Smart guns – firearms that recognize the user to prevent unauthorized access – are something or a pariah amongst the People of the Gun. And for good reason. New Jersey has a law on its books that mandates all handguns for sale in The Garden State must be smart guns within 30 months of any such gun being available for sale in the United States. Well, now, check this out . . .

Israel’s IWI have developed a smart gun. While the video describing their military-aimed eLog system above makes no mention of “personalization protection” it’s not a great leap to think that their system could be modified for that very purpose.

Do the benefits – inventory control, maintenance alerts, shooting data collection and more outweigh the political ramifications? As Nick constantly reminds me, you can’t stop the signal. [h/t DC-W]

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65 Responses to Israel’s IWI Creates a Smart Gun. Lots of Smart Guns. Want one?

  1. This is military technology, right?

    I thought “Military weapons have no place on the streets of America…”

    • It is targeted for military purposes.

      It appears to be an RFID system for tracking usage, movement, and inventory.
      So if a tech savvy Palestinian sets up some RFID readers around a neighborhood, he can use them to track the incoming IDF troops (where they are, how many there are, what weapons they have, how much ammo they have left, etc.) to set up the perfect ambush.

      • Right. How far behind do you suppose the idea of a RFID tracker, to be used in an RFID-seeking missile, is going to be?

        • Considering many active homing missiles are already guided by radio frequencies? Not far behind. The trick will be scale. But, missiles are less concerning, it’s RFID triggered IEDs that I’d worry about.

        • Not a missile. An IED carrying drone. The operator team has the RFID detector. Fly to the specific location with a visual confirmation. Push bang button. Easy, consumer grade, nothing unusual on your possession while escaping.

          And drones are a lot cheaper than missiles.

      • RFID is very low-power, so the range would be a few meters at most if the tag is passive, and up to 100m if it’s active.

        • If they’re hooking RFID sensors to IEDs, 10 meters would be plenty close enough. :-/

  2. Sad thing is, I’d very much like to have one. New Jersey is a loss anyway.

    But I’m not sure I want to the guy that upsets THIS applecart.

    Of course, I’m in california (another Loss state), and it’ll never get approved in this state anyway.

    • People said the same thing about Illinois not to long ago. I say never give up hope. Not betting on it for any amount of money…. but I’ll still hold out hope.

  3. Meh… This is not a fire control system. Modifying it to do that would be basically creating a new design. What it is is a glorified accelerometer with a GPS tag and some fancy software. It’s damn useful for military purposes where keeping track of maintenance records for hundreds of thousands of individuals weapons is a challenge. However, I don’t see this affecting the civilian sector one way or another.

    • “However, I don’t see this affecting the civilian sector one way or another.”

      Ability to remote disable doesn’t affect one way or another?

      • That’s not what this system does. At all. Did you even watch the video? It’s basically a glorified round counter and inventory management system. It has ZERO interaction with the fire control group.

      • I must have watched a different video than you did. It does not have the capability to disable anything. The only thing it does is keep records of maintenance, how many shots fired and where it is. It does not control the weapon in any way, shape, or form. It is the technology that the ATF should have had for Fast and Furious, assuming that they really wanted to track the weapons.

    • I think pwrserge is right on this one – in its current state, the system is just an inventory control doodad – it only gathers data. If the OBDII system on your car screws up, the car still runs, you just can’t get a readout of the computer data. If the e-log malfunctions, the gun still shoots.

        • That’s the point, it doesn’t have to. The system does not interact with the internals in any way. It merely uses an accelerometer to detect and count shots while using an RFID based system to tack the gun and transfer usage data to a maintenance center point. If the system fails, there’s no loss of function. Your armorer’s going to be pissed, but that’s about it.

        • You can still drive your car without the stereo and GPS.

          Something like this could be very useful for 3-gunners and the like.

      • Anything electronic has an off “switch”. If it can be remotely disabled, there is a way for a “hacker” to do the same. The days of government proprietary design were over a long time ago. Software and firmware are easily overcome if they are not standalone, hardened systems.

        • So they can disable my armorer’s ability to tell how many rounds I’ve fired and how many times I’ve dropped the rifle since it was last serviced? Oh, the horror.

