Monday, August 4, 2014

The Low Lifes Who Oppose "Smart Guns"

A smart gun by Armatix is pictured at the Armatix headquarters in Munich May 14, 2014.

A "smart gun" by Armatrix


Pro-gun groups are a significant obstacle for manufacturers trying to present safer firearms to the marketplace, one researcher believes.

Donald Sebastian, senior vice president for research and development at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), described the issue of “smart gun” technology as a “chicken-and-egg situation.” The aura created by most gun organizations — that a business will be boycotted or shut down if management attempts to stock shelves with safer firearms — discourages sellers from attempting to introduce the technology to consumers.

Take the German-based Armatix: the company created a pistol that cannot be fired without a corresponding radio-controlled watch held within 10 inches of the weapon. 

Twice, manufacturers announced plans to sell the gun, but soon reversed course in both instances because of intense backlash — including death threats — from gun rights activists.


The 'smart gun' fight rages on

“There is a barrier because gun advocacy groups like the NRA see the mandates as an incursion into Second Amendment rights; therefore, gun safety gets derailed in fights about gun control,” Sebastian told msnbc.

Smart guns could revolutionize the firearms business. But, advocacy groups fear that once such a gun reaches the market, the government could make the firearms mandatory and prevent people from buying traditional weapons. The NRA, along with Gun Owners of America, continue to push to prevent smart guns from reaching the market. The NRA didn’t respond to msnbc’s request for comment for this story, nor to messages left for previous articles.

The NRA previously warned that technologically-advanced weapons have the “potential to mesh with the anti-gunner’s agenda, opening the door to a ban on all guns that do not possess the government-required technology.”

The NRA, the country’s leading firearms group, doesn’t oppose new technological developments in firearms; however, members are opposed to government mandates that require the use of expensive, unreliable features, such as grips that would read an individual’s fingerprints before a gun fires, according to the organization’s website.

But people in favor of reform believe such systems could prevent future mass shootings. (In the United States, there have been at least 110 mass shootings, in which four or more people die, in the past six years.) New Jersey lawmakers adopted legislation in 2002 that will eventually require the state’s gun dealers sell only smart guns within three years after the first one becomes commercially available. The measure, however, had the unintended consequence of rallying opposition from pro-gun supporters to a single smart weapon.

Similar mandates have been introduced in Maryland and California.

New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said during an interview with msnbc in May that she would reverse her state’s existing law if the NRA agrees not to stand in the way of smart gun technology.

Another challenge with potential mandates is enforcing an exact definition of a “smart gun,” Sebastian said.

“How do you know when you have one? What are the performance specifications?” he asked.
Earlier this year, msnbc reported that smart guns were becoming more of a reality as manufacturers expected to continue testing prototypes throughout the year and politicians pushed for safer firearms on the market. The idea of “smart” firearms, also referred to as “personalized” and “owner-authorized” guns, took hold during the early 1990s when the National Institute of Justice authorized a study to find a solution to prevent law enforcement officials from being killed by their own weapons. The U.S. government started paying attention to the issue in the late 1990s, Sebastian previously told msnbc.

But without a commercial outcome, the issue remained dormant and only recently gained visibility in the months following the December 2012 shooting inside Sandy Hook Elementary School.


NJ Democrat would repeal 'smart gun' law

Several companies in Europe continue to develop models to make handguns safer, including lock mechanisms that cover triggers until an authorized user’s fingerprint is recognized. Additionally, NJIT is working with scientists from the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center in New Jersey to introduce prototypes with improved electronics and physical components than designs from the early 2000s. Earlier this year, Sebastian said he hoped as many as 25 prototypes would be introduced by late spring. But, now the fall is a more realistic time frame, he said.

Sellers can’t demonstrate the potential reliability of the weapons, however, until commercial guns are available in the marketplace, Sebastian said.

“This is why we need to separate gun safety from gun control. Gun control is a different issue, one in which we might never find a chord in our population,” he said. “Gun safety doesn’t have to be forced.”


  1. Gun buyers are always looking for new technology that will improve safety and performance. One example is the explosion of sales of gun safes using either biometrics or an electronic combination. I even own one. However, smart gun technology isn't reliable enough to bet your life on yet. This is well proven just by looking at New Jersey's law mandating their sale, yet exempting law enforcement and the military. If the technology is reliable, there is no need for this exemption since the advantages will still apply to the users in those government entities.

  2. No one, not even the NRA, believes dumb guns shouldn't exist. Nearly all rights supporters believe you can choose to own the type of gun you want. There are plenty of techie Bond geeks out there that would snatch these up and nobody is fighting that. However, government mandates on the ownership of guns like these will NEVER be tolerated by your average gun owner...much less obeyed by criminals.

    As a seasoned shooter, if asked for advice on what gun to purchase, I could not in good conscience recommend one of these to anyone. Aside from the improvable problems of this new technology (exorbitant cost, poor caliber/no caliber choices, 10-20% failure to fire rate), the inherent problems are what make this an unsafe (or DUMB) idea altogether:

    -The bracelet method will not prevent suicide; for if a gun was accessible before, then the gun AND bracelet will be accessible too (let alone other modes of suicide).
    -The bracelet will not prevent theft. At the fundamental level,a gun MUST be mechanical, not electronic. A pin must physically strike a primer. The gun will be disassembled by a criminal and the interlock will be bypassed. Or the computer will be tampered with. Or the criminal steals the bracelet too.
    -The bracelet transmitter can be easily jammed by a criminal or government agent rendering the entire weapon useless. Armatrix has already applied for the patents for the tech to "kill" their guns. Jammers can be composed of a simple cell phone.
    -The bracelet doesn't allow operation with the other hand.
    -The user likely will not have the time to put a bracelet on to respond to an attacker.

    The reason for the warning is simple. Anti-gun people in America are endlessly searching for ways to control the populace in regards to firearms. They will buddy up with these companies (who are profit driven) and rave for more regulations...more regulations...more regulations...

    The user above is correct. Cops are always losing their sidearms. Wouldn't they be all for this? Nope. Not one sane precinct would support a switchover and not one does. They are exempted from mandates like the one in NJ and they WANT to be. Additionally, there is nothing better to slingshot an emerging technology like a lucrative government contract. So I say until the LEOs prove it, debate over.

  3. You can bet cops won't or military. And the real good thing is (as mentioned)they can be jammed or just switched off for what 10 square blocks figuring low. So much for any 2nd it was intended.

  4. iP1 gun is not a suitable gun for home or self defense, due to caliber and failure rate. So, the "smart" function and the price are all secondary reasons to not consider purchase of such a product. Any dealer that offers such a gun for sale should never sell anything ever again, since they are endangering their customers and they know it.
    Back in the 60's smart guns were sold to police by S&W and Colt. They worked exactly as designed. However, when the police looked at the unexpected results, they were promptly replaced by ordinary guns without the "smarts". The idea caused many more officer injuries and deaths.