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“You can’t be required to carry anything in a store. It’s just like telling every shoe store that they have to sell a Nike. I believe (smart guns) should be available, but the market has to decide what they want to use.” – Lou’s Firearms employee in The Guns the NRA Doesn’t Want Americans to Get [at motherjones.com]

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67 Responses to Quote of the Day: Let the Market Decide on ‘Smart Guns’ Edition

    • “The Guns the NRA Doesn’t Want Americans to Get”? Yeah right. At least title the article honestly: “The Guns No Americans Want to Get.”

  1. But the government authoritarians believe nothing should be decided by the market, let alone firearms.

    They can’t help their totalitarian impulse to mandate. They are smarter, more caring, and just better than we peasants. It’s Pavlovian.

      • Uh . . the gun lobby is powerful because it represents the interests of millions of people who vote together.

        Judged by any standard, the NRA is the ULTIMATE grass roots political organization.

        Don

        p.s. The vast vast majority of its budget is funded by MILLIONS of people sending it small amounts of money. Lets contrast that with the most powerful anti gun group, Moms against Everytown common sense eieio – and you will see that that group is funded primarily by ONE person.

      • The Koch brothers? Really? You mean the guys who fund the largest libertarian movement on the planet?

        Yes, those evil libertarians. Who want to take over, quit taking your money, and leave you alone. How dastardly of them.

        • I don’t think the Kochs are as beneficent as you make them out to be, BUT compared to Bloomberg and his ilk the are down right angelic.

        • “HELP HELP! THE LIBERTARIANS ARE COMING! THEY’RE GOING TO TAKE OVER AND LEAVE EVERYONE ALONE!”

          I love that quote.

        • Don’t get me wrong, I think that anorcho-capitalists are naive, but I much prefer them to “liberal” statists like Bloomberg and Sanders.

        • Don’t get me wrong, I think that anarcho-capitalists are naive, but I much prefer them to “liberal” statists like Bloomberg and Sanders.

        • The Kochs aren’t libertarian in any reasonable sense of the word, they’re propertarian plutocrats.

  2. Until the New Jersey mandate goes away, I just don’t see it happening. I would NOT want to be “that guy” that screwed an entire state.

    • Honestly, I wouldn’t mind “screwing over” a state that is already screwed up beyond repair. New Jersey, NYC, Boston, Chiraq, DC/Maryland/NOVA, Cali, etc, would get completely destroyed by the backlash smartgun laws would cause.

    • Invent smartguns, refuse to sell them in NJ, just like Barrett won’t sell in California anymore.

      That will force the issue deliciously, I think.

    • Even if the NJ law went away tomorrow, the anti’s have tipped their legislative hand. I still think there would be quite the backlash on gun stores that initially carried the things. What would happen next is too obvious to most gun owners.

  3. The “lady” who introduced the must sell smart guns bill in NJ says that she now wants to only require every gun shop have a smart gun available for purchase. It’s not fair to require a store to spend the money to have a smart gun. Why not simply require the store to make available the space for the manufacturer to display his gun and sell it on consignment?

    • That would be the only way to do it that any gun store would ever agree to, because no gun store is going to spend its own money to keep in stock a gun that nobody wants or asked for.

    • Why do that? Don’t they have waiting periods? It would be a lot easier for everybody of the shops were simply required to not deny an order for one if available from their distributor.

      No shop wants to lose potential sales anyway.

    • Why does she not simply require that all NJ cops carry ONLY smartguns? I ask not simply because they would shoot her first, but they would quickly educate her as to the drawbacks of her folly. If it is a good idea for most folks, it is a GREAT idea for cops, and what they are required to carry on duty is not protected by any part of the constitution.

      • I’ll find rhe citations again if need be, but in a comnent on a previous post, I showed that, using FBI statistics, about 5-10 police officers per year are killed with their own firearm.

        I’m sure the other 749,990 police officers will gladly adopt smart guns in order to mitigate that risk.

