A few days ago we reported that Italian firearms manufacturer Chiappa was going to start placing RFID chips into their firearms as part of an internal tracking process. The hairs on the back of American gun owners’ necks tingled at the thought (and not in a good way). Missing the “golden 24” (hours) of PR response time, MKS Distributing has released their own press release in response to the increased blog traffic regarding the the RFID chips. The American Distributor for Chiappa and Hi-Point promptly shot themselves in the foot . . .
RFID “Chip” in Chiappa Firearms-what’s up with that?
MKS Distributing, Dayton OH, July, 2011-Distributor for Chiappa Firearms
Recently there has been some blogger activity (credibility always guaranteed) concerning Chiappa Firearms putting a RFID (radio frequency identification) in Chiappa Firearms. Yes, but Chiappa will not be using the RFID system for at least a year.
RUMOR: (known as blogosphere food): The erroneous information about some sort of “chip” was put out by a blogger who translated Chiappa (Italian) technical information incorrectly. The incorrect translation and his interpretation came out as some sort of a GPS type tracking “chip” -which RFID isn’t as it cannot transmit anything-it has NO power source (unlike cell phones).
THE FACTS: Recently several Italian gun makers (not just Chiappa) decided to utilize RFID technology to improve manufacturing and provide more accurate inventory control. We guarantee this technology will proliferate to other gun makers world wide as it is so efficient for everything from production QC control to export/import varification. Other industries already use passive RFID technology such as on DVDs, sunglasses, clothes and even some food products for example.
Basically Chiappa RFID (again it is radio frequency identification) assists the manufacturing process, inventory control and shipping. The type of information on the RFID ties in the firearm and proof house verification; the latter is required by the Italian Government for all firearms made in Italy. Passive RFID is also a final check that verifies that what is inside the sealed box is the same thing as shown on the box exterior bar code during shipping. Now, it will no longer be necessary to open/inspect hundreds of boxes by hand prior to packing in export containers.
BOTTOM LINE: The Chiappa PASSIVE RFID can be read ONLY when passed within (2-3 inches) of an active (and powered) reader that is dialed in for the particular long antenna radio frequency of the RFID-this is not random. And it will NOT go into operation for a year or more.
SUMMARIZING: RFIDs have NO power source or GPS locator. Rest assured they are NOT transmitting your identification and location information to a Chiappa Firearm tasked CIA satellite.
RFID Removal: For those still concerned you can simply remove the grip and remove the hot glued RFID from the frame in the grip area when (over a year from now) these begin to appear. Others may prefer to wrap the revolver and their head in aluminum foil, curl in a ball and watch reruns of Mel Gibson’s 1997 film, Conspiracy Theory. Well, that’s a plan too!
First off, who thought it would be a good idea to insult anyone in a press release? When your customer base has concerns about your product or service, you do your best to alleviate their concerns and assure them nothing’s wrong. Simply put: never insult your customer. Or potential customers. This tactic will to cost MKS Distributing and therefore Chiappa a lot of business.
Secondly, bullshit. As The Firearm Blog points out, a hacker at the DEFCON security conference in Las Vegas was able to boost the signal of his RIFD reader and read a RFID chip on someone 217 feet away. I make that 2604 inches.
Thirdly, American gun owners are rightly suspicious of any device or program that IDs their guns to . . . anyone. They trust an Italian gunmaker named Chiappa about as much as they trust the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, if not less.
This press release, filled as it is with insults and misinformation, signals some serious clouds on the horizon for Chiappa and MKS Distributing. As this press release lights fires on gun blogs across the internet, one thing is for certain: American gun owners will punish any company stupid enough to call them stupid.