    • Watch the video. It is nothing more than a glorified shot counter. It does not affect the fire control group one way or another.

  4. This doesn’t seem to tie into the fire control system or interrupt the normal functioning of the firearm in any way. Nor does it appear that it could. I’m okay with this.

  5. From a military perspective, I can’t see anyone adopting this. The problem of inventory control isn’t bad or costly enough (based on my understanding anyway) to justify the cost of implementing this for each and every weapon.

    Where I CAN see this being useful is in conflicts such as we are seeing now in the Middle East. Weapons are routinely captured by someone other than the intended recipient, and then used against the “allies” we were trying to help. If you can GPS locate those arms (presuming the emitter can’t be easily removed or the signal blocked … a pretty big assumption), and you can then tie this to what amounts to a self-destruct, I can see this being very valuable in situation where we are engaged in what amounts to a proxy war. A quick-set resin in the fire-control group would be enough to render the gun useless without serious effort, and could potentially avoid issues like we saw/continue to see in Iraq where ISIS is using our own equipment against Iraqi forces.

      • If you think you can pack a GPS transceiver into a box that small and have it function for any length of time, please let the NSA know, they probably have a nice fat check for you.

    • I think a military officer, who is financially liable, would want anything that can make inventory more reliable and easier is a bonus!

  6. I too am against “smart guns”, but I doubt that this technology is anything we as civilians need to fear. It’s benefits are only useful to military and police armories that service hundreds or more weapons. Data on shots fired between service intervals, trouble guns that require more service than others has the potential to save money. Plus, accurately counting shots fired could lead to more fine tuned ammo purchases, potentially another cost cutting benefit.

    But whether this system is cost effective, I have no clue.

  7. Everyone SHOULD fear this tech as it is just another slice in the death by 1000 cuts strategy that the anti’s use.

    Blech.

    • I fail to see how an inventory management system combined with a round counter has anything to do with gun control. It can’t disable your gun. It can’t track your gun. (On further review, a GPS transceiver is way too power hungry to live in the package they present, it’s probably a passive RFID chip.) All it does is let you know how many rounds you fired and how many times you dropped your gun. It’s basically an odometer for your gun.

      • About the only thing it would support would be making the guns easier to find during a search. That is, if all guns were required to have RFID, the police could come in with a hand held interrogator to assist in locating them.

  8. Yeah I’m not seeing this as anything more than an inventory control system. This is analogous to RFID tags that you find on retail products in retail stores. There is no way that I can see this being ported into a fire control / authentication system. That would require a completely different system.
    But let’s look at the worst case scenario. The antis mandate this be put in all firearms so that they can set up readers in public places or the entrances to offices or stores to track firearms. It’s not like we won’t be able to render them inoperable.

  9. “Smart” technology in various forms from smart gun, smart electric meters, smart cars, etc., etc. are a way of inserting the power of the state more intimately into the lives of private citizens. Using artificial intelligence to make decisions for you is a direct threat to individual liberty and freedom. AI is only useful when it is controlled by the individual and not by the state.

  10. Holly crap the tinfoil hat brigade is out in force today. The “smart” part of this system is the predictive maintenance program. The onboard system is just a usage tracker and RFID tag.

    It cannot disable your gun.
    It doesn’t let anybody track your gun remotely.

    It does allow an armorer to spend less money on spare parts by more accurately predicting part wear.
    It does allow an armorer to buy ammunition in a more controlled manner based on actual usage.
    It does allow an armorer to detect and address abuse related failures before they occur.

    Calm down, this is not some sort of crazy plot by the lizard people. It’s an incredibly useful tool for large armories that need to service hundreds or thousands of weapons.

    • It would make it a bit easier for guns equipped with an RFID to be found/located during a search of a room/building, correct? But that’s about it, what is the range for an RFID to be interrogated?

      • Depends on the chip. For industrial units? You’re typically talking a few inches. The problem is the size and the fact that it has to be enclosed. Both those work against range.

    • yeah, people are blowing up the comments without even watching the vid. RFID cannot track you from space, its effective range is similar to the anti theft system at walmart. Something as simple as this I am honestly wondering why it wasn’t around earlier. We have had this tech around the 90s, it works and its all very simple. Hell, its not a smart gun. anyone can still shoot it at any time. I think it would be handy, it records gun movement while shooting, if its being waved about and fired willy nilly, it will record it.

