James Bond's smart gun (courtesy technoegly.com)

The Garden State passed a bill on so-called smart guns that would require a ban on the sale of “dumb guns” in New Jersey three years after any gun dealer in the U.S. offered a “smart gun” for sale. The legislation had a chilling effect on the entire smart gun industry; no gun dealer wanted to be “that guy.” nj.com reports that the state’s politicians have cured that defect with a new bill . . .

The state Assembly gave final legislative approval to the bill (S3249) Monday, 43-30. Proponents, led by Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), hope that the measure, which would loosen the state’s current smart gun law, will spark lagging investment in personalized technology.

It would replace current New Jersey law requiring that only personalized handguns may be offered for sale three years after they are properly vetted and on the market. Weinberg and others say the strict law actually stunted the growth of the technology because of strong pressure by gun rights activists.

The bill heading to the governor’s desk follows the same three-year time frame to go into effect, but instead would require only that retailers offer at least one model for sale. Christie has said the technology doesn’t exist and the 2002 law should be repealed.

Will Governor Christie sign this bill, which would open the floodgate to “smart gun” sales in the U.S.? Or will he veto it to protect his pro-gun rights cred (such as it is) amongst Republican voters in the race for the presidential nomination? Should he? Watch this space . . .

59 Responses to New Jersey ‘Smart Gun’ Bill Heading for Gov. Christie’s Desk, Removes Future Ban on ‘Dumb Guns’

    • Agreed! It’s not the ideal law (a complete repeal of the earlier one), but it’s a step in the right direction for improving NJ’s gun rights.
      I don’t see how eliminating what would have amounted to a total ban on normal guns, would “protect his pro-gun rights cred”. I’d expect the NJ gun groups to be supportive of this bill.

      The provision that the retailer must stock at least one “smart” gun option is probably just a face saving measure. In practical terms, all the retailers have to do is buy one unit of the cheapest “smart” gun on the market, then put it on the shelf for $50M. Provision satisfied. Or if customers actually want to buy the things, then the retailer just stocks them like any other in demand product.

    • My concern is that once it’s appealed that smart guns will hit the market and then another state will mandate smart gun technology.

  1. The tyranny here is not smart gun tech but the mindless fu*cking legislators that thought of the law THEN imposed it on law abiding citizens. If than is not evidence that democrats want to restrict your ability to lawfully protect yourself..what is?

    • This.
      I don’t mind people trying their hand at developing smart guns. Just as I don’t mind people trying to develop a self driving car. But mandating that the first success becomes the standard was insane.
      What I fear is that they removed the mandate, in the hopes that development would continue, while not understanding why it was shunned in the first place.

      What stops them from passing a new mandate once a smart-gun finds its niche?

      • ^This
        I suspect they will try to pass a law reinstating the mandate once a single smart gun becomes commercially available. The old bait and switch.

        • Could be worse – could have done like CA did with microstamping – not even a mature or useful technology, but mandated anyway to get a new model of handgun on the approved list.

          I would see this legislation as a partial victory. Rolling back restrictive legislation even a little should be enough to celebrate a bit. Heck, if a store manager walks out of his or her store to tell the Demanding Moms to “get off my lawn,” Shannon’s headline reads “Walmart Executives engage in substantive talks with gun-sense activists!”

          We can do that, too..

      • I have little doubt American innovation will one day come up with a practical, reliable “smart gun”. Whether it works via biometric scanner, RFID or the Force, i don’t care: it’s very existence would be really cool and I’ll cheerfully sell them as long as they actually work. That said- I still want to be able to sell “older tech” guns as well for as long as anyone wants one. Huh. A Smart Muzzleloader? Could it be done?

      • The definition of success is what is important. In order for smart gun technology to be viable it would have to be:

        1) Reliable
        2) Secure
        3) Efficient (equal in speed to a standard presentation or draw stroke)

        Any tech that requires a signal can likely be tampered with or defeated without physical contact with the firearm.

        Tactile mechanisms are all subject to wear and tear and more moving parts and complexity = slower presentation.

        After all, you are trusting your life to this device. I get that the purpose of this device is to ensure your weapon can’t fall into the “wrong” hands, but like any “common sense” idea, it’s open to abuse and misappropriation.

        Extensive field testing would be required before any smart tech could even remotely be considered a “success” along with X amount of real usage in combat situations (i.e. Military and police) before civilian use.

  2. Introducing the Jersey gun. 100% of proceeds to N.J. general fund, required by law to be sold by every sporting goods retailer doing business in N.J. Retail price: $1995, specialized electronic bullets box of 6/$149, mandatory state subscription to monthly training $495/year. Mandatory ‘electronic firearm insurance’ $995/year. Failure to maintain mandatory insurance: mandatory surrender of Jersey Gun to authorities with $595 documentation and search/seizure fee. Get your safe gunz today!

  3. “personalized handguns”
    Well, isn’t that a cute little euphemism.

