weren’t talking about an easily fooled “safety,” I’d disagree and say that he could be creating a new market.
      However, the market has overwhelming said “F that!” to this exact idea.

  • Don Ward

    I eagerly look forward to a video from Alex giving me tips about how to clean this smart gun.

  • Anomanom

    Poor kid. He just stepped into a blender of arseholery and probably death threats with no clue what he is getting into. He seems to be a pretty smart bloke. He’s really seems to be doing it for a good reason and logic. I wish him all kind of success.

    • sam

      The young person seems alright. Blue eyed, misguided in my view of the grand scheme of things but no biggy. We can’t all be visionaries. Worst case scenario, if he’s a tool, well, it’s been known to happen to people (*sigh*), and he seems to be benefiting from it, having fun, building skills, impressing others. Hopefully, and this is what I expect, the firearm community will mostly stay classy.

      • Anomanom

        That’s what i mean, he seems like a bright kid with good ideas. But i also remember what happened with the last “smart gun” that came along a few months ago. People threatening gun shop owners who were planning to sell it and so forth. I hope it goes better for him.

  • Matt

    Judge Dredd’s pistol used dna recognition, which was then taken one step further and tagged to each discharged round. Not fingerprints.

    Curious how they would recover the dna tag from one of those grenade rounds though… or the flare.

    • Tom

      Not sure Judge Dredd should be a model for any real world applications…

      • anon

        Questioning the word of a judge?

        3 years in the iso cubes, creep.

        • Joshua

          I AM THE LAW!!!

  • Tom

    Whats to stop our would be high school shooter just tearing the mechanism out? Unless the firearm is entirely electronically operated this sort of technology will never work.

  • Maxpwr

    So advanced it will be capable of having its electronics jammed or controlled remotely. Just say no to electronics in firearms or it will become mandatory.

  • Nintendo Comando

    I feel bad for this confused young person.
    this is what happens when your parent are liberals but you like firearms, you end up making some f*&^ked up crossover apple finger print gun for the trendies.

    • Esh325

      Confused young person? What the hell have you done? His parents said they had nothing to do with it.

      • phigmeta

        And my parents say they had nothing to do with my hatred for baby boomers… and yet….

        …sometimes what’s causing the idiocy is not aware of their influence

  • guest

    1) Any piece of modern electronics can be hacked. If it’s sophisticated enough to read fingerprints – its hackable.
    2) Any such device will then probably (or rather very likely) be remotely operated. We don’t need a new Snowden to explain IT technology and the C&C capabilities that arise from governmental control over it. Or whoever else who’s not behind the trigger.
    3) If it’s fail-safe then the gun can become useless if something goes bad (dead battery, damaged circuitry etc). If it’s fail-fire then it defeats the purpose of this “safety”.
    4) There is no such thing as a gun safety, not even the most advanced electronics can change that. A gun can however be made safe by clearing & observing that it’s completely empty. This is a Schrödringer’s cat kind of thing.
    5) No gun has every killed anyone. Never happened – not even once. Stupidity, recklessness, not keeping guns away from insane people and children – that has killed a lot.
    6) All mass shootings happen at locations where people can not defend themselves with tools that level the playing field. Tearjerking does bring in grants & sympathy of grieving parents and gun-grabbing politicians though, doesn’t it?

    Anything else?

    • Texas-Roll-Over

      Very well put

  • A.WChuck

    Invented? He just slapped a finger print reader on a fake firearm. Is the bar that low now that we can call this an invention? If I painted it yellow, can I be the inventor of yellow guns?
    Finger print readers can be easily tricked and unless his does a whole lot more than just read the ridge detail on a finger tip, it can be tricked as well.

    • Carson Durham

      There are definitely more engineering challenges to that than just taping a fingerprint reader on the side, be reasonable.

      • phigmeta

        you have never seen a biometric safe, its pretty much that right there.

        • Sulaco

          Mine only works first time about 30% of the time. A better percentage then my computer log in print reader.

    • MR

      I’d expect this to be on the MSN MainStream News feed on the computer at work. Not something that claims to be firearms oriented. Bad TFB! Bad! Should have given this story a pass. No new technical innovations, no real working prototype, nothing remotely production ready, just thinly veiled propaganda for the anti’s.

  • RicoSuave

    It is one thing to have this sensor on a phone… a failure to read correctly will not be a big deal. On a gun… a different matter. I’ll pass.

    • GRComments

      Failure to read on my own phone ticks me off enough that I rarely use it unless I’m bored and want to play. Just to see how many times it takes to identify me.

  • guy

    looks like someone watched the movie “shoot’em up”. Which is hilarious, but I don’t think it should have been the inspiration for anything in the real world.

  • Jack Morris

    My hands are small. Like smaller than a lot of women’s hands. I know for a fact that my finger wouldnt reach the proper way to initiate the print reader. This means that a large majority of women would have the same problem. One can only conclude that this kid hates women and doesn’t think they should use guns. How intolerant.

  • Budogunner

    As a software developer and project manager I have a little experience with computers.

    As an NRA range safety officer and former CCDW instructor I have a little experience with guns.