  4. Absent the idiotic laws in NJ (and I believe CA) there would be nothing wrong with a smart gun. It would simply represent another choice available to consumers through the free market.

    For an occasional shooter with kids in the house, it might make sense. Though not for me. Even still, it represents another choice brought to us by the invisible hand of Adam Smith.

    Unfortunately GOVERNMENT has done what it always does, screw things up. Too bad.

    Don

    • Agreed. A digitized firearm is an intriguing idea but like all critical digitized products it takes several years of high demand to provide the revenue to get them to be practical. Remember in the 90’s when you had to upgrade to a better computer every 2 or 3 years as software increased memory requirements and hardware was refined? The cell phone is another example. How many have you owned? Going from the brick to the candy bar was a huge leap. From that we took a quantum leap to the smart phone. Digitizing personal weapons could open up possibilities we can’t imagine today but it takes competition and research funded by selling a lot of products quickly and customer’s need to be willing to upgrade to the next version. I wonder if we would have early adapters camping out at their LGS waiting for the next release?

      In short cool new stuff may motivate you to buy products. Cool new stuff that works better than old stuff gives you the option to make your life better. Court mandated social engineering doesn’t make your life better – there is no cool new stuff just stuff that meets mandated requirements while removing the liberty to sell cool new stuff without state approval. A Progressive’s wet dream.

      On a personal note I plan to keep my 239 as my primary carry weapon after I buy my first ray gun.

    • Also agree. I have no need for a smart gun but can imagine a homeowner with children wanting one, so long as it works properly, every time. My iPhone 6 with fingerprint reader works pretty well, but not quickly enough or reliably enough for use on a personal protection weapon. The linked RFID watch idea is simply insane. Until a reliable fingerprint or palm print reader is developed, no-one in their right mind will want to buy a smart gun. (A well designed palm print reader could work a lot like a grip safety — encourage proper grip, and be a logical extension of a safety feature that has been accepted for 100 years.) And yes, there has to be a way to work around the technology when the battery fails, as it will.

      • If you can instantly work around the technology, then the technology is useless added cost and weight. And I have several firearms with grip safeties, none makes me worry about battery life.

        • Grip safeties do not address the targeted issue. The people on this forum are not the problem. The problem is how to keep the undesirables from firing guns that they do not lawfully own. In concept I do not have a real issue with “smart” guns. How the issue of millions of non-smart weapons already in circulation is an entirely different matter.

        • And when the Undesirables take the trivial step of bypassing/disabling the electronics?

          No worries. Just pass a law making it illegal to do so. That’ll be sure to stop them.

      • What will happen to the owner’s family when the “owner” the gun responds to solely is killed by home invaders, and the remaining family members cannot use the “smartie” gun to defend their lives?

        Do you want that on your conscience?

        I didn’t think so.

    • California has a microstamping law (requiring a unique imprint to be stamped in two places on the casing at the time a round is fired from a semi-auto pistol) (another technology that is not quite ready for prime time but is being enforced anyway), but not a smart gun law. [Yet.]

  5. As a proponent of a Free Market, I think smart guns should be available at whatever MSRP the manufacturer(s) can offer them. I am guessing fairly expensive due to low demand, initially, and low availability as Gun Shops would be reluctant to stock them.
    I do oppose any Government mandates and would oppose their sale if Government mandates were to loom on the horizon. It’s the only way to ever prove/disprove the viability of the concept and technology. No, I would not buy one.

  6. What _actual_ problem does the smart gun solve? Let’s see, 2/3rds of the 30K gun deaths are intentional suicides… no. Almost all the rest are intentional homicides by criminals not using these smart-guns… no. Ok, so we have accidental shootings some of which are self-inflicted (appendix shots or high caliber recoil shots)… no. So we have maybe a couple hundred cases where we have a deliberate taking of the gun and subsequent use in the “wrong hands”. Color me not impressed. When these smart guns start looking like TECs and MACs, come back and play.