    Anyway, I don’t see a downside to signing this bill. A veto certainly would not “protect his pro-gun rights cred (such as it is).” Heck, if retailers begin offering “personalized handguns,” some people might actually buy them. Like P.T. Barnum said, there’s a sucker born every minute.

    • Well the obvious downside is that the law would require retailers to offer at least one smart gun model for sale. So if you want to sell guns, you have to purchase at least one smart gun whether or not it will sell and no matter how much it costs, and add it to your inventory. That could tie up a couple grand.

      • Does the law define “offer for sale”, or could this requirement be met by a sign on the counter outlining the procedure to special-order a pistol from a list of “approved” “smart guns”?

      • Sort of but not really. Just because it’s for sale doesn’t mean it isn’t backordered/special order/not currently in stock. As in, “sure I sell the SmartGun3000; just put down your deposit and it should be here in 2-8 weeks.”

      • Taking the old law off the books is the win. The new law might be successfully challenged in court – restraint of trade or some form of it. What other seller of lawful goods is required to carry a particular brand/category/type of product?

      • “If ya’ want it we can order it…” That’s what drop-shipping is for. And what does Davidson’s Gun Genie do? Drop shipping-as do a myriad of internet gun sellers. “Problem”(or can of worms) solved…as long as I don’t HAVE to buy over-priced junk.

  4. A turd with some chocolate sprinkles on it… Let the market decide, don’t force anyone to sell/offer it. If a shop owner thinks they’ll sell well, they’ll keep them in stock. If a shop owner thinks it won’t sell well, they will not have any. Stop forcing people to do something.

    • If a gun store owner doesn’t have a buyer for said gun within 6 months,the federal or state government should be obliged to buy it and issue it to one of it’s armed goons.

    • Not until 3 years after the particular model is vetted, but yes.

      It’s still a ridiculous requirement, but there’s quite a few viable workarounds.

      “No make or model of a handgun shall be deemed to be a “personalized handgun” unless the Attorney General has determined, through testing or other reasonable means, that the handgun meets any reliability standards that the manufacturer may require for its commercially available handguns that are not personalized or, if the manufacturer has no such reliability standards, the handgun meets the reliability standards generally used in the industry for commercially available handguns.”

      That seems potentially to be a pretty high bar.

      • The AG here in NJ already determined that the armatix isn’t a smart gun. What they wanna see in NJ is fingerprint Id on the gun. Still bs but I think it’s a long ways away.

  5. I don’t care if smart guns hit the market. If someone is gullible enough to think they’re a good idea, fine; it’s not my wallet they’ll be voting with. I do care that I or anyone else wouldn’t be able to vote with our wallets if smart guns became available. I got mad when they banned incandescent bulbs in favor of CFLs, so I’m damn sure going to make some noise if they try the same trick with firearms.

    Sign the law, big boy.

  6. “Weinberg and others say the strict law actually stunted the growth of the technology because of strong pressure by gun rights activists.”

    Aka “the market.”

    Good job, Weinberg, making the socialist case that businesses are in business to serve social justices, not to sell products people want to buy.

    Or wait…is it a better example of fascism, where .gov control freaks like you try to “own” the business?

    Too many isms these days, and they overlap in weird ways…

  7. “…but instead would require only that retailers offer at least one model for sale.”

    Offer for sale like I have at least one in stock, on the shelf, ready to sell?

    Or Offer for sale, like I have one in the catalog I can order for you it will be here in two weeks?

    Subtle but very important difference.

    • The legislative website is down right now, but a quote from the linked article says “The bill (S3249) would require retailers that sell guns to carry at least one smart gun in their inventory three years after they’re vetted by state authorities and are on the market.”

  8. He should either send it back for revision or remove the retailer provision himself. Let the market, not the legislature determine stocking at the retail level.

  9. I’d say veto it for the following reason.

    Despite their comments, Jersey democrats haven’t learned the lesson. The original law was pure poison pill. It was put in place as another attempt to make gun ownership prohibited. Their desire to mandate smart guns is Pavlovian. They left the door open to try to re impose the original law once a smart gun makes it to market.

    Personally, I’d like to see how the technology develops in a natural state or market. It has a long way to go, but such is the way with all early technology in the business cycle. Sadly, I know the progressives won’t be able to help themselves (see Pavlovian reference above). If not New Jersey, then it will be New York or Connecticut or California. A sad state of affairs to be sure, but the reality in a world were facts don’t matter to some and only feelings matter.

    • They could try to mandate even if no prior mandate had ever existed. The only way to keep them from the possibility of ever trying such a mandate would be to make sure no “smart gun” was ever developed, period. I don’t think that’s possible.

    • Fine by me. I’ve always said let the military and (in particular) the domestic LEOs “go first” with “smart guns”.

  10. Might as well require all establishments that sell beer to also sell non-alcoholic beer as well. O’Douls anyone?

  11. It doesn’t matter, once they adopt a smart gun in the country that can be sold in New Jersey Another bill will come up banning dumb guns or revising that Bill that they just put forward. So whether or not they say They’re showing their cards I don’t trust them as far as I can throw them Make a paper airplane out of that bill and jam it where the Sun don’t shine! Christie’s a real scholar anyways Lmao!

