Smart Gun: A Stupid Idea That Won’t Die

The last time we shot down this idea it was voiced by New York Times columnist and gun grabber Joe Nocera. As loathe as I am to ask our Armed Intelligentsia to reprise their reasoning for rejecting biometric guns, needs must. Obama loves ’em! And it seems that the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s (NSSF) more convincing argument against the technology didn’t make CNN‘s video. Instead we got this: “‘The firearms were accessible to Adam Lanza. They should not have been,’ said Lawrence Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. ‘If [Mrs. Lanza] had one that had this sort of authorized user recognition onboard the firearm, presumably he would’ve had access to that.'” Huh? Question: would you trust a biometric gun made by a man who lasers a reporter’s pelvis?

comments

  1. avatar Roll says:

    A weapon is only as responsible and “smart” as the person using it.

  2. avatar Stinkeye says:

    It’s been said before by many others: when all the police are carrying them, then maybe I’ll be interested. Only when it’s reliable enough for a cop’s duty sidearm, will I consider it reliable enough to trust my life to.

    Lucky for me, that will not happen anytime soon, because this technology is no where near ready for the big leagues.

    1. avatar styrgwillidar says:

      I disagree. I do not care what risks LEOs are willing to take ( or are forced to take by their management for political or legal liability or other reasons. 12 lb trigger DAO pistols anyone?) What they use is irrelevant to my personal risk decisions.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        Agree with Styrg. My Smith 4006 TSW isn’t stellar, but it isn’t bad, either. If my garage door often requires multiple hits on the transmitter to open (low battery, interference, etc.), than I absolutely do not need batteries to operate my duty or self defense gun. Not only that, but the opportunity to create a jamming or disabling advice could negate any advantage to having a firearm in the first place.

        There are a whole lot of things that work well on a James Bond movie that don’t translate to real life, and battery operated “smart” safeties is one of them.

        1. avatar Jim says:

          Which is why I also stick to old fashion mechanical wheel safes as well. Plugged in or battery operated keypads need not apply.

      2. avatar Stinkeye says:

        That’s kind of my point: Police departments will never adopt this technology, because it’s too risky. If they won’t use it, then it sure as hell isn’t ready for everyone else.

        The politicians who want to force this technology on us will want to exempt the police from it. That should tell you everything you need to know.

        1. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

          I am a smart gun owner.

          I like my guns dumb.

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      The technology is simple, and already exists in safes, time clocks, and so forth. This has been available for a long time.

      The problem is welcome news for all of us: FOLKS AREN’T YET BUYING INTO IT. And will the presence of solvents, oils, dirt and mud make the gun unlockable? There’s your reason the military has no enthusiasm for it!

      1. avatar Bruce says:

        Disney World uses biometric for entrance. My gym uses it to sign in with. About 70% of the time it doesn’t work and the data has to be entered manually. I think I would like my guns to work more often than 30% of the time.

      2. avatar APBTFan says:

        Great points. Also safes, time clocks and so forth don’t go through the stresses a firearm does. The thrashing something like a G-27 or G-29 goes through wreaks enough havoc on the gun itself let alone some electronic doodad.

        Electronics are just another thing that can go wrong which is why I like my guns with zero electronics and like my cars with as little electronics as possible. I fondly remember how easy it was to work on that old Ford 351 and that VW 1600.

        1. avatar Carry.45 says:

          Beat me to it. Also loled when I saw doodad

  3. avatar IdahoPete says:

    If this is such a great idea, it should be adopted by all Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies FIRST. When they have demonstrated how well it works, we civilians might be willing to follow along.

    And to date, NOT ONE police agency has been willing to try it, because it makes their firearms too unreliable. Tell Joe Nocera to persuade Mayor Doomberg to force the NYPD to adopt this technology, and see how the beat cops react.

  4. avatar styrgwillidar says:

    I will simply refer to Murphy’ law and it’s corollary:

    – What can go wrong, will.
    – It will go wrong at the worst possible time.

    (These laws also are applicable to why the first round in your 12 ga for HD should be #1 buck or larger)

    1. avatar Nickbnumbers says:

      If there’s a 50/50 chance something can go wrong, 9 times out of 10 it will.

  5. avatar Fred says:

    “Smart gun” won’t work in anyone’s hands, laughed a gleeful Obama. Fire both blasts to warn an intruder, oh wait, now you can’t fire any blasts, chimed in “double-barrel” Biden, chuckling.

