The BlackHammer CyberPunk Project

Firearms Locks and Safety
By Rich

Safety Guns

The follow article was from a US government web site on developments in firearm safety. Obviously, no gun is "safe" their very nature is the exact opposite. Instead, Colt are saying that they can make firearms safer for the shooter - at least you won't be backshot by your own weapon. The original document is below:

Colt Manufacturing Co. has unveiled a prototype "smart gun" that fires only in the hands of its owner. The .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol uses radio-frequency technology to block an unauthorised person from firing it.

The gun resulted from a two-year, $620,000 study done by Sandia for the National Institute of Justice. After studying existing technologies that could be used in a smart gun and comparing those with the needs of law enforcement officers, Sandia identified the radio-based technology as the most promising approach. The smart gun will fire when activated by an enabling device called a transponder, which must be located within a few inches of the gun. The gun could not fire if it got too far away from the officer because a safety mechanism would be activated.

For Colt's prototype weapon, the transponder is worn on the wrist of the authorised shooter. But Colt plans to reduce the transponder to the size of a ring and make other improvements before it distributes 100 smart guns to police departments for field testing in about a year.

One out of every six police officers (about one a month between 1979 and 1993) who are killed in the line of duty are shot in "takeaway" incidents -- when adversaries seize an officer's gun and use it against the officer. The smart gun, in these incidents, would have "known" it was in the wrong hands and refused to fire. The new firearm will be ready for use by law enforcement agencies in about three years, according to Colt. The possibility of sales to the general public will be examined. It is estimated that the smart gun will cost about $900, compared with $600 for its corresponding conventional model.


So what does that mean for Cp2020? Well, smartguns are nothing new - they've been around since the teens (2013) and triggerlocks for them have been about for a similar period. For those of you who don't know, a triggerlock prevents anyone firing the smartgun unless a specified user connects to it. They cost about $200 and are frequently used by corporate security forces. [NB: a difficult weaponsmith roll will be able to reset the lock and program your own values in].

The older guns that had purely mechanical firing mechanisms have been slowly phased out and virtually all modern systems have an electronic trigger. This makes is easier to replace broken parts, use the new electrothermal enhancements or integrate with COT and smartgun systems. Those in the know [very difficult streetwise or difficult streetdeal rolls] may be able to source an older mechanical weapon.


So the prototype has some sort of hardware dongle that needs to be near the gun? The transponder was hidden in a ring and later models mounted it in a arm band. Of course, criminals caught on to the idea and they would check security personnel for obvious equipment. These early gunlocks were fixed to the firearm and around $200.

Later advances in the transponders saw them move to the office's badge - which by now had it's own biomonitor link and GPS locator. The badges cost around $300 although the signal is limited to around a mile, but this is more than enough to tap into the local cellphone system or be picked up by any overhead comms satellite. The GPs only kicks in if the biomonitor detects severe injury or the office triggers the system manually (requiring a 30 seconds and a passcode to kill the safety feature). The badge does not broadcast a GPs signal until activated - this is to avoid officers being picked up by security scanners! A watch version is available for $350 for those officers who don't wear a badge.

In any event, moving the gun beyond the range of it's transponder, normally 1m, will cause the weapon to seize until brought back or reprogrammed [a difficult tech roll at best].


For undercover operatives and the private security market, transponders where minimised to the size of a grain of rice. These "microtransponders" produced a weak signal that could be powered by the host's body. The only drawback was the need to implant the system very close to the gun, but this weak signal prevents anyone picking up a "ping" from the gun. The microtransponders cost £250 and are available from most gun shops and are common police optionware.

The gun will become inert if moved more than 50 cm away from the transmitter. You can sometimes spot a transponder user by the slight bump or scar on their trigger finger or in their palm (awareness rolls at suitable times please!!).

We don't need no stinkin' badges!

Given that Wireless Application Protocol for mobile phones and very flexible BlueTooth radio transmission system became very popular at the turn of the century, it didn't take too long for someone to develop a security application.

Later gunlocks had their own receivers and could be disabled remotely! Now stolen police weapons could be made safe so long as the gun was in the range of a the cellular phone network.

Rules, Rules, Rules

Gunlock System
The system adds a small receiver to the weapon's electronic trigger and will cause the gun to "lock" (i.e.: not fire) should the transponder be out of range. The basic gunlock systems are easy to fit and require an average weaponsmith roll. They can be bought from most weapon shops. The basic system costs $200 and comes with a wearable transponder.

The interactive gunlock can be shutdown via a remote signal. The signal will ping the gun and the lock can reply with it's nearest three cellphone transmitters and if it's safety is off (i.e.: not in active use). The broadcast station may allow the gun to emit a warning vibration or flashing LED sequence, warning the owner that it is about to be made safe. The warning allows the officer to radio in and must convince the operator that he is still the valid owner.

For those weapons that are somehow active yet outside the officer's badge range, no warning will be given and the system will lockdown AND start to broadcast it's location to the cellular network.


Type 1: Wearable Dumb Transponders
Costs $200 and requires the user to have a small transponder on their person. This may be picked up by using a radio scanner [difficult tech roll]. The wearables include watches, finger rings, police badges or armbands.

Type 2: Covert Transponder
These can be implanted in the host's hand and cost $250. The implant can be done in a matter of minutes and is very difficult to locate and remove. A persistent medtech might be able to find it given both time and a quality medscanner.

As usual... comments, suggestions and witty remarks can be sent here.