Tandon students won $1M for designing a smart-gun

It was designed to reduce gun violence

It seems like it's time to give our fellow NYU students out in Brooklyn a LOT more credit, especially as some of them might just be responsible for a major breakthrough in regard to decreasing gun violence in America.

Sy Cohen, Ashwin Raj Kumar, Eddilene Paola Cordero Pardo and Jonathan Ng – all students at NYU's Tandon School of Engineering – won a $1 million smart gun design contest. The news was announced by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on Monday.

NYU's Tandon School of Engineering

NYU's Tandon School of Engineering

The four students designed a vinyl gun holster that was engineered to prevent gun violence by those unauthorized to bear arms by way of three main features that prevent anyone but the gun's owner using it. These include a fingerprint sensor that must be matched by the owner before the gun is removed from the holster, a key card-like sensor worn on the owner's lapel that can also release the gun, as well as a voice recognition device set up to match the authorized owner's voice in order to free the gun.

"We started this because we want to reduce accidental deaths and stolen guns," said Cohen to the New York Daily News. "This conquers both."

The students believe that the product, once patented, will be easily accessible as its design relies on a mix of technology that has already been developed.

"We'd like to reach out to law enforcement, civilians and possibly gun manufacturers," said Cohen.

Beating out competitors from the New York City College of Technology and the Pratt Institute, the team members were also awarded an extra $10,000 from Adams' discretionary funds to further their research.

A retired NYPD captain and the mastermind behind the competition, Adams expressed his support for the result, stating that "Brooklyn is taking a meaningful step forward for our nation and our world in advancing a future where smarter guns and safer streets are a reality."