    If there is one thing I’ve learned, it is that guns built to work and computers are built to fail. I do NOT want a computer between my decisions and a firearm’s function. Non-functional related benefits, like that new shotgun with bluetooth for creating a hunting diary, is fine. Any ‘smart’ gun that can prevent the gun from being used is, by definition, stupid.

    • GRComments

      I wonder how fast the circuitry would fail if put in a 9mm or .45 and fired a hundred times?

      I have fingerprint ID on my iphone. Most of the time, I punch in the security code as it’s faster than the fingerprint ID.

      • Tim Pearce

        Another question is how resistant to water the circuitry is. Raining? Dropped your gun in a puddle? Grabbed a cold gun with your warm hand and held it for a minute before having to use it (condensation)?

  • Southpaw89

    My job has a side effect of periodically destroying my fingerprints, I would not feel safe with a gun that may decide not to fire just because I had to deal with some stubborn hardware at work.

  • Devil_Doc

    I use biometric identifiers at work that are more sophisticated than this, and I would hesitate to call them reliable…

  • sam

    He’s the anti-Royal Nonesuch.

  • marathag

    From all the times I have to swipe my finger across the fingerprint sensor on my laptop to get a good read:
    No thanks

  • Gordon J Davis Jr

    Biometric security doesn’t even work reliably with ordinary equipment – why would I trust my life to it?

  • WFDT

    I have a biometric gun safe. Sometimes it takes me six or seven tries to get into it. I kept the key in a nearby drawer, until I got a standard 4-button safe. Now the biometric safe is where I keep ammo.
    Biometrics are just not yet a feasible gun technology.

  • Tim Pearce

    Honestly, all the car safety devices seem to have increased the likelihood of stupidity behind the wheel. There are fewer consequences to being an idiot, now.
    The more we import this same thing to firearms, the less this culture of safety that pervades the shooting community will exist.

  • GRComments

    My hope is that only criminals get and use this. While they are trying to get it to work, I can either run (walk) away, fall on the ground laughing, or pull out my Ruger and shoot them. I might have a hard time explaining self defense. “Gee officer, I watched them for about 5 minutes trying to shoot me and then, since I was afraid for my life, I shot them first.”

  • phigmeta

    This seems like an awful lot of effort to prevent what is in fact natural selection. “but what about the children” you say?

    OK I’ll be the bad guy here, if your are dumb enough or uncaring enough to place yourself and your children in harm’s way due to a sever lack of proper gun managment, well then its probably best to let darwin do what he does best. After all, stupidity seems to be passed though the parents.

  • Hensley Beuron Garlington

    Actually, the “Lawgiver” from “Judge Dredd” had a DNA reader and projectile stamp. Only Judges linked to a particular Lawgiver could fire them. And each projectile from the Lawgiver was somehow stamped with the shooter’s DNA so as to make it impossible to frame a Judge, which, was done in the 1995 film by Dredd’s clone brother.
    Again, showing even far into the future just how stupid such tech can be for firearms. I think this sort of thing would only make it good for use by correctional officers in a prison environment or something similar.

  • KidCorporate

    So I guess dead battery = dead operator. Kudos on the kid for taking some initiative but I think his talents are better applied to products that potential buyers might actually be interested in. That and I can’t imagine him not getting sued to the moon the first time someone dies because their gun won’t unlock.

  • Warren

    An unnecessary device dependent upon charged batteries, one-equals-none electronics, lack of dirt/grime, clear weather conditions, and the engineering skills of a teenager .. before I can use it to save the lives of myself and my loved ones. Sign me up!!

  • Sulaco

    Weither it works or not is not the issue. The left is waiting for someone to claim it does and market even one to the public. Several states have laws pending that will in that instance make “smart guns’ the only guns that can be sold or possessed.

  • Sulaco

    ALL cops in NY, Maryland, New Jersey and CA should be immediately required to carry this gun and no other!! Won’t be any cops working within 24 hours.

  • billyoblivion

    He didn’t invent, he assembled.

    Other people have made these sorts of devices before.

  • TyroneAlfonso2

    Excuse me, Dredd’s Lawgiver used DNA, not fingerprints to activate.

    I’m disappointed in your fact checking. Work on it!

  • Jib Halyard

    Neat idea I suppose, for those that like that sort of thing. My only concern is the possibility of these things becoming mandatory, like seatbelts in cars.

  • buzzman1

    What happens when the battery runs down or corrodes? Youre screwed

  • Judas Priest

    At the same token, it could programmed to reject a gun owner based on political affiliation, sex, race, religion, etc. Gun safety depends on the owner of the firearm, period. This is a perfect tool for the government to seize control of modern firearms and keep them out of the hands of Patriots. However, being a kid, he hasn’t thought everything out quite yet, nor his parents for that matter. This finger print type control measures/legislation is always being brought up. Thank god for the NRA.

  • Judas Priest

    Moreover, the young man addresses the fact that the weapons from Sandy Hook incident were stolen and had a technology like his been active upon it, the weapons would’ve been rendered useless.

    This is an assumption, based upon the fact that the technology could’ve been tricked. Sort’ve like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound. Maybe he can create a technology or chemical that will permanently pacify psycho murderers from killing people like Victoria Soto, 27, as she tried to protect her class of first grade students from gunman Adam Lanza.