Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams with members of the team Autonomous Ballistics, who won the $1 million capital grant prize for its smart gun design. Photo: Erica Sherman/Brooklyn BP’s Office

Winner was chosen by a panel of judges to have created the most promising design that could prevent unauthorized users from firing a gun.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams with members of the team Autonomous Ballistics, who won the $1 million capital grant prize for its smart gun design.
Photo: Erica Sherman/Brooklyn BP’s Office

On Monday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams awarded Autonomous Ballistics a $1 million capital grant prize for submitting the most promising proposal in his Smart Gun Design Competition.

The winners were part of a team of students from New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering (NYU Tandon) mentored by Adjunct Professor Anthony Clarke and that included team leader Sy Cohen, a Class of 2017 alumnus with a degree in mechanical engineering; Ashwin Raj Kumar, a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Jonathan Ng, a class of 2016 alumnus with a degree in mechanical engineering, and Eddilene Paola Cordero Pardo, an officer in the Colombian Navy and a Master’s degree student majoring in technology management.

The conclusion of this competition — held in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, the New York City Police Department, and the Smart Tech Challenge Foundation — featured a design expo in the Community Room of Brooklyn Borough Hall that included presentations from the five student teams that were named finalists last month.

According to two recent surveys including one by John Hopkins University, more than three quarters of all households said it would consider a smart gun when purchasing a firearm, with more than 40 percent of those surveyed expressing definitive interest.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams
Photo: Erica Sherman/Brooklyn BP’s Office

Several gun rights groups, including the National Rifle Association (NRA) and The Second Amendment Foundation, have given their blessing to smart gun technology, if it is not mandated and can be proven reliable.

Borough President Adams, a former police officer as well as a gun owner, praised all of the competing teams for contributing positively to the ongoing effort to end gun violence in Brooklyn.

“I am so proud of these incredibly innovative young people, who have channeled our collective pain from senseless gun violence into a purposeful mission of designing technology that can save lives,” said Borough President Adams, a longtime supporter of eliminating the threat of gun violence in Brooklyn.

Last August, he hosted the New York City Smart Gun Symposium, the largest-to-date gathering on advancing smart gun technology, in partnership with Washington Ceasefire, a leading gun safety advocacy group based in Seattle, and NYAGV.

“Today, 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,” Adams said.

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