It looks like every Democrat politician that has seen the latest James Bond movie thinks that biometric security on handguns is something that A) actually works, and B) is a good idea to mandate for every single firearm. In their orange sky fantasy world, where the movies are for real, this is a great idea. I, however, think that requiring biometric security on firearms is proof that John Tierney lacks basic critical thinking skills . . .

Here’s the story from The Hill:

The idea is to produce guns that can only be used by the gun’s owners. Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) cited the latest James Bond movie, “Skyfall,” as inspiration for the bill.

“In the most recent James Bond film, Bond escapes death when his handgun, which is equipped with technology that recognizes him as its owner, becomes inoperable when it gets into the wrong hands,” Tierney’s office said in a statement introducing the bill. “This technology, however, isn’t just for the movies — it’s a reality.”

Tierney said his Personalized Handgun Safety Act, H.R. 2005, would help prevent accidental deaths, like the case in New Jersey last month when a six-year old accidentally shot and killed a four-year-old child.

“Accidents like this are not as rare as we want to believe, and they are preventable. Whether a gun owner or not, a NRA member or not, we should be able to agree on gun safety measures that will make our families and communities safer. This technology needs to be put into action.”

Under his bill, guns made in the United States would have to be built with this technology two years after the bill becomes law. Older guns being sold by a business or individual would have to be retrofitted with this technology after three years.

There are only three issues I see with this. First, the technology is still many years away from being “perfected.” Second, assuming it works and is available, it will get people killed. And third, even if it were working, and wasn’t dangerous, it would be massively expensive and a huge burden to American gun owners and gun manufacturers.

As for the technology being available, it really isn’t. While Tierney would have you think that fingerprint scanning pistol grips are already widely used and available in other countries, the reality is that the current state of the art is nowhere near that level of sophistication. The guns Tierney is referring to as being “available” are the models we’ve already seen that require the owner to either wear a wristwatch with an RFID tag in it or be implanted with a chip that the gun reads.

As for the actual biometric readers, are we talking about the same fingerprint scanners that I’ve fooled by photocopying my finger and swiping it across the scanner? Because those seem less than secure. And I’m sure that every single person’s finger will be in the exact same position when they grip the gun. That’s why they only make one size grip, right? Oh, wait…

Which brings me to point number two. This technology isn’t reliable, as it stands now. It adds another level of complexity to a firearm that someone will depend on in an emergency to save their life from an attacker.

What if the batteries in your gun or your RFID wristwatch died and you didn’t notice? Will the murderer running towards you stop and wait for you to find a spare LR41 battery in your pocket and replace it? A large percentage of people who buy guns take them to the range once and then store them somewhere in their house, never thinking to perform basic maintenance, let alone check batteries. Yet when an intruder crashes through their window in the middle of the night, they expect the gun to work. With this kind of technology, it won’t.

Also, remember that we’re talking about a general population that can barely program their VCR. Back when we had VCRs. And Congressman Tierney wants to introduce more advanced technology into firearms that people will depend on to protect their lives.

What about the internal mechanics of the gun? Firearms are complicated pieces of machinery. It’s taken centuries to perfect the current state of the art in terms of reliability. But even now, things still break. And Congressman Tierney wants to mandate that another untested, possibly unreliable bit technology be layered on top. That adds an additional point of failure to the gun, one that can’t be fixed in the heat of the moment with a simple tap-rack.

The Congressman seems to think that guns are used solely for recreation and hunting. What he forgets is that guns are often the only thing keeping families safe, especially in rural areas of the United States where police response times can be upwards of an hour. There’s a reason guns don’t currently have this technology, and reliability is the reason.

Smith & Wesson tried to introduce a similar — though much simpler — gizmo in their guns not too long ago when they added an internal lock to their firearms. They said it was to make the gun safer, prevent access by unauthorized people, yada yada yada. But in reality, all it did was make the gun malfunction when it was needed most. In short, they tried this already and failed. Miserably.

So let’s assume a breakthrough is made and this electronic personalized gun stuff actually works. And is reliable. What happens if this bill passes? Well first, every firearms manufacturer in the United States will be forced to stop production and completely change the design of their firearms.

In current firearms designs, there’s no wiggle room. They’ve slimmed down the guns as much as possible to keep them concealable and easy to hold. By mandating that some whiz-bang biometrics be inserted into each one, they’re requiring that the size of the guns be changed. Which means every single production facility will need to re-tool for a brand new design. That will cost millions of dollars and take months to complete. And three guesses where all that expense is going to end up. You guessed it — gun owners will be footing the bill.

Not only will we be forced to pay higher prices for the new tech, we’ll also be forced to pay for the price of the mandated manufacturing changes. Uncle Sam isn’t going to foot the bill for gun companies to change their “evil anti-biometric” ways. It will all be passed onto the customer.

What that means is this essentially becomes another way to increase the price of a firearm. That will make it harder or impossible for the poor to avail themselves of the right to keep and bear arms. A lot of the people who need the ability to defend themselves the most won’t be able to afford it. Guns will be reserved for the elites in society.

