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In Colorado, 2 Proposals to Block Firearms from Schools, based in Denver, is offering its threat detection software to K-12 districts free of charge. The company’s initiative was followed by state legislation calling for school grants to pay for security systems.

A Colorado software company is offering its artificial intelligence powered threat detection tool to school districts free of charge as lawmakers in that state consider legislation to fund campus security systems that protect students from mass shootings.’s Threat Awareness System, which, according to its website, can identify weapons, masks, bulletproof vests, and humans by gender and age “with no need to see a face,” has already gone online in some schools, according to Matt Frary, a strategic adviser with the company. He said the company’s commercial success selling security systems to convenience stores allows it to donate to learning institutions.

“It just seemed like the right thing to do to then leverage the core of that technology to protect children,” Frary wrote in an April 1 email to Government Technology. “It should not be expensive to protect our kids.”

Frary wrote that in the interest of protecting schools and to not “inadvertently tempt the wrong kind of people to try to test it,” he cannot disclose which districts so far took his company up on the free offer. But he did provide an explanation of how the tool works.

The open source software employs machine learning and a system of algorithms that can connect to cameras at the site and direct them to look for visible weapons. If the system spots a partially visible weapon, it provides a confidence level percentage (that a weapon has been identified) to the system administrator, who then decides whether to issue an alert.

The software does not use facial recognition, nor does it collect personally identifiable information. It detects threats in real time, acting like a sensor but not storing information “that would be concerning,” Frary wrote.

“The software has been trained on thousands of weapons that have been used in past shootings, as well as on other threats such as knives,” he wrote.

According to’s website, the company also makes license plate recognition systems and financial document verification tools.

The Colorado General Assembly, meanwhile, received House Bill 24-1123, “Funding for School Safety Firearm Detection Systems,” earlier this year. It calls for a grant program that would provide school districts with money to purchase, install and operate firearm detection software.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Brandi Bradley, R-39th District, emphasized on her website that it’s up to individual school districts to “opt in” and apply for grants. Although the legislation has potential to mitigate gun violence in school, the decision on whether to obtain threat detection systems is ultimately up to school leaders.

The bill passed through the House Committee on Education on March 21 and now awaits action from the Appropriations Committee, according to the Colorado General Assembly website.
Aaron Gifford has several years of professional writing experience, primarily with daily newspapers and specialty publications in upstate New York. He attended the University at Buffalo and is based in Cazenovia, NY.