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“(T)hat’s why Doug has to be so hush-hush. If his last name were made public, people would try to put him out of business and, perhaps, threaten to kill him. That’s what happened to the last two gun dealers who tried to sell this gun.” Doug is the proprietor of DB Guns & Smithing. And according to a fortune.com article, he’s been selling the Armatix iP1 “smart gun” since January, apparently on the down low. You may remember that dealers in both California and Maryland had planned to sell the iP1 .22, but backed off when they received, um, negative feedback from gun owners. So you can probably understand Doug’s reluctance to ID himself . . .

Of course, most gun owners wouldn’t have a smart gun if you gave one to them. There are all kinds of reasons why — at least in their initial iterations — they are a bad idea, from both practical and personal defense perspectives. But the vast majority of gun guys and gals aren’t against them being sold per se. If someone wants to throw their money at an inexpensive, underpowered pistol (Armatix claims they have a 9mm coming) that injects a lot of variables into a possible life-or-death self-defense situation, that’s their business.

What gun owners do oppose, however, are smart gun mandates. And as most People of the Gun who are in-the-know know, once smart guns become readily available on the market, that will trigger the New Jersey poison pill law mandating that all handguns sold in the state must then be so-called smart guns.

Doug and Armatix no doubt think they’ve sidestepped that hurdle, as back in December, New Jersey’s attorney general let it be known that, in his opinion, the iP1 isn’t smart gun enough to trigger the Garden State’s law. Legal opinions and interpretations can and do change, though. As long as the New Jersey law is in effect, America’s gun owners will be naturally skittish about any supposed ‘smart gun’ that’s sold to the public.

We’ve called Doug via the number on his minimalist web site (the phone rang about 15 times and went to voice mail). We’d love to talk to him about his decision to sell the Armatix guns and to buy an iP1 to check one out for ourselves. As always, stay tuned.

111 Responses to Armatix iP1 ‘Smart Gun’ Has a Dealer

  1. I fully support the right of the people to make stupid decisions for themselves. Like smoking. Or buying one of these.

        • Maybe, But the R51 was billed as a self defense pistol and therefore as reliable, with proven technology and so on. No one’s yet tried to call this overpriced widget a self defense firearm. 99% of people know what they’re getting into when you tell them “this gun has all kinds of electronic stuff.”

  2. And we are all luddite child murderers for not wanting this technology. I have a fingerprint lock on my phone. It takes three to five swipes to get it to read my fingerprint on my phone. Why wouldn’t I want that on my firearm? Oh yeah, I eat children in my limited edition official NRA BBQ sauce

      • I’m a life member, and I haven’t got any yet. According to the Super Secret Life Member store, I have to trade in 100 scalps I’ve personally taken from Children of Color to get any.
        The store has some really good stuff, though; you can get a Thompson if you trade in 100 Nazi scalps taken from 100 dead Nazis.
        And if you trade in 100 eyeballs taken from women named Sara Connor, you can get a 40-watt phased plasma rifle.

  3. I don’t understand all the people who were furious about the previous dealers who offered “smart guns” for sale. Those furious people should be directing their ire at the politicians who enacted their “smart gun sales only” laws and the bureaucrats who would enforce such unconstitutional laws.

    • Except that those dealers KNOW about the law. They know that if they sell that gun, they will deprive MILLIONS of Americans of their right to bear arms. That makes them complete and utter assholes to want to take away the rights of millions just to try and make a quick buck.

      • Let me guess, you are one of those people who blamed the guys who made 5.45 “pistols” for the 7N6 ammo ban?

        • They’re just as much to blame as the ATF’s absurd “interpretation”. They already saw what happened with 7.62×39 ammo and went ahead and said “EFF YOU, GUN OWNERS!!!” and did it anyways.

        • Lol confirmed! Let’s try another: hey Publius, I bet you blame rape victims for wearing tight/revealing clothing.