  12. Technology mandated by people who don’t want to own it, to fill a market that doesn’t exist. Doesn’t matter if you are talking about pizzas, guns, sex dolls or cars. Using that as a business model is professional suicide. The big bad “gun lobby” doesn’t have to fight against the technology. The fact that nobody will buy them will take care of that by itself. The “gun lobby” can then focus its efforts on preventing laws that make them mandatory.

    Police adopting them? They have a great track record of keeping on the cutting edge of firearms technology. How many decades did it take for revolvers to be commonly replaced by semi-automatics? There are still some jurisdictions that issue revolvers. Good luck with that.

  13. I’m pretty ambivalent over this. The new bill is a significant improvement over the old. That’s a pretty good reason to sign it. But the idea of the state requiring a dealer to offer any particular product in any quantity stinks to me. If he signs it, it’s still bad law in place. If Christie vetoes it, that might pressure Loretta and co. to just dump the whole thing for now. That would be a good reason to veto it. But the idiots who infest the NJ Lege might just leave the original toxic mess in place. But either way, I don’t see how it helps Christie much 2A-perception-wise.

  14. Guns are to protect you from government (comprised of your a-hole neighbors needing jobs). If gov’t can protect themselves from you they have pre-empted your right to protect yourself from them.

    Assume internment, starvation, torture, experimentation, a gas shower and an oven next. At least that’s what happened a few years ago. When was the last time your arms did anyone any harm (hearing loss discounted).

  15. Liberals keep saying that the founding fathers didn’t mean that the 2nd amendment would cover modern firearms yet they keep pushing this 21st century tech,which is it liberals?

  16. The new and improved NJ law should require that every police department in The Garbage State must be equipped exclusively with “smart” guns the minute they are available. The lamentations and rending of police garments would be audible all the way across the Atlantic.

    • NJ cops are exempt from NJ gun laws. That’s why they gladly carry out the state’s agenda and don’t rock the boat by doing something ‘stupid’ like, say, encouraging people to apply for permits to carry. Oh no, NJ cops are happy with whatever nonsense the legislature hands down, so long as they get their carve-outs, which they always do. One hand washes the other.

  17. Christie’s fortunes can’t be saved, neither can New Jersey’s. They’re only trying to tweak this bill to overcome a prior stumbling on their way to civilian disarmament. It isn’t as though they’ve turned over a new leaf on the subject. Let him sign or veto if he wants. Makes no difference.

  18. Soooo… Does having ‘smart gun’ ID restrictions pave the way for the repeal of otherwise classified Class 3 weapons, i.e. automatics?

  19. It’s too late, the damage has been done, and the idea is already out there. The NJ legislatures have doomed smart guns (notice now they’re calling it “personalized”) – there is no way we can trust our government not to create new laws like the one they have on the book now. Like the anti-gunners have always done, they’ll wait, and play the long game, and when they think it’s safe, they’ll try and pass a law like this one again – or rush one through during the midnight hour.

    The gun culture very likely would have welcomed smart guns in, and it may have become the new normal, but now, I doubt it.

  20. No, keep the dumb law as a lesson of the anti’s stupidity. Let New Jersey suffer for their actions and when gun sales drop and the state losses tax money from the lack of sales and criminals are shooting and robbing more people than ever, then you repeal the law.

    Tubby should veto the bill and go back to figuring out how to manage bridge traffic.

  21. And why should we not expect them to simply re-instate the smart gun mandate at a convenient time in the future?

    As the old Scottish-Russian saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

  22. Signing this isn’t anti gun rights. It’s pro capitalist. There may indeed be an interested marketplace for such firearms and this law is standing on the throat of any interested entrepreneur wanting to leverage that market.

  23. The current law is garbage, and I suspect the new law is a trap. Is there any assurance that NJ won’t mandate smart guns in the future as a “solution” to gun violence? I doubt it. I live in CA. Whatever gun control laws get passed, they always want more. Our horizon might hold permits for ammunition. Statists got state, and they don’t want anyone having guns unless they are under their control.

  24. NJ should be floated out into the ocean with NY and CALI. Let the union thugs and moonbats be islands unto themselves.

  25. There are effectively no gun rights to speak of in NJ now. With smart guns, NJ is just defining what kind of gun NJ residents still can’t keep and bear. What’s the point?

  26. Might be a strategic win nationally, if it were the case that even without the mandate that dumb guns can’t be sold after smart guns hit the market, there still isn’t a demand for them. We get to say “see, we gave the tech a chance, no one wants it” whenever some anti yammers about smart guns being a “common sense” measure.

  27. I wouldn’t sign it. The current law is absolutely completely and utterly insane. The new one is just garden variety stupid. I say no deal. Let them repeal if they are serious about moving forward.

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