The Michigan State Capitol in Lansing is the first state capitol in the country to use artificial intelligence (AI) to detect people brandishing firearms.
The system is called ZeroEyes and uses a powerful AI to analyze over 36,000 images per second from security camera feeds to detect firearms. ZeroEyes has been trained by the company with over one million images. It takes the system only three to five seconds from identifying a person carrying a gun to a first responder being dispatched to the scene.
After the system detects a firearm, it will notify trained monitors in the 24/7 ZeroEyes Operation Center (ZOC). The monitors will review the footage to confirm the AI findings. All ZOC technicians are either former military or law enforcement. If the human monitor determines the AI is right, they will then dispatch officers to the site.
With more real-world experience, the AI will reduce false alarms and detect firearms more easily.
The ZeroEyes system is so precise that it can give a visual description of the suspect, the location, and the type of firearm being detected. ZeroEyes’ main marketing focus is government buildings, school campuses, and military facilities. The US Air Force will be the first military branch to use the system.
“ZeroEyes is a welcomed force multiplier,” said Major Jordan Criss, Commander of the 325th Security Forces Squadron. “This system will increase the situational awareness for our response forces through advanced threat detection analytics and automated threat alerting, providing both a rapid and accurate response. During an active shooter situation, time is critical, and saving time means saving lives.”
Michigan officials believe ZeroEyes the AI system is necessary as political unrest in the state and the nation grows. Michigan has recently passed numerous draconian gun laws that have upset the masses.
Some of these gun laws include extreme risk protection orders (ERPO), better known as “red flag” laws, “safe storage” laws, and now requiring a permit to purchase a long gun. Before 2023, Michiganders needed to get a permit to purchase a handgun. Currently, they must get a permit to buy any firearms, including long guns.
Another recent law requires a locking device to be used on all firearms. This so-called “safe storage” law could delay the time it takes someone to retrieve their firearm during a home invasion. ERPOs are constitutionally dubious because of the lack of due process. Someone could lose their gun rights in an ex-parte hearing where they are not allowed to defend themselves.
A militia, upset by Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID restrictions, also plotted to kidnap the Governor. According to defense attorneys, twelve of the nineteen militia members were working for the FBI. The FBI admitted to at least three undercover informants and two undercover FBI agents in the group.
“As the political climate grows increasingly tumultuous, it’s imperative that we remain vigilant and attuned to our surroundings,” said Rob Blackshaw, Executive Director of the Michigan State Capitol Commission. “I want visitors and those that come to work here every day to understand that, irrespective of external circumstances, our building remains a secure haven, and ZeroEyes plays a pivotal role in ensuring that safety. The accuracy of its technology and proficiency of its staff are truly exceptional.”
Former Navy SEAL and ZeroEyes co-founder and CEO Mike Lahiff agrees with Blackshaw’s assessment of the rise of political violence. He believes that the system will help keep the Capitol safe from violence.
“We are currently witnessing an alarming surge in political violence, and the Michigan State Capitol’s dedication to ensuring the safety of its staff and the community is commendable,” stated Lahiff. “ZeroEyes takes pride in being selected to help ensure safety in this important and historical building.”
The rise of AI is affecting everyone’s lives. The gun world is not exempt. As AI improves, its detection ability will only grow. Soon, AI will not only be able to detect someone brandishing a gun but also detect concealed firearms carriers.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist; he has written about firearms and interviewed people of all walks of life. Mr. Crump lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on X at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.