  6. avatar Armchair Command'oh says:

    Guns are pretty much the last consumer product that is still well made and will last a lifetime. Start putting computer chips in there, and their lifespan is going to go to hell.

  7. avatar KevinMA says:

    Lanza’s mother took him shooting at the range, therefore he would have been set up as an authorized user, assuming you will be able to program more than one user.
    The one’s that use an RFID or the watch are laughable, you steal the “key” when you steal the gun, simple. And since the owner probably took off the key before they went to bed it should be easy to take them out.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Excellent point – and you’re not even psychic!

  8. avatar Mehul Kamdar says:

    Armatix and Anschutz tried to ramrod laws requiring their technology through the Eu some years ago until the Bund Deutscher Sportschuetzen and the Deutscher Schuetzenbund both called for a boycott of all Anschutz guns. Jochen Anschutz then came out with a contorted “I was for it before I became against” explanation that would make John Kerry sound truthful. This abomination was quietly dropped by the Anschutz-Nazis, and Armatix was left to try and continue trying to sell its $ 1200 plus 22 lr junk. Sandy Hook and the Dims (spelling intended) seem to have given Armatix its best opportunity to market its weltanschauung (term entirely intentional) in the USA this time. They seem to have allies at the NJIT and at CNN. Gun owners will have to be careful not to let this become law, or we will all be toast. Between banning reloading components and ammo and this ridiculous technology, the Dims will stop at nothing to enforce their diktat on America.

    1. avatar APBTFan says:

      “weltanschauung” was my “word of the day”!

  9. avatar KY1911 says:

    What a stupid idea…its hard enough to find a gun that will eat any ammo and run 100% always.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      My smith M&P does.. I do not trust anything that takes batteries to my security. Even tac lights I have at least 2 near my home defense weapons!

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    would you trust a biometric gun made by a man who lasers a reporter’s pelvis?

    Muzzling a man’s nether region is just wrong. But it would be okay if he actually shot the b@stard.

  11. avatar Lance says:

    No computer can outsmart a person there always a mechanical way to kill the computer and let the gun mechanics work fine. Since there no way to get there AWB now or any registration. They will spend next 2 year annoying us with crap like this.

  12. avatar mediocrates says:

    I agree with a comment over at Breitbart. As soon as the Secret Service and Federal LEOs put it through its paces, we can roll it out to the masses.

  13. avatar stateisevil says:

    I’d like a “law giver” from Judge Dredd.

  14. avatar dwb says:

    Have they invented biometric device for a gun that can determine intent?

    No. This is all marketechure.

    Some people wont even suggest a semi-auto for self defense for reliability reasons.

    People have been around guns for 900 years longer than cars. Gun safety is pretty easy: The bullet comes out of one end, dont point that end at something unless you want to kill it.

  15. avatar Anonymous says:

    “Huh? Question: would you trust a biometric gun made by a man who lasers a reporter’s pelvis?”

    Exactly. I noticed this too at 0:32 seconds.

    They should call them “smart, unreliable guns.” I can just see a police officer trying to fire his weapon to save a life and remembers he forgot to change the battery in his firearm enabling watch.

    I’m sure Obama is all for it – however I’m also sure Secret Service would never carry them.

  16. avatar c4v3man says:

    Once the secret service adopts them for ALL of their firearms, then I’ll consider purchasing one. One being a smart gun enabled M16, MP7, or other gun suitable for defense, as is the SS’s job.

  17. avatar JW says:

    Great. So if every firearm was required to have one and someone sets off an emp blast…guess what? … Instant gun control!

    1. avatar APBTFan says:

      Damn good point.

  18. avatar mountocean says:

    I propose, pertaining to the press passer’s pelvis: The enemy of my enemy, and all that.
    But trust him? no.

  19. avatar DrVino says:

    CA legislature has hard on for these things.
    They can be authorized for several individuals (dad, mom, older son) so they would NOT have helped in the Lanza situation. On the converse, if I only authorize myself and my wife and I get shot confronting an intruder and the wife (authorized) is too far to pickup the gun that fell from my hand, and the son is able to pick it up but is not authorized, I need to save enough money to pay for all of our funerals.

