What Is It With Gun Control Advocates and Smart Guns?

Gun control advocates love them some smart guns. They believe guns with electronic ID systems will protect children from negligent discharges. They’ll choke off the supply of [functional] guns from lawful gun owners to bad guys. I’m not going to argue the point – other than to say children are clever and bad guys are cleverer. And there are tens of millions of “dumb guns” in circulation. The antis’ love of smart gun technology proves, once again, that they live in a world of their own imagination, where “the iPhone of guns” never fails (bloody hands anyone?) and a bad guy who can’t fire the gun he stole from you gives up and runs away. So let’s go with this: if smart guns are such a smart idea, the antis can buy them. Millions of American gun owners reckon a firearm without an electronic safety is like a fish without a bicycle. It gets on swimmingly, as is. As for guns’ inherent dangers, duh.


  1. avatar Vhyrus says:

    When the police and/or military start using them, I will too. I wont give up my legacy guns though.

    1. avatar Sam Wright says:

      I agree. If smart guns are such a good idea, then the police should use them. Nobody wants a bad guy to take away a cop’s gun and shoot him with it.(except the bad guys)
      Why does California allow it’s LEOs to have “unsafe” guns not on the list of safe weapons allowed? My life is as important to me as a coppers is to him.

      1. avatar Kelly in GA says:

        Yeah, ban them from the cops, too. Call it officer safety. Do it for the children!!!!!…..of cops.

      2. avatar CK in CA says:

        Our cops have all sorts of things that we can’t have. For no good reason.

        I was in my LGS today wanting to buy a handgun. Every model I wanted was LEO only.

      3. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

        That idea is about the only bit of merit to the smart gun idea. Because cops openly carry, they are more susceptible to someone taking their pistol than a concealed carrier is. If you want to make smart guns a thing, start with police. If the weapon cannot verify the user fast enough for the officer to draw and fire immediately then the idea is less than useless. Having the weapon pointed while awaiting authorization and cannot fire will get the user killed. My life is more valuable than a police officers because it’s mine, just as an officer would consider his own life more valuable. I will not consider owning a smart gun, mandate or not, until they are acceptable for use by law enforcement. And at that point I will only begin considering it, not run out and buy one.

      4. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

        Smart guns offer little upside to ccw or home defense gun users. The downsides are expense and limits on gun choice plus higher failure rates. Honestly who wants to live with the failure rate of a 1911 without biometric sensors.

        Law enforcement is another matter. Retention is a big issue for them and many Leo shootings are with there guns, they do after all open carry. This simple watch or ring model for their primary weapon, when perfected will make a lot of sense. They would I assume still have a back up.

        I would like to know if it world how many lives would be saved by civilian smart gun universal adoption? I imagine the number very low. How often is an armed citizen disarmed and shot? Plus if over powered and alone he could be removed of the smart watch or forced to put gun to his head and palm on gun etc.

        I am sure the antis will talk about gun theft but it would not take long for criminals to learn to reprogram the safe features or deactivate them. I mean look at smart phone theft.

    2. avatar styrgwillidar says:

      Well, the cops and military can use them all they want and I still won’t. A bad idea is a bad idea no matter how many idiots buy into it.

      Murphy has never been my friend. What can go wrong will go wrong. And it will go wrong at the worst possible time.
      Cops and military want to gamble their lives by introducing another thing that can go wrong at the worst possible time? That’s their chance to take. I won’t, thanks anyway.

    3. avatar Panzercat says:

      Police get forced into using all sorts of things that aren’t exactly good ideas. Sorry, but LEO adoption won’t be my measuring stick for smart guns.

  2. avatar ST says:

    It depends on what one’s idea of a “problem” is. If the concept of an armed and ready population is considered a “problem”, then a fleet of firearms which can be de-activated at the flip of a switch in Virginia would present an elegant solution.

    Alternatively, there’s the “California Way” where guns are denied due to the requirement of smart gun tech which doesn’t commercially exist yet. Cant exercise your rights when the hardware needed to do so is in a lab instead of a store shelf.

  3. avatar jwm says:

    Is gun, is not supposed to be safe.

