Less Lethal and Smart Guns at Brussels Expo, Belgium, the 6th to the 7th of June 2007

During the Govsec / Law Enforcement / Ready! show at Brussels Expo, FN Herstal, the world’s leading manufacturer of small arms, will give a conference on two major topics. The speaker will be Thierry Jacobs, the business development manager of FN Herstal.

LESS LETHAL: FN HERSTAL’S CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS

The first conference is entitled “Less lethal: FN Herstal’s current developments,” and will be held on the 6th of June, from 11:00 to 12:00, in hall 11, room 1123.

According to NATO’s definition, less lethal systems are “explicitly designed and developed to incapacitate or repel personnel, with a low probability of fatality or permanent injury, or to disable equipment, with minimal undesired damage or impact on the environment.”

Since the early 1990s, FN Herstal has been involved in less lethal, which resulted into the introduction of the FN303 Less Lethal Launcher onto the market in 2003. The experience acquired on the market over the years has shown that the development of less lethal weapons and their use by peace-enforcing and peacekeeping forces are characterised by a complete lack of standards and references in many areas, e.g. medical, legal, social and environmental.

In October 2005, both FN Herstal and the University of Liege (Belgium), with the financial support of the research minister of the Walloon region of Belgium, set up a centre of excellence on less lethal. The main objective is to help to create standards and references and to provide users and political decision-makers with scientific tools to better understand, develop and use less lethal systems.

Thierry Jacobs will give an update on the centre’s achievements to date and the expectations in the short and medium term.

SMART GUNS: AN UPDATE ON THE NEW TECHNOLOGIES

The second conference is entitled “Smart guns: an update on the new technologies,” and will be held on the 7th of June, from 11:00 to 12:00, in hall 11, room 1123.

By definition, smart guns are small-calibre firearms equipped with captors and electronic device capable of identifying an authorised user and allowing or denying access based on the data collected by the captors. Data can include recognition of the firearm holder, his or her location and any other external conditions.

Originally designed by and for the US market, this concept rapidly extended to non-US countries. At this moment in time, this concept is still under development and many further steps are required until a real smart gun can be launched onto the market.

“In cooperation with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in the USA, FN Herstal is currently making tremendous investments in researching and developing the smart gun concept in order to guarantee optimal security for everybody,” stated Thierry Jacobs.

Since a smart gun will be capable of distinguishing an authorised user from someone who is not supposed to fire the weapon, this will inevitably avoid loss of life when weapons are taken intentionally or accidentally from their proper owner. Thierry Jacobs, in this second conference will give an overview on the status of this research.

All visitors are welcome to any of these two conferences. To pre-register for free entry to the conference room, go to www.fnherstal.com and follow the instructions on the homepage.
In parallel with these conferences, FN Herstal will exhibit its own law-enforcement product range at stand 11534, in hall seven. FN experts will also be available for demonstrations of the FN303 less lethal launcher during the two days.

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