      • I hope that Douglas Bickal can live with the fact that in all likelihood he will go down in history as the Benedict Arnold of the 2nd Amendment’s “Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms.” 😐

    • Because disagreeing with the ruling class is treason or racism or something. This guy isn’t one of our masters, so he’s fair game.

    • I tend to agree. However, the participating dealers are “collaborators” in this assault on liberty.

    • That does not apply in the liberal state of New Jersey. The majority or the population is stupid and liberal. Those of us who are not stupid and liberal moved out of New Jersey (24 years ago) and never looked back.

      • Hey now! Some of us are just trapped…well Atleast for a couple more months while I top off my house funds.

        • You and me both. Once I have the means to leave this forsaken state, I’ll be flying out like a bat out of hell.

  4. “…people would try to put him out of business and, perhaps, threaten to kill him.”

    Death threats are completely, totally inappropriate.

    However, I see nothing wrong with letting a business know in no uncertain – but polite – terms why you will not patronize them.

      • I agree. In principle, I have nothing against a business that wants to develop this technology, build it, or sell it. I’d like to see one in action, honestly, learn about how it works and other developments. I think there’s plenty of promise for the technology, though not necessarily in a safety disconnect that I wouldn’t trust to properly engage or disengage. A laser sight or illuminated reticle that doesn’t require any external switches to be stuck on or manipulated comes to mind.

        The problem I have is the people who wanna mandate to me what I’m allowed to shoot, carry, own, or defend myself with.

        • Precisely. What all this means is that we have to make sure we’re fighting the right enemy. My concern is how things like this NJ law can be twisted by Anti’s to get us fighting each other rather than them. Ultimately, this is going to be decided by SCOTUS. Unfortunately, that won’t happen until the law triggers. Right now, we have a bench that is both pro-gun and favors a classical interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. We also have a technology that inherently violates it on both principle and technological principles. We are currently in our strongest position to get such laws declared unconstitutional.

          If you want my opinion, that’s the main reason that the IP1 was decided to not trigger the law and that the original bill sponsor is making overtures on scrapping the law (though we need to watch for the inevitable trap).

        • Raul, the technology does not violate the second amendment, as I said. If I choose to buy a firearm with an overly difficult to disengage safety that makes it impractical for home defense (which I would still not trust to reliably disengage the gun and prevent it from firing; NEVER trust the safety), that’s MY business. Not yours and not the government’s. If, on the other hand, I choose to buy a pistol that compensates for its 104 year old design and 7 round, single stack capacity by slinging a nearly half inch diameter bullet, that is ALSO my business.

        • We’re in complete agreement, actually. I am speaking only to the quickest way to get there and the surest way to defeat the people who want to suppress our rights. And it is rightS because once they eliminated 2A, then 1A is next. 3 & 4 are pretty much gone under the Patriot Act. Denying or taking away someone rights isn’t a concern of a tyrannical political system. If they have the power to do so, the don’t care if it came from a God they don’t even believe in.

          The problem is that too many on our side want an all or nothing win because it IS a natural right. If it is all or nothing, we lose. If we fight on progressives terms, we lose. This is a war. No shots have been fired. Yet. But make no mistake that we are in the first moves of a civil war for the direction and liberty of this country.

          We’re still in the position to win this without bloodshed. And we can win it in a way that will crush progressivism for generations. But we have to fight our war, not theirs. Pushing the case with that NJ law on our terms puts progressives in a defensive position in what is a strategic lose-lose scenario.

          It’s a small win on a battle that we shouldn’t even need to be fighting. But wars are won on the victories of small battles.

  5. I’m confused by the basic model. The page says the following

    “The iP1 Basic is designed with safety in mind. We have integrated electronics into the mechanics of the firearm, which allow the firearm to detect when the ammunition cartridge is disengaged. Once disengaged, the gun cannot fire – even when there is a bullet still in the chamber.”