      • Indeed. I doubt we will see much support for requiring them in the comments here but as far as possibly making a personal choice to buy something like this then my answer is yes. I have some firearms that are shot enough that I would find at least a round counter to be useful. I would not be surprised if I could make use of other useful data logs as well. Like has been noted this example is not integral to the design or function of any weapon it is being put on. Bring an affordable system to the civilian market that easily mounts and is easily removed without any permanent modification and I am interested.

    • Good summary, pwrserge. The sky is not falling, guys.

      If this counts as a “smart” gun, then does the spreadsheet I use to keep track of my guns and ammo also count? Because this is pretty much just a more automated version of that.

  11. They already put a system like this in beretta shotguns. I don’t understand the big deal. I think the title is a bit misleading. But I clicked so it works.

  12. They could use this as an excuse to pass some of their wish list. GPS can be used to enforce safe storage laws and carry restrictions. Round counters could be used to enforce ammo restrictions. These laws generally fail because they overburden LE and citizens, but if they could check your compliance with a radar gun or something how long do you think it will be before moms start demanding them on all guns, and Bloomberg funds a successful stateside push to mandate them?

  13. Now they’d know about all of those thousands of rounds of blank ammo I buried that I was supposed to fire during maneuvers, but didn’t want to clean my gat. Blanks is dirty y’all.

  14. So how smart does a smart gun have to be?

    As smart as politicians? If so that means we would have to go back to the stone age if your talking about liberal democrats.

    😉

  15. Glorified Automated Inventory Management is more like it. I’m all about tech but I don’t understand how this would be considered “smart gun”. Doesn’t sound like it’d tell from intended friend or foe.

  16. Seems like more of a data collection system, it doesn’t seem to interfere in any way with the actual operation of the firearm as a “smart gun” would. This is something more in line with armory level users, since their key talking points are around round counts, maintenance schedules and inventory tracking, rather than user ID and usage restriction.

  17. Any electronic device will eventually fail… usually at the most inappropriate time. Here in Hawai’i, the mean life of electronics is 2 years due to humidity and salt air. Your experience may vary.

    • Modern electronics since the 80’s have ‘tropicalised’ to protect them in that humid type of environ. Marine protection (salt) is more comprehensive…

      (Aloha. I used to live in Pearl City…)

  18. Let’s look at this from an evolutionary POV. The next logical step would be to have the data on the round counts and operability of the firearm transmitted to a device such as a hud on some military google glasses. If this uses wireless of any kind, it can be hacked.

    Now suppose the same HUD is also tied to the comms back to command or integrated into your unit’s drones. Now you have a multiple gateways for any hacker wanting to gather intel or wreak havoc with the inventory. The point is this system is like an IBM PS II… “wow, this computer has a 20MB hardrive!” Flash forward 25 years and that same stand-alone system has become the backbone of the entire economy, infrastructure (water, sewer, power, etc) and communication.

    Are there benefits to digital integration- hell yes… but as smart phones have demonstrated, we take the tech too far and allow it too deep into the core of our daily lives and what our lives depend on for survival.

  19. I’m thinking that instead of a GPS, that tiny board/chip contains an acceleromoter and a timekeeping circuit. Off the shelf circuits; cheap and easy. And completely self-contained. Just ruggedize the case – make it look all badazz operator-like.

    AND the profit in Government sales is just AWESOME.

    Theft? That’s when you get a movement that wasn’t expected a a given time. Not theft prevention, just proof of theft.

  20. It makes sense that it’s coming from Israel simply because they have a history of taking rather extreme measures in order to control a populace of conscripts. Setting aside the obvious example of their name becoming synonymous with carrying with an empty chamber, this is a military that built a bottle opener into the galil to keep boots from jacking up magazines on beer bottles. With that context, it’s easy to see how the notion of technology that could be carried safely -regardless of its effectiveness -could appeal to them

  21. A boon to law enforcement : now instead of having to shoot guns out of bad guys hands, they can simply shoot the watch off his wrist.

  22. Smart Gun® is a registered trademark of Mossberg by the way. iGun™ was released by Mossberg years ago as the “world’s first personalized firearm”…..

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