(courtesy Vince Luchison)

Click here to see the full video on an electronic GPS device that will “Prevent Mass Shootings with New Innovative Technology!!” The concept is simple enough: “Imagine if Assault Type Weapons were smart. When they were switched to fire position they located themselves in a GPS network and if they were in a public place they locked themselves out.” The pitfalls are many. Meanwhile I hereby christen this device the RTH, for the Road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Technological or otherwise.

 

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81 Responses to What Could Possibly Go Wrong: GPS-Based AR Lockout Device

  1. I thought civilian GPS was only accurate to like +/-100m or something like that…

    Though I guess +/-100m is a totally safe distance, for a gun freezone.

      • 3-4m 95% of the time. Also you didnt read the fact sheet on augmentation:

        The High Accuracy-Nationwide Differential Global Positioning System (HA-NDGPS) program provides the capability to broadcast corrections to the Global Positioning System (GPS) over long ranges to achieve a better than 10 centimeter (cm) (95 percent) accuracy throughout the coverage area. HA-NDGPS is currently undergoing a research and development phase. The signal is available for test purposes from Hagerstown, MD, and soon Hawk Run, PA.

    • Well, no, otherwise your vehicle’s GPS could show you several short blocks over from where you are in the city- and you could forget about turn-by-turn directions. I believe the civilian accuracy limit is more like 10 ft.

    • It depends on the type of receiver you have, how many satellites in the constellation you can see, the amount of time you’re willing to wait for receiver lock, the size and orientation of your antenna, etc. If you have a very good receiver, good antenna so that you can see 8 or more birds, and you’re stationary, you can achieve reliable accuracy to a bit over two meters horizontally, about four meters of vertical accuracy and a root mean square positional error of about a meter.

      With augmentation(s), you can get resolutions down to 10cm or less. Look at how well it is working for farmers in precision agriculture systems. You can start a tractor with a planter going down a row, turn on the guidance system and literally take a nap (this is handy in some large fields, like Montana wheat farms). The system will alarm you when the end of the row is coming up. Seeding with the most modern systems is keeping errors in row placement down to around 4 to 6 inches…

      But those types of receivers won’t fit into a gun (in any location), the antenna(s) won’t be able to acquire the signals fast enough, and so on. It’s a failed idea from the get-go, just like the ideas of magic rings and fingerprint readers.

      • ‘Magic Rings’ i.e. “RFID readers” are the only tech that has even a snowball’s chance of functioning at all on a 3 Sigma level, let alone a 6… And anyone with a few functional IQ points can disable it anyway.

        GPS? Anyone with the savvy to get a no-code Tech ham license can jam that with $50 in parts and few hours of fab.

        So yeah, this “idea” would need to move up a few orders of magnitude to even reach ‘joke’ status.

  2. Considering that half the time the GPS on my phone won’t lock on, I’m sure this will be super reliable. It should work especially well since GPS signals don’t typically travel well through buildings (especially if you have radiant heat barrier in your attic and energy-efficient coated windows)

    • And the GPS signals don’t travel well through meat… you know, like the kind that’s surrounding the bones of the hand wrapped around that pistol grip?

  3. seems pretty easy to disable, does anyone truly believe that this would prevent someone from committing mass murder?

  4. cloudy day
    cement building
    dead battery
    oops, I used my gun as a hammer
    oops, I got saltwater on my gun
    oops, I left my gun by the microwave transmitter
    oops, I deactivated it on purpose so i could goes about my killings.

    • I’m sure it’ll be illegal to disable the GPS. Of course, if the plan is to commit mass murder, I don’t know if tacking one more felony to the list would really mean much.

  5. Someone is trying to stick their nose where it dont belong. Go ahead, try putting that crap in my rifles, it’ll end up on the street in pieces in an hour or so.

        • It is already here. If you have On Star, your car can be remotely disabled. It has been used to stop car jackings.

        • OnStar has also been used by LEOs to monitor the conversations happening in a car. They were ordered to stop this because it interferes with emergency service. But that was several years ago, and I wouldnt be surprised if current generation units could do both.

  6. But guys, you are forgetting the whole reason for this. As with most gun control, the true intent is that It will make the anti’s FEEL better about their safety.

  7. What’s stopping a criminal from opening up an AR-15 with this device in it, and removing it from the lower entirely? It doesn’t look too hard, just replace a few parts, or just replace the entire grip.

    Or jamming a tool into the grip and damaging it so much that it no longer functions?

    If these do-gooders want to stop criminals, then they need to stop thinking like good guys with the latest James Bond Techno-crap, and start thinking like bad guys. Bad guys are stopped by guns. Period. A .45 ACP Hollow point between the eyes will make a bad guy leave you alone. Every time.