    What does that even mean? Ammunition cartridge is disengaged?I think its a magazine disconnect safety and they are trying to make it sound high tech. $1300 is a steep price to pay for a mag disconnect when I can get an established brand to sell me a gun equipped with one for under 500.

    • That can’t be what it means, there are lots of mag disconnects and they are not electronic. Hell, the original 1911 had one, did they even have batteries 100+ years ago? But I have no idea what that terminology could refer to.

      • Yes, as a matter of fact they did have batteries 100 years ago. In fact the battery was invented over 2,000 years ago in the Middle East.

      • The Hi-power had/has a mag disconnect, the 1911 may have had one in prototype stages, but the original, as adopted, did not.

        Ammunition Cartridge? Oh dear. It apparently doesn’t take magazines like a normal pistol; you have to buy specialty ammunition cartridges, like you do with your printer, which cost $30 for each of the two to four cartridges required, and which tend to run out of ammo if you leave them stored for too long, and which must be properly recycled when they are expended. Also, they’re gonna read as “empty” when there’s three rounds left in the gun.

      • It is indeed a “electronic magazine disconnect”:

        Armatix iP1 Pistol
        Our specialists have equipped the iP1 Pistol with innovative features:

        > .22 LR calibre, 10 round magazine
        > electronic magazine disconnect
        > different operating modes
        > an operating distance of up to 10 inches
        > integrated grip and drop safety
        > color-coded operating mode, patented mechatronic
        interface for additional applications (e.g. camera)
        > tested and approved by ATF
        http://www.armatix.de/iP1-Pistol.779.0.html?&L=1

  6. I think there is more here that meets the eye. The registrant of this domain is is using Whois privacy services (http://www.whoisprivacyinc.com/). If you go to that site, the contact seems to be Buffalo NY. However in the registrant address is in Kirkland, WA.
    The domain owner went to great lengths to avoid outing who he/she is. This is not something that normal dealers will use. Comparing the way the site is design with the sophistication to avoid information disclosure could signal that is is not your run of the mill dealer. Even the way the gun purchase process is done is suspicious and low tech.
    I think is worth figuring out who owns the domain. I can bet that won’t be a “scared” dealer.
    Maybe others here can dig more info that I could 🙂

    • There is something very suspicious about this web page. Seems like it was a 15min web design, that was simply cut and pasted, from the Armatrix web site. it stinks to high heaven. no sir this site is not legit, almost looks like a FBI sting site, or a Nigerian Princes gun sight, definitely not from a legit gun dealer.

    • Using such a privacy screen for WHOIS information is a very common thing nowadays (thanks, spammers!), and isn’t “going to great lengths” in the slightest. At most domain name registrars, when you register your domain, there’s just a checkbox that says something like “Add WHOIS privacy guard for $10” or whatever. Check that box, and the result will be something much like what you see when you do a whois lookup on “smartgunz.com”.

      I’m not saying the guy’s not up to no good, but using a privacy screen for whois information is pretty innocuous stuff in this day and age, and by itself doesn’t in any way signal that someone’s up to shenanigans. For example, look up ruger.com or kahr.com in the whois, and you see the same kind of privacy shield information. I don’t think either of those companies are secretly funded by Bloomberg…

      I just looked up gtdist.com, as well (a gun shop near me), and they’re using the same kind of privacy protection, so it actually is something that “normal dealers” would use.

    • For the most part, NJ is disarmed. Only about 1 million legal gun owners, which means those guns stay at home. Mine sure did when I pulled up to a gas station which was robbed at gun point just seconds before. Something tells me those “gentlemen” didn’t jump through all the legal hoops to purchase their pistols. I don’t have as much as a parking ticket, I pay taxes and obey all the laws and still I’m at the mercy of the criminals who roam and those who run this POS state.

      And no, the NRA isn’t helping in states like NJ and yes, I’ll complain about that until it gets old.

      • If the NRA wants to just throw money away, they’ll buy a boat.