It also appears to be a bid to restrict concealed carry. These pieces of technology require additional room in the gun, and carry guns are already stripped down as much as possible for conceal ability. If the guns become too big disappear under your shirt, fewer people will carry them. It’s going after the practice without repealing the laws themselves.

Congressman Tierney says that this law is feasible, that it wouldn’t put undue restrictions or hardships on gun owners, and that the technology is safe and reliable. He’s wrong on all counts.

This comment from the article just about sums up this bill:

Tierney’s idea is so stupid it’s almost cute, kind of like a monkey trying to do algebra. While we’re on it, maybe we can also outlaw killer bowler hats.

Recommended For You

54 Responses to John Tierney’s Personalized Handgun Safety Act Is the Worst Idea I’ve Ever Heard

  1. While he’s at it, maybe he can introduce a bill to get the military some of those sweet ass rail guns from True Lies. Those would save countless lies in Afghanistan.

    • There is a similar bill being proposed in the Ca Senate:

      Senate Bill 293 (DeSaulnier) BANS the sale of conventional handguns, if the state Department of Justice approves the sale of “Owner Authorized – Smart” handgun technology.

      Clearly another effort by the grabbers to confiscate all common firearms by grandfathering ownership of conventional firearms should the subject technology ever be forced upon us LAW ABIDING CITIZENS.

      So your guns would have to die with you. They’ll make sure you cannot transfer your guns to anyone, even your heirs.

      • Legislation to make your guns die with you is already well underway.

        AB 469 that is currently working it’s way through the Assembly will stop all private sales of “non roster” handguns.

        Today, DOJ just posted this: http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/firearms/infobuls/2013-BOF-03.pdf

        Basically says that now, in order to get on the “safe handgun roster” microstamping technology must be incorporated.

        So, with those 2 little strokes of the pen, the only semi auto handguns that can be purchased or sold in Kommiefornia will be one of the 1200 or so that are on the “safe roster”

        Currently, any gun on the roster stays on the roster until the manufacturer either changes the charachteristics of the model or until the manufacturer quits paying the extortion fee, I mean registration fee.

        How long until they pass a bill requiring recertification and compliance with all current laws to remain on the roster?

        • Yes, I am well aware: that Bill also bans inter family transfer and bequething non-roster firearms to ones heirs.

          It’s de facto confiscation using so called “health, safety and welfare” laws in an attempt to skirt the Second Amendment protections.

        • It is actually Assembly Bill 169 (Dickinson);

          it would strip the ability of law enforcement and other legal owners to sell guns classified as “unsafe handguns” because they are no longer being maintained by the manufacturer on the CA DOJ Roster of handguns Approved for Sale in CA.

          All that really means is that either that particular model is no longer being produced by the mfgr, or sales of the particular model didn’t justify the costs associated with re-certifying and maintaining the particular model on the DOJ roster. There is NOTHING inheritently unsafe about these off roster firearms designs.

          AB 169 passed through the Assembly by a vote of 43-27 on May 2 and is currently awaiting a policy committee assignment in the Senate.

          See the link to view the entire list of draconian bills being proposed in CA:
          http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=760119&highlight=gun+insurance+bill

      • Dang it, I knew I should have IMDB’d it. The one from Demolition Man would be cool too.

        And I was wrong, it’s AB 169 as stated above, I fat fingered it.

    • Of course there is NO WAY anyone could illegally hack the id chip on the gun? Hmmm…. why do I feel like watching Judge Dredd again…the original?

  2. Tierney is one of the biggest gungrabbing sc^mbags in the entire Comintern of Massachusetts, and that’s saying something.

    Fortunately, I have one of the disintegrators that the aliens used in the Tom Cruise version of War of the Worlds, so I’m all set. I also own a talking cat like the one in Alice in Wonderland. Now where did he get off to? He was right over there before he smiled at me and disappeared.

  3. I foresee some politician pointing out that the technology must be there…after all, plastic guns weren’t technologically possible just a few days ago. Now, they’re everywhere.

  4. The new bond is a gun-grabber and he is also a pro-feminist anti-masculine mangina. I’m not going to spend my money and time going to support his films.

  5. How about a gun that licks your hand every time you touch it and runs a DNA analysis?

    Or a gun that evaluates your brain wave patterns?

    A scope that performs a retinal scan before becoming transparent?

    Wait, I got it: a gun with a screen for you to fill out a form 4473 when you pick it up and runs a real-time background check!

    And a microphone to perform voice recognition on your screams of mortal anguish while you’re waiting on NICS and your attacker is killing you.

  6. I propose a new amendment. No politician is allowed to propose gun laws without having demonstrated both ownership of and competency with firearms. Actually, screw it. No politician is allowed to introduce legislation without having been tested by an independent group and verified to actually understand the subject matter.

