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Sun Mar 17, 2013, 07:10 PM

San Francisco investors back tech startups to curb gun violence

(Reuters) - A new group of San Francisco Bay Area technology investors plans to back startup companies developing "smart guns" and other methods to curb gun violence, in response to the Connecticut school shooting last December.

Ron Conway, an early-stage investor who had backed Google (GOOG.O) and Twitter, among other companies, estimated that the group of more than two dozen venture capitalists and angel investors who fund fledgling projects would plow $15 million into 15 to 20 companies within a year's time.

"A year from now, we will be able to point to the Googles, the Facebooks and Twitters, who are working in gun safety," Conway told a news conference on Thursday.

"Smart guns" that won't fire without a technology check such as a thumbprint check or a wireless link to a special wristband, data-sifting software to improve gun purchaser background checks, and easier-to-use school warning systems are examples of the type of technology envisioned, the group said.



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