  20. avatar Ensitue says:

    Make the public pay more for an item that has a shelf life and that can be disabled by those in CONTROL because that is the root cause of this movment; Control

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Exactly right; many here have missed this point, and it’s the most important consideration. They will install a back door that will enable the government to render all guns inoperable.

    2. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

      Just like smart phones give it a few months and people would learn how to hack them, or disable them completly. So this technology is useless..

  21. avatar j roberts says:

    What about this scenario:

    Home invasion.

    Husband fires at home invader # 1, but home invader #2 makes a serious hit on the homeowner. Husband says to his wife, “take this” and hands her his pistol so that she may defend their family with him being seriously wounded or dying.

    Wife brings handgun to bear on the first home invader to come into view, presses the trigger, only to hear “click.”

    Thanks for nothing.

  22. avatar Don says:

    All assorted technologies involved in a “solution” to the smart gun concept have existed for a very long time.

    Smart guns do not exist in any numbers and will continue not to exist in any numbers because virtually no one wants one.

  23. avatar c4v3man says:

    And the “grip sensor” concept seems like it’d either be
    A. Too easy to fake by just modifying your grip slightly, since it’d have to be tolerant enough to allow someone to grip it tighter/differently during a high-stress event.
    or
    B. Too specific, and prevent you from firing your gun, due to your grip being too tight due to elevated stress/adrenaline.

    So it’t’s pretty much worthless. Fingerprint scanning would also be too slow and unreliable for this application, considering you may have gloves on, or have an abundance of dirt, etc.

    The only acceptable style shown here is the one which uses RFID technoogy, either embedded into a ring, watch, or directly into the users hand. Unfortunately, then you have problems with “weak hand” manipulation of the weapon in an emergency, or lazy people, putting their RFID device (watch/ring) in the safe alongside their guns. You also have the problem of potential “signal jammers”, alongside the obvious electrical concerns, whether that be waterproofing, shock resistance, or battery life concerns.

    So yeah, this is pretty much a joke, being enforced by people who have absolutely no clue what they’re talking about.

  24. avatar watchmenlewis says:

    RDIF = gps

    1. avatar c4v3man says:

      watchmenlewis said,
      RDIF = gps

      RDIF means nothing in relation to the subject. RFID solutions traditionally have absolutely nothing to do with GPS, in any way. Most RFID solutions employ an “active/powered” reader device, and a passive RFID tag/chip that has no battery, and is read by the active battery powered device. These are very low range, typically less than a foot. Active RFID solutions with both powered readers and tags have a significantly higher range, but are typically cost prohibitive, due to the additional complexity in the system.

      RFID can be used for tracking, but only by moving an RFID tag within range of a RFID reader, so standing out in the middle of a vacant field would not result in any tracking being done. But if you had an RFID tag, and RFID readers at every doorway in a building, you could track the location of an item, such as a piece of troubleshooting equipment moving around a factory.

  25. avatar Taco Ninja says:

    Won’t work in the wrong hands? What if the right hands are injured, dirty, etc…what about that time when it won’t work in the right hands…yet the bad guy’s gun has no problems. It’s like the opposite advertisement of Glocks…they shoot no matter what…this…shoots for only you…hopefully.

  26. avatar Bgryphon says:

    I have spoken with a range owner who is very close to this issue. He told me that their dream with this technology is to be able to give arms to any cause around the world, and then with a drone flyover have the ability to render all of the arms useless should they either fall into the wrong hands or should the conflict cease.

    when I asked him if he thought someone could disable the chip in the gun he said no way. I disagreed, and after a few minutes of hacker speak, he wasn’t so sure of himself.

    When I asked him if a similar drone flyover could disable MY gun, why I should support the program, he wasn’t very happy and I made it plain that I would never own a firearm that could be disabled by ANY source. He wasn’t very happy about that either.

    The technology sounds great, but I will keep my “old school” firearm that is “off grid”

  27. avatar Anonymous says:

    Well – not just that, but mechanical components are easy to visualize and understand. It would not be difficult I think – for criminals to remove the electronics and make an otherwise non-functional gun – functional. It is a waste of time in my opinion. Also, from the perspective of a gun owner defending his home – who has time to look for the gun-enabling watch when someone is kicking down your front door?

    I have a degree in electrical and computer engineering and I will attest that I want no electronics in my firearms – no way.

    1. avatar JTPhilly says:

      This.

