Update: Dept. of Homeland Security weighs forcing passengers to wear stun gun bracelets on airplanes

Back in March, Gadling blogged about a firearm training system, Lamperd, which had patented a bracelet that worked like a stun gun when activated.

At the time, Lamperd was lobbying the Transportation Security Administration to make it mandatory for all airline passengers to wear one, with the thinking that it was the best way to thwart a terrorist.

Well, here’s an update.

The Department of Homeland Security, ever the shepherds watching over their flocks, appears to be seriously weighing making this bracelet mandatory and has sent a letter to Lamperd encouraging the company to draft a formal proposal for integrating its bracelet into flight security.

That’s right. Your tax dollars are funding the R&D arm of DHS, which wants to develop technology that acts essentially as a GPS attached to your wrist, allowing the government to track pretty much everywhere you go once you check in for your flight, and giving the flight crew the ability to waylay you if you get out of hand.

O.K., that might be overstating it: Officials say the bracelet would only be activated in the event of a terrorist attack. But still….

Here is a promotional video for the bracelet that piqued DHS’s interest.

The Washington Times today quotes a letter from DHS’s Paul S. Ruwaldt, of the Science and Technology Directorate, in which he writes to Lamperd saying, “To make it clear, we are interested in…the immobilizing security bracelet and look forward to receiving a written proposal.”

The Times says the letter was written on Federal Aviation Administration letterhead.

The Times goes on to detail what the bracelet could do. It would:

  • Eliminate the need to carry a boarding pass
  • Contain personal data about you, including your travel history
  • Monitor the whereabouts of both you and your luggage after check-in
  • Employ Electro-Musclar Disruption technology that could immobilize a passenger for nearly 10 minutes

Now, with all the idiotic things passengers have been doing on planes of late, I could maybe get behind employing some kind of bracelet stun gun.

But seriously, I consider all this with some foreboding. I mean, slipping a bracelet on a little kid that could deliver a shock powerful enough to make an electronic dog fence zap seem like a pinprick is a scary thought. What if a flight attendant accidently activates one of them?

What do you think? Would mandatory bracelets like these make air travel safer, or is this just another way for the government to look over our shoulders?

What other strange things have been found on planes?

Click the image to read the bizarre story…