Gun control has become a hot topic in the U.S. because of growing number of mass shooting in schools and while government officials and lobbyists continue with their debate, the scientific community believe blockchain could help in gun control.
According to a professor at the Washington State University, blockchain can be used to create a database that will help track firearm information. According to Thomas Heston, people owning guns can upload their information to an ‘electronic safe’ that will be tied up with their biometric data e.g. fingerprint.
The blockchain-based database containing the gun information will then be used to track the creation and sale of guns, and the data would be instantly verifiable. According to the researcher the information in the database will be protected from hacking because of biometrics and on top of that because the information recorded is unalterable, it could help deter gun-related injuries. Another benefit would be that it would boost the accuracy of background checks.
If we look at the current statistics as many as 3,000 people manage to pass through background checks even though some of them shouldn’t be able to ideally. Those in favor of use of blockchain in gun control believe that it could also lower gun theft and misuse in areas that are plagued with crime as a weapon could be quickly traced.
There are opponents of this technology as well. The state of Arizona has already passed a law that bans use of decentralized technology to track guns. They have done it citing privacy risks.
Implemented or not, blockchain-based gun database or some other method the idea definitely adds an interesting wrinkle to an already contentious topic. While privacy risks are appreciated, blockchain-based database does have its own benefits. However, such an endeavor would have to be pushed by the federal government as each state has their own unique laws.