Smart Guns — They’re Ba-ack!
Much like the evil that came from beyond the static in Poltergeist, so-called smart guns are trying to reach out and take over your gun safe. No, that’s not an over exaggeration. Despite no interest from the firearms community, the smart gun concept is being pushed by gun control groups and the government as the greatest advancement in “gun safety”. That should be a clue.
As I wrote on May 6, 2016 — “Not So Smart Guns”, the technology these so-called smart guns are based on has been around for years, but with huge limiting factors. Hollywood loves to showcase this kind of technology as being 100% accurate in only allowing a designated person to fire the gun. In the real world, it is sketchy at best.
The previous state of the art was German made Armatix iP1, a 22 LR pistol which required a special watch be worn on the shooting wrist to communicate through RFID and unlock the gun. It also featured a time out lock feature and an optional Target Control module which would allow it to fire only at permitted targets. While the battery life and questionably l o n g time required to connect and unlock and the RFID were all reasons to not trust something like this with your life, it was very quickly discovered the security could be defeated quickly and effectively with… a small magnet. They didn’t even have to hack the perpetually insecure RFID technology, they just had to know where to place the magnet.
Fast forward to 2022 and we have three companies leading the new smart gun charge. SmartGunz, LodeStar and Biofire. These ‘new & improved’ smart guns use much of the same technology that has been tried before. SmartGunz uses RFID technology, albeit passive (but still hackable) with a ring containing an RFID chip. LodeStar also uses RFID technology with a ring or bracelet RFID chip, but also adds a fingerprint reader, pin pad and Bluetooth for smartphone activation. Biofire utilizes a fingerprint reader.
The downsides to all this tech? Well, the most obvious is battery life. All the tech in the world only works when there is sufficient charge to run the computer chips. Then of course there is the hackability of RFID, Bluetooth and the smart phone itself. Rings and bracelets get lost or simply not worn and anything that reads fingerprints doesn’t work with gloves or sweaty or bloody hands. Advertised limitations also include ONLY being able to shoot right-handed or with the hand with the RFID ring or bracelet on it.
The SmartGunz offering is reported to be in testing by an unnamed law enforcement agency, in the corrections field. In a recent video demonstrating the SmartGunz product, a range officer clearly says he’s going to fire two rounds but is unable to get the firearm to shoot the second one. The SmartGunz’s one model, with one magazine/battery, will retail for $2,195 or $1,795 for law enforcement.
SmartGunz was at the 2022 SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show, but despite claiming their product will be available for consumers by April 2022, did not bring a working model. Perhaps because they intend to sell directly to consumers but ship to a local FFL (Federal Firearms Licensee) to run the background check and deliver, they didn’t feel the need to show off a working model at SHOT. But then you’d think they’d want the industry’s leading manufacturers, wholesalers, dealers, trainers, and firearms experts in the civilian, law enforcement and military fields to be able see and potentially recommend what they are bringing to the market. Perhaps.
There is still no word on if the new smart guns will have GPS and remote lock capabilities, something built into the previous generation. The real danger surfaces when those two features are combined. Like the GPS software in newer drones, geofencing allows a virtual barrier to be placed around sensitive areas disallowing operation. The most common areas for drone operators are airports. Now move this into firearms restrictions. Government buildings, Post Offices and courts are the first to come to mind. But what about schools? Since anything within 1000 feet of a school is already a federally defined gun-free zone, your smart gun probably won’t work there. If you live within 1000 feet of a school, the Second Amendment won’t apply to you.
Now consider a riot, protest or disturbance of any kind in your neighborhood. The beauty of connected systems is a geofence can be set up anywhere, anytime. The first action taken to an incident in your neighborhood can easily be a gun-free geofence set up around it to protect the first responders. It won’t matter if you are the one lawfully defending yourself at the time, all smart guns will be shut down.
Like most people in the firearms industry, I have no issue with the development of new firearms technology. However, I do get concerned when it has the potential to be mandated. A 2002 New Jersey law banned the sale of any handgun EXCEPT so-called smart guns once they became commercially available. That law was replaced by a 2019 law that required all firearms retailers to offer smart guns for sale when available. While New Jersey is leading the way here, I expect other firearm restrictive states will jump on the bandwagon soon.
As a reminder, firearms are supposed to do ONE THING and one thing only, sending projectile out the end of the barrel every time the trigger is pulled. Anything that has even the remotest possibility of preventing that from happening is a threat to your life. Safety, security, and marksmanship are the sole responsibility of the owner, not a computer chip.
For someone like me who has invested many years of his life into the promotion and training of firearm safety, that ONE THING is EVERYTHING. Adding not-ready-for-prime-time electronics into something that is designed to be a last chance to save your life is unwise. I would hate to see a situation where someone bet their life or the lives of their family on a smart gun only to have it fail.
Remember, just because the government says something is safer and better for you, doesn’t mean it is. If you don’t believe that, go out and buy a new government approved design gas can. The good news is at least you won’t have to defend your life with it.
#Oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #2A, #GunControlFails, #SelfDefense, #NSSF, #SHOT, #Safety, #smartguns, #medium, #mewe, #parler, #gab, #gettr, #truthsocial, #oddstuffing.com