      1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

        completely agree. The situation, IMO, is that it is easier to place more and more onerous restrictions on a firearm then educate the masses on simple gun safety. Great Britain (the formerly) banned guns for safety, now they have outlawed knives, but its still not safer. You cant fix a social problem by outlawing objects. I have a can of gasoline and a box of matches, but I am not a arsonist. I probably have most of the ingredients to make meth in my garage, yet, I am not a drug dealer.

        1. avatar Fred says:

          They were going to ban leaving one’s home after the knife ban failed, but the politicians were informed them their servants had to leave their homes to do their cooking and cleaning as not all politicians had live-in servants. If a majority of UK politicians had live-in servants it may have gone differently.

  4. avatar Fug says:

    This fixation of theirs is the result of profound arrested development and technical ignorance.

    They hate and fear what they do not understand. Because they can’t get rid of firearms they want to place them under what they wrongly perceive to be the most technologically advanced and effective safety measure.

    They have blind faith in the abstract notion of “technology” and believe that if something is new and it is conceived to promote safety, then it must be a good thing.

    These people are not “results oriented.” Not in any honest sense.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      If Apple made a gun, they would buy it. Because a smart gun makes up for their lack thereof.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        HA! My wife and kids all have iPhones, and all of them have had their phones fail. My wife’s went south a few days ago (after 18 months)–apparently, when it senses a fatal error, it shuts itself down and drains the battery, never to be revived again. If you haven’t backed up to the iCloud when that happens, everything you had on the phone is gone– forever. And they all went out and bought new iPhones. I must be a dinosaur–I just don’t get it. I had a flip phone that lived for years before it finally gave up the ghost.

        1. avatar BillC says:

          I’ve had the opposite experience with phones. Back in the day, I’ve had more flip and brick phones fail while the current use of iPhones and androids go on strong. Some more headaches with thr”smart” phones, but not complete failures. Hell, my old iPhone survived war is the desert, as did my issied legacy M9 and M4 leave the smart thing to the phones, not guns. My buddy may need to pick it up and use it.

  5. avatar Nine says:

    Smart guns, only endorsed by dumb people. You can put all the foolproof technology you want into something but one fact will always remain the same.

    You can’t fix stupid.

  6. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    So, I own guns that are almost 100 years old. They are in excellent condition and aren’t going to be unserviceable any time soon. There is probably no feasible way to incorporate smart technology into the guns without destroying their historic value. With that, I refuse to use “smart gun” technology because the cost vs the benefit equal the square root of negative one.

  7. avatar DQ says:

    Its interesting how the article included suicides as one of the reductions in gun violence that smart guns provide. Correct me if I’m wrong, many if not most gun related suicides involve a firearm owned by the person committing the act. And if its not owned by the person, he/she will find other options to do so. So how does it prevent suicide again?

    1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      It’s a failure of engaging their brains. Smart guns won’t stop a suicide. Also, I don’t want to have to wear a wrist strap or ring to allow me to use my gun. It adds more variables and complicates a potential self defense scenario.

      1. avatar DQ says:

        Not only that, the watch requires you to put a code in. So the owner needs to use it for self defence, he’ll have to politely ask the mugger to wait a minute to activate the gun.

      2. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

        No, no. You see the activation item will be a *mood* ring. See? Problem solved.

  8. avatar The Last Marine out says:

    They know that smart guns will never work, and it’s all about getting more gun controls , They want a ONE World Order yesterday. now Ted Turner (TBN) has publicly stated we must get rid of 95% of earth’s people (easy to control a few), and is giving Billions to U.N. for birth control and gun control ………WAKE UP AMERICA…these people are getting very EVIL……….

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      Unless he recently sold them all, Ted’s got lots of guns.

      If the guy is both anti-gun and pro population reduction, his own philosophy contains an obvious internal inconsistency.

  9. avatar Anmut says:

    Okay, I’ll bite. If the people that love smart guns are willing to stand behind them with their lives I’d take a look at them. So this is what I’ll need. You, the lovers and pushers of smart guns, flood a prison with them, complete with smart ammo and whatever else you think will stop criminals. Then you – without any sort of smart gun, protection or whatever else, live in said prison for a month. If you are alive and can still sit without leaning after 30 days – I’ll consider smart guns. Until then.. um, no. Never.

