New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey this week took part in the announcement of $1.14 million in federal appropriations to the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) for additional research and development of a more secure personalized handgun. The funds will supplement $2 million that the state has appropriated for the childproof gun technology.

"We routinely require that toys, medicine bottles and automobiles meet safety standards to protect the lives of our children," said McGreevey. "As governor, I was proud to make New Jersey the first state in the nation to extend those safety standards to handguns. New Jersey will continue to lead the way in this critical safety issue. The new federal funds will enable NJIT to continue developing and testing a most promising technology to allow manufacturing of childproof and accident-proof handguns."

One year ago, the governor signed "Smart Gun" legislation that requires manufacturers to make all new handguns completely childproof three years after the attorney general determines that the user recognition technology is commercially available. Smart gun technology prevents anyone, except the recognized user of the gun, from firing the weapon.

During this time, NJIT has made great progress and built partnerships with manufacturers to develop a prototype using a biometric identification scheme based on Dynamic Grip Recognition technology. The technology identifies the holder of the weapon based on the pressure pattern exerted on the gun grip. This pattern is unique to the individual, reproducible and measurable. It provides the only approach to biometric identification that has proven feasible for handgun security.