    • I rather go with a bill that mandates that any lawmaker who introduces any bill that infringes in any way with the Second Amendment be promptly lined up against the nearest wall and shot dead for treason, now that’s a “gun bill” I could get behind.

      • It probably wouldn’t be too difficult to get the States to force through an Amendment saying that any politician that introduces legislation that is found to be unconstitutional will have all assets seized and the funds donated to charity and then said politician will spend life in prison.

        • Why give them free room and food. Let them live on the street, not be taken care of by tax money.

    • Or a law that requires lawmakers to demonstrate that they know the difference between movies and reality – that includes bothe Skyfall and In the Line of Fire. and Return of the Jedi while we’re at it- just in case the Tea Party tries to build a fully operational Death Star that only appears to be under construction.

      /sarc (Leave the tea party alone you Federal bullies)

  7. How strange that the article missed one of the other defects in such devices; unless they are programmable for more than one person, your spouse/SO can’t use it if you are not around or are disabled. Nor can you teach your kids to shoot unless you buy then their own gun. Or maybe that’s the whole point….

  8. Meh, it’ll never pass. At the federal level, anyway. It could in CA or some of the other states.

  9. How long before the government insists on a kill switch that can be used by the police to shut the gun down remotely.

  10. HAL, there’s a man with a non-compliant gun down stairs, disengage the trigger lock!
    I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that

  11. Well its all in the mans name. Tierney. (TYRANNY) lol That was the first thing i thought of when i saw his name

  12. New rule, office candidates should be tested for critical thinking skills when filing their papers. Once elected, they should be able to demonstrate technical knowledge of things they try to regulate. Stupidity is bi partisan.

  13. When law enforcement adopts this technology for themselves, then maybe I’ll trust it in my home. Until then Tierney can lick the sweat off my balls.

  14. im betting that every person that shoots a gun at least once a month knows how to tear the firearm down to its based pieces. clean it. swap out parts. add new stuff. and then reassemble it and it works from ok to excellent. having said that. not only will they have to perfect this “biometric safety” device theyre going to have to integrate it into the firearm in a way that the firearm will not function without it. whose willing to bet that if this passes and all firearms are required to have it, that a few months after its all released theres going to be something out there that shows you exactly how to remove the device or disable the locking mechanism…

  15. Why isn’t this wonderful technology mandated to be used by law enforcement, local and federal?

  16. You don’t think they just want you to die with an overcomplicated gun do you? Yeah, me neither. O’s kids guards will keep old technology because they’re what you call,important. Randy

  17. Um, that accidental shooting by a six (I thought he was five) year old? It was his gun. It would’ve fired.

    Loser.

    On another tack: Retrofit? A Mosin? A Tokarev? A Nagant pistol? A sodding Brown Bess…? Good luck with that.

    I’ll use such stuff when they force it into my cold, dead hands.

  18. Use some of that nanotechnology from – whatever movie – and it’s easy. The trigger will flex like Jell-O unless the proper DNA is within scanning range, at which point it’ll behave like metal.

    The rightful owner could imprint the gun with the DNA of anyone authorized to use it. Noone’s going deny their kids or spouse the right to shoot their new SuperGimmickGun, are they? A.L. notwithstanding…

    Yeah, that’s the ticket!

  19. As we have already stated… As soon as the secret service, the FBI, and other LEA proof the technology, I am all for it.

  20. This Tierney guy cracks me up. He’s already written, like, 40 condolence letters to Sean Bean’s family.

  21. I’ll bet an outlaw hacker group will disable the biometric lock in a day or two, or a week tops. Look how long it takes them to bypass any software protection method that took the developer years and millions of dollars to make.

    I’ll bet there will be hardware hack to the electronics (like unlocking the AMD Athlon CPUs with a pencil to rejoin cut connections to allow overclocking) or removing the module and adding in some parts (3D printing?) to allow unrestricted usage.

  22. Also forgot to mention that any semi-competent 12 year old with a screwdriver will figure out how to bypass it within a half-hour of giving such a weapon to them. If they can jailbreak an iPhone or get ahold of a fully functional, cracked, pirated version of software a week before it’s released on the open market, they can get around this.

  23. You know, if he can simply get all of our phasers locked on the “stun” setting all would be right in his little world. The CTC lasergrips for my Kimber have an On/Off switch but I am still having problems finding that “stun” setting.

  24. Oh boy!! A gun that wouldn’t work when it’s cold. People put on gloves when it’s cold. How would the Hi-tech Wunderpistole read prints through gloves?

  25. Under his bill, guns made in the United States would have to be built with this technology two years after the bill becomes law. Older guns being sold by a business or individual would have to be retrofitted with this technology after three years.

    Older guns? Retrofitted? Including that P38? WWI 1911? Hi-Power? Single Action Army?

    Really?

  26. The way to stop this nonsense in its tracks is to inform Tierney that until 100% of federal, state and local law enforcment is willing to mandate it on ALL of their own firearms, the idea is off the table.

    Period.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *