TrackingPoint Patents Technique To Disable Guns Near Schools and “Gun Free Zones”

    TrackingPoint’s chairman John McHale applied for a patent (#20140182179) which describes an invention that can disable the trigger of guns, such as TrackingPoint’s smart rifles, if they are within school zones (1,000 ft. of a school), on the grounds of a federal facility or on the grounds of private business that bans private firearms. The patent was filed on December 31, 2012.



    The invention uses a GPS or mobile phone towers to determine location, sensors to determine orientation and a mobile/radio network connection to download a list of “gun free” locations from a central database. McHale suggests that a “Gun Free Zone” database could be maintained by the BATFE.

    The TrackingPoint AR smart semi-automatic rifle.

    The TrackingPoint AR smart semi-automatic rifle.

    From the patent application …

    The present disclosure is generally related to small arms firearms, and more particularly to location-based control of discharge of such firearms.

     In recent years, individuals have used firearms to kill or wound multiple victims in school environments, in movie theaters, and so on. Government agencies have established “gun free” zones prohibiting possession of a firearm within pre-defined areas, such as within a school zone or within government buildings. Additionally, some private companies have established “gun free” zones with respect to their business establishments. While such pre-defined areas may prevent lawful gun owners from carrying their weapons in such areas, a criminal may ignore such restrictions, carrying weapons into such zones. 

    Controller 114 may include a memory configured to store a database of gun-restricted zones. Alternatively, controller 114 may retrieve gun-restricted zone information from computing device 118 or from a data source coupled to network … Controller 114 may retrieve gun-restricted zone information on startup or periodically

    In general, the gun-restricted zone information may be maintained in a database. In one example, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms may maintain such a database and make the database accessible for searching. In another example, the database may maintain a list of school and government building locations and the controller may automatically calculate a distance from the perimeters of such structures to determine a gun-free or gun-restricted zone based on gun laws or other restrictions.

    The full patent application can be read here on the USTPO website.

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!