  10. avatar Nathanael says:

    I like the idea in theory. A gun that only I (or those I authorize) can use? Great.


    There are a ton of potential problems in practice. Reliability is an obvious one. Hacking or backdoor overrides are another. Cost is yet another, and I could go on. That said, I don’t mind attempts to develop a smart gun if the government doesn’t try to mandate them. Let the gun buyers decide. If the problems can be overcome, and gun buyers want them, smart guns will thrive. If not, then they deserve to be a technological dead end.

  11. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Both computers and tools break. However, I would not ever trust a computer chip on my firearm. It’s just one extra thing to go wrong. Also let me go completely off the deep end here for a minute. You have a “smart” gun, I have a regular gun, EMMP hits, now you have a club and I still have a gun. Also the old tap rack bang, now it would be tap rack get a computer guy in then maybe bang. No thanks.

    1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

      Something I learned with windows, reboot it till it works, if all else fails Format and Reinstall.

      Edit: And if they think its still a great idea, let the secret service test them first.

  12. The purpose of so-called “Smart Guns” is to allow a way to have them turned OFF (without the owners permission).

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:


  13. avatar BDub says:

    I like the iPhone comparison, as it is my view that the logical progression would eventually be firearms that can be GPS located and turned OFF remotely. NO THANKS.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      Agree. And if it’s the i-phone of guns I want the contract to fix broken screens and dead batteries.

      The guys behind this sort of idiocy are just trying to restore value to their blackjack collection.

  14. avatar Paul G. says:

    My thumbs would rather see the technology go into smart hammers.

  15. avatar NJDevil says:

    Once we figure out how to make the internet completely safe and fool proof then we start doing the same for guns. Even CARS can be hacked!


    Besides, the more complex one makes a system, the more potential for failure there is.

  16. avatar Hannibal says:

    If this was practical and at all desirable we’d have some manufacturers already doing it. It’s not either.

  17. avatar Don says:

    They think guns kill people, commit crimes, or will convince you to kill someone. I guess that means they think guns are pretty clever.

    1. avatar Dennis says:

      And yet they want to make them “smarter?”

  18. avatar Chris. says:

    To use the skeptical phrase, “it’s magical thinking”. It’s a pill that makes everything better. Weight loss pill, cure for the common cold, cure for violence, etc.

    The reality is there is no “magic”. A firearm at it’s core is a very simple device and even if you retrofit this into your 1911 – $50 says a garage gunsmith can un-retrofit it in a quarter the time. (Ok, maybe not the first time, but once they have practice.)

    Which means a stolen gun is still out there potentially being used by “bad people doing bad things”.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Yep. Unless they transition to electrical ignition (and maybe even then), the “smart” part is still going to have to actuate a dumb mechanical part to make the gun fire. Cut the wires, remove the chip, block the actuator, file the sear, whatever…it wouldn’t take much to defeat one permanently.

  19. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    My guns are already smart.
    When I set them down, lean them against the rack, put them in the safe, or set it on a shelf, I can tell them to “stay” and “don’t shoot”.
    All these years, and they are 100% obedient.

  20. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

    Farago, I forgot to mention: “Gu control advocates”?

  21. avatar Anonymous says:

    ?? There is no money behind this. The only ones interested in people purchasing this garbage are the gun control advocates who are not willing to purchase it themselves. No LEO or knowledgeable citizen wants this complicated junk. A “lever” (single or multistage trigger) is a very simple machine with unmatched reliability.

    I am an electrical engineer and I don’t want this garbage. Guns controlled by electrical means are another layer of control of the gun owner and reliability is in question.

    1) A firearm controlled by an electrical system is inherently less reliable. Batteries (especially lithium ion) do not last forever and require consistent replacement. Typical lithium ion batteries at room temperature lose 25% of their capacity each year regardless of use. I don’t want that garbage. What happens when you reach for your gun and realize the battery no longer functions?

    2) An electrical system is subject to control and can/may contain additional hardware completely unknown to the user which could allow outside parties to remotely disable your weapon.

