Smart Guns, Dumb Law

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The real question, of course, is when are they going to develop smart bullets?

Manufacturer joins the state's 'smart gun' effort
By Tom Bell
Associated Press

TRENTON—Officials at the New Jersey Institute of Technology say efforts to develop a "smart gun" have taken another step forward with the addition of a weapons manufacturer as a partner.

Taurus International Manufacturing of Florida agreed last week to try to design a handgun that would incorporate technology that would allow only designated users to fire it.

Nearly a year ago, New Jersey became the first state to enact a law that will require that new handguns for sale use such technology.

Opponents of the state's smart-gun legislation, including groups that promote the rights of gun owners, said smart-gun technology was still years from the market and would be legally challenged anyway.

"This whole legislation is just waiting for hundreds of lawsuits if it does happen," said Nancy Ross, spokeswoman for the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs.

Link via Free-Market.Net

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  1. You know who won’t be using any smart gun technology any time soon… law enforcement. That sector has already voiced its opposition to being stuck with the technology they’re trying to foist onto the rest of us.

    G

  2. Does this mean that I’ll have to get an electronics degree if I want to clean my handgun?

    Seriously, firearms are a relatively simple mechanical device. By adding all of these electronics you make the gun difficult to maintain, and susceptible to breakdown from the stress and strain of firing the weapon. Not to mention the possible price increases.

  3. Why boycott Taurus? Boycott New Jersey for mandating the technology, not Taurus for attempting to develop it.

  4. When this technology is demonstrated and several generations old I’ll be getting one. I think the risk of having my gun used against me is greater than some scenario where I’m incapacitated and a friendly bystander helps out. I assume they will be capable of identifying multiple users. Myself, my wife, kids, and maybe a neighbor or two. I don’t really see a problem with the core technology.

  5. All the world needs is a reason to make a copy of a Beretta 92 series yet larger …

  6. “By adding all of these electronics you make the gun difficult to maintain, and susceptible to breakdown from the stress and strain of firing the weapon.”

    Maybe that’s why NJ exempted law enforcement from this law. God, if anybody needs “smart guns” it’s cops, but that’s another story.

  7. Why boycott Taurus? Because they are buckling to the demands of, and thus facilitating, the anti-gun forces in this country. Just as Colt did.

    If Taurus succeeds in creating a semi-workable smart gun, it will set off an avalanche of lawmaking as anti-gun forces try to get it mandated everywhere. This is bad. I will do my bit to punish Taurus for helping a bad thing come to pass.

    I don’t really see a problem with the core technology.

    As a freely chosen option, I wouldn’t care. I won’t choose it. But the game here is, of course, to make this mandatory as part of the overall anti-gun project. As a mandate, I am opposed to it. Taurus is bringing that mandate closer.

  8. Taurus isn’t merely buckling to the demands they’re facilitating them. The law is written such that it only comes into play when the AG decides (don’t get me started) that the technology is available. If every maker says ‘hell no’ then the tech won’t exist and the law is irrelevant. Unfortunately, Taurus sees a solid profit motive here. Our job is to disabuse them of that assessment.

  9. I think the risk of having my gun used against me is greater than some scenario where I’m incapacitated and a friendly bystander helps out.

    God, I’m proud we have readers who have thought such matters through.

  10. amr –
    Unfortunately, sometimes people need to be shot.

  11. Matt said “I think the risk of having my gun used against me is greater…”

    Well, I guess you’re not shooting them far enough away then.

  12. “I think the risk of having my gun used against me is greater than some scenario where I’m incapacitated and a friendly bystander helps out.”

    That is up to you, but my situation may be different. I live in KY. I have a CCW, my wife has a CCW, and three of my best friends have CCWs. Another two or three of my friends shoot but haven’t made the commitment to carry.

    Let ’em build it and see if the market will support it. Personally, once you have a drop safety and either a double action trigger or a Glockish setup, I don’t wan’t any more things to keep my weapon from going bang. I don’t even like external safeties like the normal Tauruses have.

    A wise instructor once said, “The loudest sound in a gunfight is when your gun doesn’t fire.”

  13. Regarding Matt’s post on his fear of being unable to keep his gun out of an attackers hands, Tim Cavanaugh replied:

    “God, I’m proud we have readers who have thought such matters through.”

    I think if Tim thought a little about how often police officers have their weapons taken by criminals and used against them, he might understand that both cases are a rare occurence (more frequent if you are around criminals all the time).

    The fact is that the liklihood of either event happening is very small – just like the risk of being attacked at all.

