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Gun Safety Consortium Looking To Test 'Smart Gun' Products

Courtesy: Gun Safety Consortium
The Gun Safety Consortium is already testing some products, and wants to test more recent technology.

Cincinnati and seven other Ohio cities are part of an effort to encourage the production of technology to make guns more secure. The Gun Safety Consortium is requesting proposals for "smart gun" products like quick-access gun locks and safes, and systems to enhance traceability of guns.  

"If I leave my phone at a restaurant, it locks up and nobody can use it," said consortium co-founder and Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. "But a gun left behind is used for the vast majority of inner-city violence and the vast majority of suicides."

The Cincinnati Police Department has given out more than 3,000 basic gun locks since 2005, and the locks are available for free at any district headquarters.

Cranley says more sophisticated technology is needed. The consortium is requesting proposals for new technologies like quick-access gun locks and safes, geolocating and systems to enhance traceability of guns. The group will purchase and test some of the products submitted.

"Government buys four out of every 10 guns sold in America — 40%," Cranley said. "And when you combine military and law enforcement, it made sense that we could have a consumer revolution."

The products developed could be used by the general public as well as police departments.

Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz says the consortium is non-partisan and focused on common sense solutions.

"This has nothing to do with laws, ordinances, regulations, restrictions," Kapszukiewicz said. "This is using the power of the free market … to encourage responsible behavior among the gun industry and among those who purchase guns."

The consortium includes about 30 towns, cities and police departments from 10 states. DiAne Boese, from the national faith-based organization Metro IAF, says they're recruiting other cities and local governments.

"We'll also begin work on the largest gun purchaser of all: the President of the United States," Boese said. "We'll ask the President to follow the lead of Mayor Cranley … and of all the members of this consortium."

The consortium is funded by member fees:

  • $10,000 for cities, counties or combined jurisdictions with population over 100,000 or annual budgets over $100 million
  • $5,000 for medium-sized jurisdictions
  • $2,500 for small jurisdictions
  • $2,500 for participating in product evaluation only (regardless of size)

The group has raised $115,000 so far. Members in Ohio are: 

  • Akron
  • Cincinnati
  • Columbus
  • Dayton
  • Lakewood
  • Orange Village
  • South Euclid
  • Toledo

The RFP is open through June 1. See the full request below:

Gun Safety Consortium RFP - April 2021 by WVXU News on Scribd

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.