Safety catches do not always prevent firearm accidents and even newfangled biometric guns, which check the identity of a user by their fingerprint, cannot stop thieves from using stolen ammunition in other weapons.The way to make firearms really safe, says Hebert Meyerle of Germany, is to password-protect the ammunition itself.

The system would undoubtedly cost more than a conventional gun, but many firearm enthusiasts would surely pay a premium for such added security.

Read the password-protected bullets patent."The system would undoubtedly cost more than a conventional gun, but many firearm enthusiasts would surely pay a premium for such added security."Really?

I doubt it would add anything but novelty or collector value to any of the "enthusiasts" I know; such a mis-feature might make a gun valuable only in the same way a stamp printed upside down is valuable -- as an illustration of a mistake in manufacture.

There might indeed be a certain market for a gun hampered by this system, but it surely is not the United States, where many guns are purchased for defensive use.

Whatever your opinion of the mindset of those who choose to own personal firearms (an issue more complicated than the ends of the spectrum would have you believe), you probably wouldn't expect them to seek out new and complicated systems which would make their tools less reliable when called upon in an emergency.

Squeezing a complicated gewgaw such as here described into a modern firearm can't possibly make it *more* reliable, but it could certainly make it less.

What happens when the battery is dead -- does it fail useless (can't fire), or does the encryption system fail gracefully if power is removed, leaving the gun operative (and defeating its alleged purpose)? This is what happens when people don't ask the users what THEY want and think they are smarter than the users and say "I know what they want"...

This would only happen if a password entered into the gun using a tiny keypad matched one stored in the cartridge.

When they are sold, cartridges could be programmed with a password that matches the purchaser's gun.