    It is unlikely that my house will catch on fire – but I own a fire extinguisher *just in case* a small fire starts. It might save my home. Of course, any sane person would call the fire department and get out of harms way if the situation was beyond their control.

    It is unlikely that someone will become injured in my home – but I own a first aid kit *just in case* an injury occurs. It might save a life. Of course, any sane person would call the paramedics if the situation was beyond their control.

    These are things that any good ready.gov reading citizen does – and businesses can be fined for not providing these basic safety devices for their employees.

    It is unlikely that someone will attack myself, a family member, or a friend – but I own a fire arm *just in case* someone attacks. It might save my life. Of course, any sane person would call the police department and get out of harms way if the situation was beyond their control.

    …but people who prepare for violent crime are silly to worry and simply haven’t thought things through as well.

    I wonder if this was ever the case with fire extinguishers and first aid kits.

  14. R.C. Dean wrote –
    “Sad, really – I was looking at one of their .17 HMR pistols the other day.”

    How many guns do you have, R.C ?

  15. I think if Tim thought a little about how often police officers have their weapons taken by criminals and used against them, he might understand that both cases are a rare occurence (more frequent if you are around criminals all the time).

    The only murder trial I ever covered involved a stolen police handgun, so in my experience it happens 100 percent of the time.* Even if my experience doesn’t tell the full story, I applaud Matt’s logic. Hell, I’m surprised he’d give his code to the wife, kids and neighbors. If it were me, those would be the people most likely to use the gun against me.

    * On second thought, the weapon was used to kill somebody else, not the cop, but I did see a World’s Wildest Police Videos where a policewoman got beaten to a pulp and shot with her own weapon. They had dashboard footage, so I can not only imagine this scenario, I can picture it.

  16. It should be inherently obvious to anybody, that if you have a gun there is a chance that it can be taken away from you and used against you. The answer to this is to make sure that if you do carry and are in a position where the gun comes out focus on two things. First get a safe distance away, maintain that distance, and inform the attacker that any attempt to close will be fatal. The second important point is, if you pull it; make sure that your ready to use it.

    7.62

  17. Tim Cavanaugh said:

    The only murder trial I ever covered involved a stolen police handgun, so in my experience it happens 100 percent of the time.*

    Ok, now that is just silly. By that reasoning, every time I go to Montreal I should be robbed at gunpoint… because it happened once (pretty ironic eh? Canada is supposed to be safe and gun-crime-free!).

    [But his gun was so CLEAN! And he had “free healthcare”! ;)]

    Tim footnoted:

    * On second thought, the weapon was used to kill somebody else, not the cop, but I did see a World’s Wildest Police Videos where a policewoman got beaten to a pulp and shot with her own weapon. They had dashboard footage, so I can not only imagine this scenario, I can picture it.

    I can picture a lot of things that are unlikely to happen. Police officers get a lot of training on weapon retention – but not all officers are proficient with their weapon, and these officers are a danger to themselves and society as a whole.

    A friend of mine is a Police firearms instructor. Last time I went shooting with him, he was very frustrated because he had flunked 2/3 of his police department in their yearly* qualification.

    To illustrate his frustration, he set up the same test for my girlfriend (who was raised to be fearful of guns – and had only fired a gun once before). She passed! The police failed.

    The chief’s solution was to “give the failing officers an easier test” because they didn’t have enough officers to cover the work schedule.

    In summary, I’m not suprised that you saw video of an officer who could not defend themselves – they are probably a few on every police force. The officers who take their safety seriously don’t usually end up on Worlds Wildest Police Videos.

    Then Tim went on:

    Even if my experience doesn’t tell the full story, I applaud Matt’s logic.

    So even though your argument is based on a flawed premise, you stick to your guns. 😉 Convenient. You can applaud all you want, but I think you’re silly.

    Finally Tim closed with:


    Hell, I’m surprised he’d give his code to the wife, kids and neighbors. If it were me, those would be the people most likely to use the gun against me.

    To my knowledge, my family members and neighbors don’t wish me dead, but I’m not you.

    I have to wonder though what you do to these people so that you think they’d want to kill you – with your own gun.

    I’m also wondering about a man who apparently fears being disarmed and murdered by his own kids. 😮 You’re not a Mr. Minendez are you?

    ————
    * Yes Police officers here are only required to fire their weapon once a year to be qualified to carry it.

  18. First, I think he was joking.

    Second, your spouse is probably the most likely person in the world to kill you, statistically speaking.

  19. “I don’t really see a problem with the core technology.”