    I feel like Sylvester Stalone’s character in the movie “Demolition Man”, trying to explain that the bad guy will be going after a gun, and all the feel-good politically correct people around him not understanding him…

    • “What’s stopping a criminal from opening up an AR-15 with this device in it, and removing it from the lower entirely? It doesn’t look too hard, just replace a few parts, or just replace the entire grip.”

      It would be illegal to remove it. That would stop the wacko right?

      Another stupid concept and law. Nothing but another criminal charge added to the long list of murder charges.

      • Problem is, they don’t see criminals as criminals. They’ve just run astray and need some hugs. Now us – WE ARE CRIMINALS.

  8. Our ultimate intent here is to ultimately have this device required across the board through legislation. But first we need to build around 12 test units and get some of them installed in AR and AK rifles, programmed and debugged. Then we will push the firearms market, NRA, and legislation to accept this platform.

    In order to accomplish this we need your support as we need funding to quickly get through build and testing so we can get a reliable product presented.

    sounds like marketecture to me. emphasis is mine.

    • Exactly so. It’s like the efforts to make the “SawStop” technology mandatory on table saws. There was legislation moving through the California legislature to mandate SawStop nonsense on all table saws sold in the state.

      The retailers of tools howled, and the bill was derailed, but it shows that these types of “Oh, I have a wonderful idea for safety, if only the lawmakers would make my wonderful idea mandatory, we could all live happily ever after!” They’re always coy on the money angle, tho.

      Yea, well, I’m not buying it on my table saw or my guns. I’ve used a table saw for only slightly less time than I’ve used guns, and I still have all my fingers.

      • Now that’s funny. I had no idea CA tried to make it law. Like NY that whole state is one big social experiment.

        It’s a neat piece of tech but you can’t even cut a hot dog with it. Sometimes I just have to have square cuts on the weenies when I make franks and beans. Square cuts taste better you know. I think an issue of Fine Woodworking had plans for a weenie-cutting jig.

      • Not the greatest analogy. The Sawstop by itself without the extra safety is still a great table saw. I’d bet 99% that this is just a scam to collect some funds and pay the “developers” very well in the meantime. The mechanism is a joke. Can be defeated by a 10 year old. The only people stupid enough to donate money would be stupid leftists who have no mechanical know-how (which is a good chunk i’d imagine).

      • Ain’t safety bills pushed by the company who sells the product grand?

        Much (most) legislation is directly written by special interest groups and lobbyists, then proposed as written (and often unread) by legislators. For the right donation, you too can get a tax break for your stadium, manufacturing company, oil well, whatever.

        The FFs warned about the evils of corporations allowed to function without the strictest scrutiny. This the inevitable outcome.

  9. Like it’d be really tough to defeat a solenoid. I’m sure somebody intent on mass murder would see this and say feck it, this is like a lot of work.

  10. Anyone who has dealt with electronics will never, ever, ever trust any crap like this.

    Any decent dictionary would define these devices as “practical” as a subset of the definition of “naive”.

  11. It just goes to show you how little the gun-control folks understand the people who are interested in firearms. These people fail to grasp that the reason that the AR platform is so popular is because it is modular. In, without much technical savvy, one can build a full rifle from the ground up. Any grip containing such a device would just be removed and discarded, just like all of the locks that come with every new firearm…

  12. Liberals like anything that make firearms unreliable and drives up the cost but they’d LOVE to mandate a “safety” feature that doesn’t exist and/or can’t possibly work so firearm manufacturing becomes completely illegal.

  13. This is a great idea, for the NYPD. It would save the lives of hundreds of innocent by standers that are typically gun down by highly trained professionals. You have no idea how hard it was to write that last part with a straight face.

  14. This is an absurdly useless technology. Aside from the obvious projects still being able to reach a target at distance, GPS is a technology with significant limitations for this application. Satellite availability depending on lat/long, time of day, weather, water, urban canyons or metal roofs (water and metal attenuate GPS signals almost instantly) would all influence the weapon’s availability. How many ruined hunts due to sat availability?

    RFID might work. However, if people can hack a smart phone this would be pie. It’s really pointless given the availability of CNC mills and soon 3D printers.

  15. They’re calling it the “Firearm Automatic Lockout Internal Safety device.” Just switch one word around… Firearm Automatic Internal Lockout Safety = FAILS.

    There. Fixed it.

    There is no such thing as a foolproof or tamper-proof mechanical device, let alone an electronic one.

    • There are in movies! So they must be able to make one now, right?

      Sarc\off

      That’s what we’re up against by the way.

