KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Knoxville's Safe Tech, Inc. makes a product called Saf-T-Round. The plastic slugs block guns from going off unintentionally.
"Accidents happen all the time. And even though training and discipline are helpful, you can not train away human error. This is a way of preventing the consequences," said Dr. Steve Silver, Safe Tech's president.
With a Saf-T-Round slug in place, you can't fire a live round without racking the gun first.
It might have made a difference back in September, when Stacy Duggan was shot in the back of her head by her 11-year-old son. Her gun was stored in a bed rail in the master bedroom.
"The child didn't need to be around the gun anyway or have access to it. But if he were to pick up a gun such as our service revolver or Glock and it had the Saf-T-Round in it, if he picked it up it would not go off," said Jimmy Davis, Assistant Chief Deputy with the Loudon County Sheriff's Office.
Seven police agencies in East Tennessee use Saf-T-Rounds, including the Loudon County Sheriff's Office. They're on all the shotguns in their cruisers.
One of the things Safe Tech is proud of is how easy it is to tell if the Saf-T-Round is in place. If you see an orange tab sticking out of the gun, it means the gun can't be fired without ejecting the Saf-T-Round first. Once the orange slug is ejected, your gun is instantly ready to go for protection. Still,
"It does not take the place of the training from a certified instructor. The Saf-T-Round is meant to be used in conjunction with qualified training," said James Marshall, a state firearms instructor.
Marshall said he uses them in all his classes and believes they can help save lives.
The US Military, Israeli Military, US Department of Energy and 400 police departments across the country use Saf-T-Rounds.
They're not available in stores yet, but you can find them online by clicking the link below.