      We used to see these types of reports from MSM about how “easy” it was for criminals to turn semi-auto guns into full-auto guns. You really think those same folks couldn’t figure out how to take out a computer chip?

      I think the following might be an interesting rebuttal: How many cars with electronic keys (not sure if that’s the right term) have been stolen? They should be completely safe, right? No one could possibly use the car except for the owner, right?

  28. avatar Kevin says:

    Back in the mid 80s I was working as a deputy sheriff and we carried the S&W 66 with a device called a magna trigger. In the grip of the gun was a metal post that when gripped by the shooter who was wearing a magnetic ring would cause the post to line up and allow the gun to fire. Any deputy with a ring could shoot the gun. It worked about 95% of the time without having to reposition your grip. If you lost your gun in a fight the bad guy would have to beat you with it because it wouldn’t shoot. As the auto craise took over the sheriffs office and 5906 became the weapon of choice the magna trigger went the way of the dodo bird.

  29. avatar DJStuCrew says:

    I had my own run-in with Mr. Nocera. He certainly is a piece of work. I took the time to write him a very cordial letter detailing why smart gun technology has failed in the past and wasn’t likely to be ready anytime in the near future. I also pointed out some features already available on many guns that don’t require any whiz-bang, high-tech wizardry, such as the key lock on my Bersa Thunder — a great idea if there are kids around. After a letter of article length, THAT is the line he chose to focus on! His comeback: “So biometrics won’t allow you to react quickly enough but a key will? Pls explain.” The asshat missed the whole point. (And sorry to be so harsh to asshats everywhere.)

    I have to agree with Stinkeye: police, whether or not you agree with the policies of various departments, etc., are often the “gold standard” when it comes to gun use since they are considered the professionals. I use their demands for exemption to explain my opposition to neutered magazines and banning fake “assault weapons.” And now, I use the same explanation for smart guns. As I told Mr. Nocera, “…unless and until ANY police department anywhere adopts a smart gun, I will eschew them as well.”

  30. avatar bronzemfp says:

    The only smart gun that’s worth a damn were the ones carried by Vasquez and Drake 🙂

  31. avatar Leo338 says:

    At first I thought the CEO chick was pretty cute and then they showed her indoors without her shades on…. Woof..

  32. I’m making a smartgun. It’s smarter than you think. 😉

  33. avatar John T. says:

    The fingerprint scanners can’t be used with gloves or dirty hands. The problem I see with the RFID chips is that all you need to know to lock them is the frequency they operate at. Jam the signal, BOOM every cop in the rooms’ gun just locked.

  34. avatar EPThorn says:

    These gun-grabbers aren’t trying to convince us- they know WE know what they’re doing. They are trying to appear reasonable to the majority of people who form the ‘uncertain’ portion of the population on most elements of gun control.

    So they try and increase the costs on guns as much as they can- through taxes, regulation, ‘safety’ equipment and licensing (we need “training!” we need fingerprinting!) so that no one but the elite can own them. It’s a savvy approach…

  35. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    “Question: would you trust a biometric gun made by a man who lasers a reporter’s pelvis?”

    Huh huh. I’d laser Christine Roman’s pelvis!

    Cut it out, Butthead.

    Technology in it’s infancy. Give it a couple more decades and it might be ready for prime time. Watches might be fine for LEOs on duty, but for CCW or home defense there must be no device necessary and must be programmable for multiple users. But then they thought Reagan was loony for his silly Star Wars thing. Ask any Israeli what they think of the Iron Dome.

  36. avatar Randy Drescher says:

    Oh good, o & his kids guards are going to get drive by wire guns,no? I didn’t think so, Randy

  37. avatar Southern Cross says:

    We’ve seen how corporations have spent years and millions to create absolutely secure software and video protection methods, only to see groups of programmers break these protection routines in days, weeks, or a few months.

    I’ll bet a smart gun lock could be broken in even less time either by patching some connections (probably with a pencil line in the same way that would unlock the multipliers on Socket A AMD Athlon CPUs), removing the module, or substituting some parts.

    When they are universally accepted by military and LEOs, then I’ll pay attention.

    +1 on non-electronic safes for me. Mine are simple key locks and keys are with me at all times.

  38. avatar Kyle says:

    Personally, I do not care how viable this technology ever gets, requiring all guns to be “smart,” IMO, seems like a blatant infringement on my rights.

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