  7. Oh… That’s cute… They claim to be all about the “free market” now that their “smart gun” machinations have been exposed. Here’s a wacky idea. Support a constitutional amendment that prevents any ownership bans on any man portable weapon or component for same and we can talk about letting smart guns into the market.

    • Wrong. That amendment has existed for over 200 years, and the same scum continues to just ignore it. We should just ignore them.

  8. Having just come back from Disney World, where they do a finger scan every time you enter a park. I was scanned about 15 times. About one in four time it scanned correctly the first time. Sometimes it worked on the second try, sometimes on the third. Some times it didn’t work at all. I really want to trust my life on this tech. I did learn I may have been pressing to hard and I know, if I every really needed to use a smart gun for self defense, I would touch the scanner with a feather light touch so that could never be a problem.

  9. Wile E Coyote must be very proud of the influence he exerts over the staff at MJ and The NJ state legislature. What a plan!
    1. Mandate technology that does not exist in any useful form.
    2.??????????????????????????????????????
    3. End gun violence/ownership

    • Precisely, but you forgot steps 4 through 7:

      4. Confiscate wealth from undesirables and divergents.
      5. Send said undesirables to State “re-education camps”. (for the children!)
      6. ???????
      7. Utopia.

  10. Under ordinary circumstances, I’d be okay with letting the success or failure of smart guns be decided by the market. The problem I have with it now is twofold. First it triggers mandates at the state level in NJ and wherever else that idiocy reigns, and second, I suspect the Bloomberg financed antis will artificially manipulate the market by purchasing them to show “demand”.

    • For an example of that look at magazine disconnects. They demonstrably make a worse, less reliable gun, but they are now mandated in many states.

      • Yep. I remember the first time I handled a CA compliant AR with bullet button. I realized I was pretty much better off with my SKS.

  11. I support letting the free market decide on smart guns. I just don’t trust the government to keep the market free.

    I think that if smart guns were available at a reasonable price, we would quickly see that they are not the magic solution to “gun violence” that their supporters trumpet them as. Kids are smart. They will figure out that they need the little electronic dongle to make the gun fire. Criminals are smart too. They will steal the dongle along with the gun. Not to mention that it wouldn’t be hard to build a device that bypasses the electronic lock on the gun. Connecting the trigger directly to the seer is an elementary mechanical problem that has been solved for centuries. Once these cats are out of the bag, the antis will be right back to calling for other gun control measures.

    • No matter what your views on the free market are – it sure gets a lot of lip service – the fact remains that you or I do not live under one.

      Sharks and minnows: that’s the free market in a nutshell. Russia is much more a free market than anything found in the States.

  12. I have been considering one of those small bedside safes that has RFID and biometric unlock mechanisms. But, I’m only considering it because it has combination and key based backups. In theory, if the bio or emitter fail, I should only lose a half second or so in comparison to going straight to the combo.

    Point being, that’s about as close as I’m willing to let “smart” devices get to my arms. Well that or a Tracking Point system. But the latter isn’t in my price category.

    • “Point being, that’s about as close as I’m willing to let “smart” devices get to my arms.”

      You and me both, sister.

      And that right there is why ‘smart’ guns are years (or more likely never) from from being what Americans will be willing to buy.

      And that is why they will be rammed down our throats without our consent if we let them…

  13. The problem is that the market was not allowed to decide.
    Anti-gun Politicians decided once someone offered a smart gun they would mandate all guns be smart guns. No matter if the technology worked or if you wanted it. The very notion salted the earth around smart gun technology, which only had viability in the civilian market.

    Anti-guns should take this as a lesson of how their well thought out laws tend to backfire and create unwanted results.

  14. Every time I read “smart gun” I think of a sci-fi novel I read, where the elite forces (and upper class) had weapons that when you picked one up to use it they pierced your skin and little tendrils integrated into your nervous system, with the result that the user always shot at his absolute best (and then some) — and if the wrong person tried to use it, it inflicted pain. It was a really kool concept.

