To say that gun control is a complex topic in American culture is a massive understatement, but there’s one point we can probably all agree on: Fatal accidents involving firearms are heartbreaking tragedies and any measure we can take to try to reduce or eliminate them is something we as a society need to consider. That said, 18 year-old Kai Kloepfer has a plan that could help end them for good.
In the second installment of Uproxx’s Webby-nominated series Luminaries, we introduce you to Kloepfer and his quest for safer firearms. Kai is currently developing an advanced fingerprint sensor that’s outfitted on the grip of a gun. When you pick up the gun, it scans the user’s fingerprint and if it’s a match with the gun owner’s, the user is free to fire. If the fingerprint does not match, the trigger locks. The sensor is designed to prevent children from picking up a misplaced weapon and discharging it — a problem that’s unfortunately far too common today — but it could also help to reduce the number of shootings that take place via illegally obtained firearms.
Kloepfer is entirely self-taught, having studied engineering on the internet and from simply taking things apart and rebuilding them. In fact, this project started as a high school science project. But thanks to infinite curiosity, sheer determination and a willingness to explore, Kloepfer may be able to pull off something no one has quite yet perfected.
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