Colonie

Latham startup firm ships gun safety devices

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Categories: Business

LATHAM — A local startup firm has begun shipping storage units designed to prevent unauthorized access to guns.

Vara Safety said the holster-style devices, which are manufactured in Rochester, went out to more than 400 pre-order customers on Aug. 31.

The high-strength metal alloy unit, called the Reach, uses biometric sensors to prevent access to a handgun by unauthorized individuals but allow instant release by the owner of the weapon. It currently is sold directly through Vara’s website.

Vara founder and CEO Timmy Oh’s ideas for gun safety have been honored repeatedly: He won Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Change the World Challenge in 2015, the Smart Tech Challenges Foundation in 2016, and then took first place among more than 2,000 entrants at the $100,000 New York State Business Plan Competition. Vara also received a $50,000 FuzeHub manufacturing grant and $15,000 from the state Workforce Development Institute to buy a CNC machine.

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