    3) If equipped with a watchband, your RFID connection between yourself and the gun is open to RFID noise. Jammer’s can be fabricated (by gov or criminals) to interrupt this connection – disabling your firearm.

    4) If equipped with a watchband, If you forget to wear your RFID tag on your wrist and grab the gun it will not fire when needed. Are you going to sleep with that watchband on?

    5) Biometric readers are not always 100% correct and can misread for any number of reasons. Biometric readers may delay the guns response time when in a hurry (and pray it reads right on first try). If you scratch or scar your finger – better reprogram all your guns before you forget.

    6) As guns are fairly simple mechanical devices, criminals can steal “smart” guns and will modify or remove the RFID or biometric verifying electronics bypassing this security.

    7) RFID and Biometrics will increase the cost of firearms and availability for some groups of people.

    1. avatar Fred says:

      I believe they would prefer to have the RFID band implanted into the skin using an expensive elective surgical procedure in the name of safety. Another way to add costs to gun ownership. With RFID technology it would be quite simple to hack any gun to be able to use it, the same way people can steal credit card information without ever touching the card.

      Never mind these are the people that thought microstamping was a revolutionary technology in the name of crime prevention.

  22. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    “That gun in dangerous!”

    “Well, I damn sure hope so…”

  23. avatar Grumpy in Kali says:

    Eventually it will be the norm….its just years away….beyond the lifetime of many of the posters.

    1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      We were supposed to have flying cars by now too.

      1. avatar Don't Tread On Me says:

        Not until Oct. 5th, 2015

        1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          Damn, good call, there’s still time.

        2. avatar Grumpy in Kali says:


  24. avatar Jus Bill says:

    Maybe with a Kickstarter campaign…

    Never mind. It’s still stupid.

  25. avatar Totenglocke says:

    Because “smart” guns can be deactivated by an EMP. That’s why grabbers love them.

  26. avatar Randy Drescher says:

    obamas kids guards will not have smart guns & you really don’t need to look further than this. They argued for awhile that the constitution only guaranteed a musket. Now they have gone on to hideous AR stocks & presumably a flat screen on your gun so the gubmint can watch. They will play untill protecting yourself is a right that can’t be discriminated against. When jury awards for gun discrimination match the Black civil rights violation awards it won’t be so funny to go after gun owners.

  27. avatar Southern Cross says:

    And I will bet the smart gun tech will be beaten with either a few soldered wire connections or an installed software patch. Even replacing a few parts to over ride the lock function.

  28. avatar haiku guy says:

    What they really want
    Is a gun with a kill switch.
    Control the peasants.

    1. avatar JAS says:

      Yes, how easy would it be to remotely control the electronics after they are in the gun? One of the original “smart” designs was controlled via proximity to a wristwatch equipped with the firing code. Just as easy to have a wristwatch send a jamming signal. Heck, even a “smart” phone with and accessory transceiver.

  29. avatar JAS says:

    Guns can never be “smart”. That’s like saying that a safe with a fingerprint lock is “smart”. When it comes to guns “smart” is a qualifier reserved only for of the gun owner.

    If you think about that for a minute you get a good glimpse inside the minds of the antis. If they can’t see their errors in logic with something this simple, can’t see the pitfalls in their ideas, it tells us that they can’t even think simple things like this through. THEY are the ones that are not very “smart”.

    It gets worse, they think they are “smarter” than gun owners. For them to suggest a “smart” gun as a solution implies that they think gun owner are not. Newsflash! even criminals can be “smart”.

  30. avatar Fred says:

    You know that GPS technology we all have in our phones? Why haven’t they thought to put that in guns to track them when they are stolen so they can be easily returned to the owner? I know that still can be easily construed as a violation of the Federal registry law, but I have never heard of that being suggested.

  31. avatar Dave says:

    I think there’s been too many gun grabbers watching the Judge Dredd movies…

  32. avatar GS650G says:

    The great hope is that smart guns will lead to a prohibition on possessing old fashioned guns and then the smelters can be started.

    1. avatar B-Dawg says:

      And it’s my great hope that YOU (or one of your loved ones) finds yourself unarmed in a home invasion robbery instead of me, during the inevitable tidal wave of violent crime which will follow a ban on useful firearms in a country like America.

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