        NJ needs more help than the NRA can provide.

  7. Every one of you who has a problem with this, if you can explain yourself politely and clearly, should give Doug a call.

    I spoke with him and I think his intentions aren’t bad, though he seems to underestimate the potential impact of giving Armatix a toe-hold and potentially triggering clauses in legislation that ban non”smart guns”.

    He sees sales of this pistol as a way to get firearms in the hands of people who ordinarily wouldn’t buy one, and hopefully eventually get normal firearms in these same people’s hands.

    If enough of you call in and politely give your input and explain the consequences of offering smart guns for sale in terms of bans on traditional firearms I think we could sway Doug’s opinion; he isn’t a gun grabber, just a guy with a bad idea that might listen to his peers if enough of us can get our ideas across to him.

    Please don’t make any rude or threatening calls and undermine this effort; give Doug a call and explain how you feel about this and why: (402) 547-8615

  8. What’s more disturbing is to see Forbes being so blatant with their glowing references to this ridiculous piece of junk.

    The way I read it (and I could be wrong) is that they’re like most of the big business republican establishment types who are just as elitist and anti-gun as the most rabid democrats.

  9. I wouldn’t choose it, but I can understand how the parent of a young child might prefer it until the youngster is old enough to learn gun safety. The problem is government overreach, not the technology. We need to treat the disease, not the symptom.

    The real question is whether it has an app for the Apple Watch?

  10. [Sarcasm] I’m sure the military, the cops and the private bodyguards of all politikos are rushing to get this pistol and make it their standard, right? [/Sarcasm]

      • Some antis will buy buy them, for political reasons only.

        I.E. – “I’m a handgun owner…”

        I can easily imagine them having a smith permanently destroy the internal workings so it will never be able to fire. In their (tiny) mind it won’t really be a gun. Their conscience will sparkling-clean. After all, it will never be able to used in ‘gun violence’.

        I can also envision them owning it for a short while and then re-selling it to another anti.

        Al the while being very public about buying and registering it. “I’m a handgun owner…”.

        It will be nothing more than a prop for their political act.

        • I think you’re giving them too much credit. The average gun banner just wants guns to magically be gone. They don’t really have any skin in the game, and aren’t going to put two thousand bucks into a “smart” gun prop just to give them some imagined “gun owner bona fides”. They don’t care about seeming legit, they just like to vent hot air about the NRA and evil AR-15 owners.

  11. If the address is right, then Google maps seems to put it in a residential area. So it’s a gun dealer out of his home… not a problem with that. I bought my last gun that way. But if the web site is correct then he is a gun dealer with only one type of gun for sale. Not fishy at all. Move along. These are not the droids you are looking for.

  12. Anyone game for putting a RF activation switch onto steering wheel power assist system?

    I bet it will give you a peace of mind know ing your kid will not “accidentally” drive away your car, in fact, the idea is so good it needs to be mandatory, let me call my inexpensive Chinese engineers and see what they have.

  13. By way of correction… The article is from Fortune magazine, not Forbes. Looking at it from that perspective, it’s remarkably fair – especially in its discussion of the New Jersey law.

    I even learned something. Apparently there is a movement building to repeal that law:

    In addition, after the Andy Raymond debacle, Weinberg—the original sponsor of the New Jersey law and now the majority leader of the state senate—publicly acknowledged that the time may have come to repeal her law. In an interview with Fortune, she says she expects some action before the end of this year. One possibility, she continues, would be to replace it with a statute that would simply require that if smart guns are available, New Jersey firearm dealers would have to offer at least one such model for sale.

    I don’t know that I like that last bit, but wars are won by victories in small battles.

    • That could also be a strategic move. They now know that gun owners will scare anyone from selling true “smart” pistol. So the next move is to back down a bit, get it on the market place, once people start buying it then make mandates to make it mandatory.

      We have to remember politicians play chess not checkers. well some do.