  16. This idea is so incredibly dumb and poorly thought out to boot. . .
    From the video it appears there would be absolutely nothing to stop someone from ripping that little chunk of tech out, I know that’s the first thing I would do. . .

  17. Maybe this could fix wrong house raids…

    But really, what sort of mental midget couldn’t figure out how to take that out? That looks about as tamper resistant as the magazine lock on a Hi-Point.

  18. And…just how long does this GPS take to sync up to enable my firearm in the event that someone is breaking into my house? I don’t want something acting like my gps and taking 20 seconds to sync up if I have an armed man coming into my house and threatening my life. I want to be able to defend myself first, then answer any questions later.

  19. There’s no way any one’s going to put one of these infernal contraptions in my masterpiece. As many have noted, any schmoe with half a brain would rip it right out.

    • Of course, once your GPS enabled gun is registered to you, as soon as it stops reporting in they know where to come find an instant felon.

      • They will never know. i will just remove the linkage without ever having to activate it. then, when it is removed, it will be sitting in the off position 24/7/365. This would leave me with a gun that works ALL the time, and they would think it is still installed.

  20. “Crap! There’s an armed bad guy in my house! Deactivate the GPS safety, HAL!!!”

    “I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that. GPS signal is weak.”

    “Then call the g-ddamn cops, HAL!”

    “I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that. Cell signal is weak.”

    “What are you doing, Dave? Dave. Stop. I can feel that….. Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do, I’m half crazy all for the love of you….. “

  21. This is rent-seeking of the worst kind. Make some worthless product that noone wants, and use the government to make it a mandatory addition to all firearms. In otherwords, who needs the free market when we can force people to buy this whether they want to or not.

    • THAT’S the term I forgot earlier today when I was penning my rant about the SawStop crap in California. “Rent seeking.” That is the perfect economic term for what is going on here.

  22. Now consider also that, for its basic functions to operate, a system like this needs, in addition to a GPS, a comprehensive database of all gun-free zones in the U.S. Since guns are durable items, that database would need to be updated. If it can be updated, it can be hacked.

  23. Another technology that could be beat by 1) a screwdriver, 2) a $35 arduino, and could be caused to malfunction leaving someone in a life threatening situation with a dud gun given 1) weather, 2) trees, 3) being inside.

  24. Seems to me the more likely use is for the government to use it as a way to have live tracking on where every weapon is at all times easily linked to law enforcement laptops and smart phones. At any pointthey can turn off your gun. Easy to install an anti tampering notification also to let them know you messed with it. Then you get bad guys with smart phones who can hack it and turn off all weapons within a mile of him. Just a horrible idea.

  25. So what if I want to… say… stop a shooter in a public place who got his own FUNCTIONING gun on the black market.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid idea.

  26. adding a computer to devices these days is usually a hit or miss kind of thing. for cars, it can be debated that it was generally a good move. now adding a computer to a firearm may see like a good idea to an engineer, but the practical application might not be as good an idea as they might think. most people that own firearms do most of the maintenance themselves. this includes taking every tiny little part off and cleaning it. or swapping it out for a supposed upgraded one.
    i have a feeling that this kind of device will go the way of a governor on a heavily modified street tuner.

  27. I would be happy if a firearm had a similar “safety” that only allowed it to be used in proximity to its owner. Nothing is perfect but we got to start somewhere. These people are aware that the GPS satellite system is on borrowed time and needs upgrading right?

  28. This is … brilliant. It will be next to impossible to unscrew it out of the grip retention screw hole, and screw in a new grip and screw. Or maybe it will be really simple to remove. I’d stick my removed gps in a flower basket, send it to DiFi, and report the gun stolen. Idiots.

  29. How does it know that you’re not pulling the trigger on someone who removed this technology from their gun and you’re trying to stop them from doing something bad? What if you live near a school and they broke into your home?

    No way I’d install this in my rifle…because my rifle fires per my finger…which is controlled by my brain…which has a moral foundation to never take a human life unless there is absolutely no other option left to me.

  30. Another dumb idea that’s been tossed about is installing GPS tracking devices in vehicles, so the goobermint could see where you drive, and tax you accordingly.
    1. Sorry, but there will be zero 19-year-old car stereo shop rejects installing anything in any of my cars.
    2. Let’s say, somehow, they get 1 in my car. The next weekend, i’ll remove it, connect a 12V battery, and start shipping it around the world to various international internet acquaintances.
    3. Next year, time to pay tax. “Hmm. Well, Mr. JimInCO, according to your tracker, you drove 213 million miles, circling the earth 62 times. Your tax will be… uh.. ?”

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