    The interesting thing was that in the novel, special operatives in the field ALWAYS carried a back-up without the fancy features. That told me the author understood reality.

    • Hmmm. Smart guns.

      You know, the only smart gun, I want, wouldn’t be a gun per se, but something futuristic like some sort of directed energy ordinance, a handheld laser or particle weapon like a phased pistol or its more power descendant, the phaser.

      I’d rather set it to max setting and vaporize my enemy. No need for the coroner, well, maybe, he might have the necessary dustpan.

      That darn thing, I’d want, maybe, tied to some sort of electric device, since it’s already electrical in nature.

  15. I think there’s a market for smarter guns, but not necessarily a safety aspect. Given advances in image recognition, firing when the maximum lethal target is acquired would be one. This could represent a significant advance given the appalling shot placement accuracy of LEOs or hunter error resulting in livestock fatalities.

    My heartburn over RFID or similar dongle signal transmitters is the relative ease of signal hacking. Battelle has demonstrated a “rifle” that electronically downs drones. Not too far-fetched to imagine that mandated “smart” firearms could be disabled by authorities just as cell phones are during protests / riots.

    If threatening to burn down gun stores worked, then Everytown and every anti-extreamist would be manning phone banks. The excuse rings hollow. Regardless, let the market decide.

  16. The really funny thing is that the fastest way to get civilians to adopt smart gun technology is to start issuing it to law enforcement first.

    • This, 100 times over. If the .gov was really serious about smart guns, they would demand them for their guys. If the gun-grabbers were really serious about the “advantages” of smart guns, they would press the .gov to embrace them, rather than exempting themselves from them. Only a couple have done so, notably EJ Dionne, who probably just didn’t get the memo: “Encouraging smart guns” isn’t about encouraging smart guns at all, it’s about banning not-“smart” guns.

    • Yeah cause showing us one in those sucky newer Bourne-Bond movies, from Q branch, no less, didn’t get the pond across the water interested in them.

  17. Smart guns are “readily available” in “overseas”? Really? The only one I have ever seen is the Armatix, and that company is bankrupt because they could not sell their massively overpriced .22 over there any more than they could sell it here. (Which is why Mauch is here joining up with others to try to fund a start up–he was out of a job.) There were multiple inadequacies of the Armatix. Not just price and caliber, but you had to buy and wear a clunky watch, you had to unlock the gun with the watch, and if the gun strayed more than ten inches from the watch, it deactivated. Which meant that it made a terrible bedside table gun because the owner would have to unlock the gun before using it. And of course there is the problem that any gun with batteries is a failure waiting to happen. Murphy’s Law tells us when THAT will happen.

    Then there is the fact that the “all too many” child deaths due to improperly stored firearms are (a) really not all that numerous, (b) result in criminal penalties in an increasing number of states, and (c) are easily preventable without fancy and expensive electronics just be the exercise of reasonable care.

    The last problem with smart guns is that if they are indeed successful as a functioning firearm and in the market, it will take but two shakes of a lamb’s tail before the government mandates that all new semi-auto pistols incorporate the technology (and if the rumors about phones are any indication, requiring a backdoor to allow the police to disable firearms during encounters with civilians).

    • ” (and if the rumors about phones are any indication, requiring a backdoor to allow the police to disable firearms during encounters with civilians).”

      It’s no rumor. Apple and the other phone manufacturers are already being insistently ‘asked’ to provide the backdoor for their encryption.

      So far, Apple is telling them nicely to get fvcked. And lo and behold, they’re holding up the Constitution when they’re telling them to attempt self-replication.

      I fully expect them to maintain that position. They certainly have the support of the libertarians in silicon valley.

  18. As soon as the police (98%) and the military (including spec ops) swaps over to smart guns. I’ll look into it. I would rather see a smart safe for cars. That would be useful say 12x 6 x 36 frame mounted.

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