RFID Weapons Tracking

RFID Weapons tracking system

The primary differences between barcode and RFID technologies, are that all tags in proximity to a RFID antenna or mobile scanner can be detected all-at-once from distances of 25’+, and RFID-tagged items can be passively identified and tracked at Issue-Return windows and at exit doorways without staff being required to physically scan a RFID tag or barcode label.  Additionally, mobile RFID scanners include a ‘Locate’ function that enables needed or missing item identification numbers to be input to the mobile scanner, and rapidly located utilizing frequency of beeps, cold-warm-hot color scale and 0 to 100 numeric index.


USB RFID-barcode scanners include two (2) triggers, one of which prompts barcode scans, and the other trigger which prompts RFID scans.  As such, serialized RFID items, serialized barcoded items and non-serialized barcoded items can all be scanned with a single scanner during Issue-Return transactions.  USB scanners can be utilized with tracking stations, including:

  • A computer or laptop that is mounted on a desk or work surface in an armory or warehouse.
  • An all-in-one computer with touchscreen monitor can be mounted on wall in proximity to Issue-Return windows or at doorways that are used for transacting Issues and Returns, and the USB RFID-barcode scanner can be placed on shelf or can be mounted on wall for easy removal for scanning and returned to wall mount when not being used.
  • Laptops, workstation computers or tablets can be permanently placed on rolling carts, or moved from work surface inside of the armory to a cart at time of Issues and Returns and then returned to the work surface after Issue-Return transactions are completed.

                                         Figure: RFID Weapons tracking system with a rolling cart


RFID technology supports the use of network connected readers to which one (1) or more RFID antennas can be mounted that communicate directly with armory management weapon tracking software, including automates updates to the software whenever a RFID-tagged item passes through an Issue-Return window.

                                            Figure: Example Armory RFID Issue-Return window


  • Computer, laptop or tablet.
  • Fingerprint scanner to authenticate personnel.
  • RFID antenna for passive tracking of RFID-tagged weapons and items.
  • USB RFID-barcode scanner for manual tracking of RFID and barcoded items.
  • Electronic signature pad to validate transfer of custody.


Armory and warehouse doorways can be outfitted with RFID reader and antennas to identify RFID-tagged weapons as they approach exit-points to prevent the unauthorized removal of weapons from armories or warehouses.  RFID security and tracking doorways also include an alarm light emitter and video camera to alert armory and other personnel in proximity with horn alert and flashing lights.  

The RFID antenna detects the weapons within approximately 10’ of the doorway and automatically transmits the weapon tag number(s) to the armory management tracking system software.  If a weapon that approaches an exit-point has not been authorized for removal, the horn alarm, flashing lights and software alerts are automatically triggered.  If personnel have RFID ID cards, the person attempting to exit the armory or warehouse with a weapon unauthorized for removal, the armory management software will identify the person in an automatic audit trail history record in the software including:  time, date, doorway location, weapon(s) that were attempted to be removed, the person attempting to remove the weapons and link to video and/or photos of the event.

RFID Weapons Tracking System


Figure: Example Armory Weapon Tracking and Security Doorway


State-of-the-art RFID armory management weapon tracking systems also support long-range antennas that provide a tag detection distance up to approximately 75’, enabling entire armories and warehouses to be continually and fully monitored and inventoried real-time.  All RFID tagged weapons, gear, magazines, ammo, cartons and cases are constantly tracked.  If an RFID-tagged weapon or item exits the weapons armory or weapons warehouse, the armory management weapon tracking software is automatically updated with Location = ‘Out of Armory’ or ‘Out of Warehouse’.

                  Figure: Example Real-time armory and warehouse identification and tracking


Mobile RFID-barcode scanners are available with smart device (an industrial version of a mobile phone) or a tablet PC to provide important armory management functions. A belt holster is available to hold the mobile scanner when not in use, and the tablet includes rotating hand-strap, so that armory or warehouse staff can utilize the tablet or smart device with both hands, and then can retrieve the mobile scanner from holster when scanning is required.

Both smart devices and tablets are synced real-time to the mobile scanner via Bluetooth, similar to how a speaker is synced to a mobile phone or tablet. The mobile scanner can automatically update the armory management weapons tracking system software if there is WiFi, and if there is not WiFi, the mobile scanner data syncs with the armory management weapons tracking software by Ethernet connection or by utilizing the USB port of a PC, laptop or tablet.

                              Figure: Example Mobile RFID-Barcode scanner and optional Tablet PC



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