If you believe yesterday’s article at sfgate,com, the future of firearms safety is almost here. Finally, the Europeans have found gun controllers’ Nirvana. Short of outright confiscation, anyway. The gun control industrial complex has thrown up their collective hands for years asking why America’s firearms manufacturers can’t produce a smart gun. We can put a man on the moon, but Smith and Ruger can’t market guns with biometric technology! What’s up with that? Well, German firm Armatix hasn’t quite cracked the biometric barrier, but they’ve developed an RFID-enabled pistol that, they say, will only work when it’s in close proximity to a watch the shooter wears. A few problems come immediately to mind, though . . .
First, there’s the company’s approach. Describing their “complete system,” Armatix says,
Smart System consists of a radio-controlled watch that is responsible for gun access and use.
Ill-informed marketing puffery? A little something lost in translation from the original Deutch? Annoying pedantism on my part? Probably some of all of the above.
In any case, as any responsible gun owner knows, the guy with the heater is the one in charge of gun access and use. And always will it be thus. Abdicating responsibility for securing and controlling a firearm — no matter how many whiz-bang gizmos stand between you and powder ignition — is a recipe for disaster, tears and possibly jail time.
Which brings us around to that whiz-bang technology. Wanna shoot their iP1 .22LR pistol? No prob. Just punch your 5-digit PIN into the watch. Which shouldn’t be simple in the dark. With a bad guy coming at you in your bedroom. At zero dark thirty.
Plan on toting it? Cool! Punch your code in, slip the gun in your pocket or holster and off you go, ready to rock. Just be careful because, as the Armatix site details, the gun has a 15-inch “operating distance.” So if you have your gun on your waist and reach over your head for something, there’s a good chance your gun will go dormant. You’ll just have to pop your code back in to wake it up. Assuming you realize it. Or will the gun beep when shutting down?
Leave aside caliber, as you’d expect the electronic guts of this thing could go into a 9mm as easy as a .22. Whatever, those are just a couple of issues that come immediately to mind. But despite the fervent wishes of some in Congress to mandate all guns sold have some kind of biometric safety feature, all this system does is illustrate that we just ain’t there yet.
We’ve asked Armatix for a sample to test and hope to get our mitts on one. Watch (so to speak) this space.