    Yer kiddin me, right? This is a lot like California mandating zero emission autos. Great idea. Now if we can just figure out how to build them!

    Here’s a short list of the schemes I have heard of, if anyone has heard of something obviously better, please tell me.

    The “magic ring”. A magnetic ring that unlocks the guns safety when in close proximity.

    Pros: cheap, simple.
    Cons: Where did I put that damn ring?
    Need ring for both hands, in case strong
    hand is compromised.
    Family and friends need rings.
    If grip on gun is poor (haste, etc…)
    reliability goes way down.

    The “Transmitter”. A transmitter is located on your person that unlocks the gun.

    Pros: Kind of simple. Garage doors have been out there a while.
    Cons: Where did I put that damn …
    As reliable as a garage door opener.
    Batteries.
    Interference.
    Thug that is struggling with you over gun
    possesion is close enough to the transmitter
    to shoot you.

    The “fingerprint reader”. Reads users fingerprint(s).

    Pros: Great security.
    Cons: Expensive, sophisticated optics and
    electronics.
    Grease, dirt, etc. on fingers is big
    reliability problem.
    Batteries.
    Must have perfect grip on gun.

    Geez, would anyone consider putting any of this crap on their home fire extinguisher? Think about how “excited” you would be if you needed to put out a fire pronto. Now multiply by an order of magnitude if you needed to shoot someone pronto.

    My belief is, gun companies that sign up to do “smart gun” research are simply looking for grant money. I have yet to hear of one technology that I would have any faith in. Gun makers have yet to come up with a PROPOSAL that makes sense, much less a product.

    New Jersey should just cut to the chase, and ask gun makers to start work on a phaser, complete with stun setting.

  20. When I pick up a gun, the first thing I do is determine whether it is loaded, including whether there is a round in the chamber. A law was proposed that would require an indicator that would show whether there was a round in the chamber or not. How can someone stupid enough to need such an indication understand what it meant? And who will write the insurance policy for the first time one of these gadgets fails?
    What we really need is a law that says any law that disarms the public must also guarantee the safety of that public, and compensate any member of the public for a failure to protect. Want to guess what that would cost?

  21. Mommies, don’t let your babies grow up to be crackheads.

  22. Well, they’re working on steerable rounds.

    Of course, it’d take a lot of steering to make a bullet avoid an innocent bystander.

    Oh, and we’ll also need a system that tells the bullet who is innocent and who is a bad guy trying to kill you (or someone else).

    Honestly, if I’m incapacitated, I don’t care who uses my gun in defense of my life. I’d rather not have to make a list.

    Haven’t people learned that Hackers will find a way to bypass the system a few days after it’s released?

    …I know – the law only says that they have to use the technology – not that it has to work.

  23. They should just program guns not to fire at people. That way everbody’s safer.

  24. Well, I will be joining Kim du Toit in a boycott of Taurus products. Sad, really – I was looking at one of their .17 HMR pistols the other day.

  25. R C Dean –
    A few years ago, an apartment down the street caught fire. The police shut down a major street for the better part of a day because firemen had called in experts to dispose of “an arsenal of weapons found inside”.

    What was the tally?

    Two handguns, a rifle, and a shotgun!

    I call that a “baseline collection”.

    1 handgun for personal defense
    1 handgun for marksmanship practice
    1 rifle for hunting/marksmanship practice
    1 shotgun for home defense

    Heck, I know a guy who owns over 200 machine guns. It’s all legal, but I’m sure the media would still make it sound like a big deal.

    The only people who need to worry would be anyone breaking in while he’s there – since I don’t know many other people consider an M-16 and about 50 32 round magazines “ready to rock” as their “home defense” weapon.

  26. TJ –
    What about the “Judge Dredd” method that implants a DNA sample of the shooter in every round?

    …didn’t that backfire on Judge Dredd though? I don’t remember the movie that well.

  27. How many guns do you have, R.C?

    Not quite enough.

    Four rifles, two handguns, and a shotgun with a slug barrel and a bird barrel. Pretty minimal, really.

  28. “They should just program guns not to fire at people. That way everbody’s safer.”

    Cool, I’ll be over to rape your wife sometime next week.

    Judge Dredd, I saw part of that last night, O MY GOD what a piece of crap.

  29. Do not accept as friend anyone who is not as good as you.

    I found someone who’s better than me, but he won’t accept me as a friend.

    Hey, how about a tattoo reader? Easier to read than fingerprints. Tattoo yourself with a unique tattoo and use a bar-code reader to detect it.

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