Update on Smart Guns
By Jeff Brown
New Jersey legislators have offered to rescind the law if the NRA would drop opposition to smart gun technology. But surprise, surprise – it’s a red herring because – you guessed it – a bill has been introduced in the U.S. Congress to mandate smart gun technology even in used guns sold in the U.S. The “Handgun Trigger Safety Act of 2015” was introduced on June 2, 2015 and co-sponsored by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), two of the most rabid anti-gun legislators in the current Congress.
Under this proposal, all new guns would have to be smart guns and all used guns must be converted to smart gun technology when resold by dealers within 10 years. That’s right – dealers would need to retrofit all old guns that are resold. They would get some tax money to pay for this. The law also provides funding to develop this smart gun technology. Of course, this proposed legislation would nullify any deal out of New Jersey.
Smart guns are defined as “firearms equipped with small embedded computers that are intended to provide the capability of stopping anyone but the authorized owner from using the firearm,” according to a recent Forbes magazine piece by Joseph Steinberg called “Why You Should be Concerned about ‘Smart Guns,’ (Whether You Love or Hate Guns).” The focus today is on the human and computer-related problems of so-called “smart technology.” How “smart” does this sound to you?
1) All electronic devices require a power source. A smart gun will not function without one. Many of us have had an unpleasant surprise such as a dead battery with cell phones and power tools. During a critical firearm situation, this could be a deadly circumstance. Requiring a device to have a power source for emergency situations where one was not required before is not logical or safe. Warning systems for low batteries are not reliable for life and death emergencies.
2) Computers malfunction every day. Semi-automatic firearms jam, but can be cleared in seconds. How many of your computer malfunctions have you resolved in seconds?
3) There is a smart gun on the market that requires a watch to be worn within about 10 feet for the firearm to operate. Criminals could steal both the firearm and watch, grab the firearm, and use it against you at point-blank range. A PIN number to prevent this is a mind-numbingly stupid idea. Law enforcement officers would be unable to use their fellow officers’ firearms if needed.
4) Biometric firearms are slow to process. Fingerprint readers can be adversely affected by blood, sweat, and tears. Fingerprint authorization is not reliable since criminals know how to lift fingerprints and use them to authorize themselves as legitimate users.
5) Smart guns could be tracked or jammed by governments or organizations with equal access to technology, cash, and power. Our own government tracks us every day through many means.
6) Smart Guns are HACKABLE! It is very possible that smart guns with computer chips could be disabled or even worse discharged by someone other than the authorized user at any time.
7) If a firearm has the capability of not firing at a non-intended target, this clearly negates its use for self defense. This capability was intended to make guns safe for home storage around children.
8) Most telling of all is that NO police department currently uses this technology. Even New Jersey State police are exempt, although everyone else in the state will have to use smart guns when they are available there. That law already exists, but the police are exempt, and with good reason.
In another development reported by Michael Rosenwald at The Washington Post last month, the German engineer Ernst Mauch, who invented the smart gun iP1, the weapon I reported on in my previous article, has quit (or been ousted from) his position at Armatix, the firm that produces the firearm he designed.
This firearm was personalized technology that could only be operated while wearing a watch-like device that allowed the firearm to operate. Although Mauch gave no reason for his departure, there have been hints at disagreements with management over the company’s recent financial losses. The only known dealer selling this device in this country is an online Nebraska dealer that refuses to discuss U.S. sales figures.
While Armatix also refuses to discuss U.S. sales, the company confirmed to Fortune magazine last month that it had entered “Chapter 11-style restructuring proceedings in Germany,” a situation defined in an emailed statement as a “corporate restructuring, not an insolvency proceeding,” according to a company spokesperson.
It is apparent that by taxing and creating technology to increase the price and traceability of firearms and ammunition, the anti-gun advocates wish to make it impossible for law-abiding citizens to purchase firearms and ammunition. Their deals and assurances are built on lies, since their real agenda is to disarm all of us.