    • Actually Weinberg’s counteroffer was for the NRA to drop all opposition to the sale of “smart guns” at which time she would consider repealing the law. Couple of things wrong with that: 1. she is a liar 2. she really offered nothing but consideration and 3. she is but 1 Senator and is in no position to repeal anything. She could offer up a bill that gets voted down and we are left with nothing.

    • Doesn’t surprise me in the least. What matters to me most, though, is keeping them in retreat. Yes, it’s a chess game, but one we can play, as well. Hope the NRA is increasing its pressure on it.

  14. Why is anyone pissed off at some FFL selling this gun? So what. To me this gun is like mayonnaise; I don’t like it, it grosses me out, I don’t want it near me, I ain’t buying it.

    Wait, what? Oh, the Jersey Smart Gun law(s). What’s DB got to do with that? He didn’t write that law. I don’t think. He won’t enforce that law. I don’t think.

    You’re gonna eff with this guy because he’s selling a legal item that has ramifications on your 2A rights that you don’t like? Of course you’re not. You’re gonna go tar/feather the scumbag Jersey politicians that wrote those Smart Gun laws to begin with.

    You’re… not doing that either? Ohhh… OK.

  15. Now that another dealer is involved with Armatix, y’all should crucify him too and try to take away his livelihood as you did with the others.

      • Hint: “You all” was not “us” in the past, at least not in some collective sense you seem to think it was.

        I think you need to be careful where you get your talking points. Letting others think for you is never a good approach to life.

        So, a couple of dealers had some backlash in the past; prove it was anyone that officially represents TTAG. Oh, wait. You can’t?

        THEN SHUT THE HELL UP with the “you all” crap.

        As I recall THE TRUTH of at least one of those situations, it was not posted here on TTAG until AFTER the fact…that is…it was reported as a story here that SOMEONE pressured the dealer to stop selling the gun. THAT was the story.

        • Astroturfing trolls are always a good for a laugh.

          You give yourself away with your “you all” and cutesey name-calling. But whatever.

  16. $2000 for a .22 that may or may not work when you need it – yup, that’s a real market winner. The NJ law is the only strike against it since they won’t be selling many of something so expensive and useless. Is it too late to ask Britain if they will take NJ back? it seems to have the same socio-political Weltanschauung, so no big change in their way of life and the rest of us would no longer be afflicted by the bozos they end to Congress.

  17. Screw it, if he’s already sold some then the genie is out of the bottle so to speak. Now I wanna’ see an objective (read: divorced from the politics of the situation) review for one of these things on TTAG.

  18. As long as any state has a law on its books forbidding the sale of regular guns once smart guns are available for purchase, then we are justified in doing whatever it takes to prevent smart guns from being sold in that state — especially if the law hypocritically makes an exception for police.

    Otherwise, smart guns are fine. (I once spent $400 to have a revolver converted so it would only fire when I wore a special magnetic ring — google “Tarnhelm Supply Company.”)

  19. a greedy gun dealer and supposed gunsmith that will do anything too make a buck, cause his main business is not doing so well as he is fairly incompetent at it! guess he will not do business with me any time soon! trash dealers get trashed!

  20. “When the last capitalist is hung we will hang him with the rope he sold us”, Karl Marx 1855?

    When the last government approved gun dealer is shot it will be with the only gun he could sell with government permission.

  21. “We’d love to talk to him about his decision to sell the Armatix guns…”

    I hope that Douglas Bickal can live with the fact that in all likelihood he will go down in history as the Benedict Arnold of the 2nd Amendment’s “Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms.” 😐

    “… and to buy an iP1 to check one out for ourselves.”

    Got a spare $1,798 ($1,399 for the base pistol and another $399 for the enabling watch) to spend on what has to be the most expensive .22LR pistol in history?

    http://www.americas1stfreedom.org/articles/2015/11/12/exclusive-we-test-the-armatix-ip1-the-not-so-smart-gun/

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