Gun safety and regulation have been strong in the minds of many Americans since the multiple mass shootings this year, and California Democratic Representative Katie Porter has some pretty strong feelings on the subject—and a striking example of how to fix the problem.
During a hearing where she was questioning Daniel Defense CEO Marty Daniel and Ruger Firearms' president and CEO Christopher Killoy on their companys' plans for improving firearm safety, she offered fingerprint scanners as an option for improving the security of their products and asked Daniel if his company would implement them.
Porter shared video from the hearing on Twitter.
"The question is: will you commit to adding fingerprint scanners as a safety technology to every Daniel Defense firearm? Yes or no."
"No ma'am, our customers are not interested in that.
In a second video, Porter used her iPhone to demonstrate safety technology available to gun manufacturers today.
This time she spoke to Killoy:
“This is a cell phone, Mr. Killoy. It scans my fingerprint each time I go to unlock it. Is this a weapon?"
"Can this fire bullets that shred people's vital organs...this phone?"
"No, Congresswoman, it can't."
Representative Porter countered:
"Then why should this device require more steps to operate than your company's firearms—which have been used in accidental shootings, mass shootings, and homicides?"
Killoy attempted a retort:
"Congresswoman, respectfully, your cell phone doesn't generate internal pressures of up to 60,000 PSI. The operating system of a firearm is extremely dynamic, extreme high pressures, lots of moving peices."
"And first and foremost, a firearm—especially one used for self defense—needs to function reliably."
But Porter wasn't going to listen to excuses.
"Okay, respectfully, reclaiming my time. These [...] fingerprint scanners are offered in some firearms. Some manufacturers sell this and they work."
"Your company, and Mr. Daniel's company, chooses not to."
To further prove her point, she again showed how fast it is to unlock her phone.
"Let me demonstrate again how long this takes. It's instant. It's instant when I pick up my phone."
Many people pointed out most industries had to be legislated into adding safety measures.
Some questioned why Daniel and Killoy didn't just take the Congresswoman's suggestion
A few pointed out other cell phone features that would be great for improving firearm safety.
There was a lot of support for Representative Porter online for her no-nonsense approach to issues.
The technology exists to make firearms safer, but many companies refuse to implement any.
Maybe it's time for legislation to motivate them toward safety, just like with other safety features like seat belts and air bags in cars.