GDSI

Yesterday we received word that Freedom Group, owner of such brands as Remington and Bushmaster, is the target of an unsolicited buyout offer from a company called Global Digital Solutions. The presser from the company was a cornucopia of buzzwords and marketing-speak, talking about “cyber” this and “convergence” that. But it didn’t really make sense — until a reader uncovered a press release from January in which the company announced their plans to put their digital genius to work making “smart guns.” And by “smart” we mean RFID-enabled, registered, trackable firearms.

From the press release:

Global Digital Solutions, Inc. (GDSI), a company that is positioning itself as a leader in providing cyber arms manufacturing, complementary security and technology solutions and knowledge-

based, cyber-related, culturally attuned social consulting in unsettled areas, today announced GDSI Gatekeeper, a revolutionary suite of technology-enhanced services that offer personalized, digital small arms safety and security solutions in commercial and military-related markets.

GDSI Gatekeeper, which combines advanced Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology with web-based wireless capabilities, will provide commercial and military customers with three essential safety and security benefits:

• Encrypted, password-protected, digital, trigger-locking capability;

• Secure, real-time online tracking; and

• Encrypted, cloud-enabled databases.

“We’re extremely excited about the potential for GDSI Gatekeeper,” said GDSI’s President and CEO Richard J. Sullivan.  “This revolutionary suite of services represents a real breakthrough by leveraging the power of web-based, digital technology to enhance safety and security in the small arms arena, both in the commercial and military sectors.  We think of it as personalized gun control and we believe the accessible worldwide market represents a multibillion dollar opportunity for GDSI.”

Smart guns are something we’ve discussed at great length here on the blog, and the general consensus is that the technology is nowhere near ready for prime time. And even if it were, the “enhancements” being offered would be things that would make guns less appealing to the average gun owner.

Having each gun linked to its owner? Only being able to pull the trigger if it’s registered to you? Real-time GPS tracking of your gun? Pistols that run on (and run down on) batteries? Is GDSI aware of the Chiappa RFID kerfuffle? Yeah, none of that really sounds appealing to people who have spent the last year fighting tooth and nail against limits on their right to keep and bear arms.

So, there are two possibilities here.

Option #1: we’re about to see Remington EtronX redux. For those not familiar, Remington introduced their EtronX firing system in 2002 that used a 100% electronically fired ammunition. And no one ever bought any. The line did so incredibly poorly that they canned the entire project before I could even find one of the rifles on a gun store shef. If GDSI’s aim is indeed an honest attempt to make a “smart gun” that shooters would want to buy, I expect them to be very disappointed in the outcome very quickly. Sort of like the backlash Smith & Wesson felt when they added locks on their guns, only a complete boycott instead of just a general avoidance of those models. Assuming the best case scenario, the companies under the Freedom Group banner will be closing shop in under a decade. Worst case scenario, they go out in about a year.

Option #2: GDSI is just a front for one of the multi-millionaire gun control advocates who plans to undermine the gun industry from the inside. By owning some of the most popular firearms manufacturers they can make guns that push their personal agenda instead of actually moving quality products. Cranking out “smart guns” – no matter how few are sold – to allow politicians to point to them as examples and legislate away “dumb” guns. That’s one of the stated goal of GDSI after all, “Consolidation of [the] American Gun Industry.” Creation of a monopoly. And I couldn’t think of a better way to try to kill the gun industry than to simply buy it and crash it into the ground.

The good news is that even under the worst case scenario, all we lose are the companies currently under Freedom Group’s control. The firearms manufacturing industry has exploded over the last few years, and the demand for guns has led to a large number of widely dispersed producers from the big boys down to mom-and-pop shops putting out their shingle and producing quality guns. Even if Remington and Bushmaster disappear, there are enough independent shops left that the supply of firearms won’t slow down anytime soon.

And hey, there’s always the possibility that the “smart gun” they eventually produce might be OK. Hope springs eternal and all . . .

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94 Responses to UPDATE: Freedom Group’s Potential Buyer Wants to Make All Guns “Smart Guns”

  1. Someone needs to explain to me the business sense in creating a product that no one asked for, wants, or will feel the need to get.

    “Smart guns” are great ideas to people who don’t own or know anything about guns. People who actually spend cashy money on guns don’t want them, except for maybe a really small niche.

    • It’s not about business sense, or selling a product. It’s about pushing a political agenda. If the only guns out there are trackable, smart guns with a remote disable feature, they feel that those are the type of guns we will all be forced to own.

      • Yea so when the government is pushing down your door they turn your guns off and all you are is a poor little sheep

    • Bob, guess you haven’t been keeping up with how the military-industrial complex works. Company comes up with unique product, company lobbies anyone who’ll listen that it’s a “common sense” solution, legislators approve no-bid purchases or legislation that makes it the new rule, legislators get cushy jobs and stock options.
      FML

    • I posted this in the earlier article , but I think it bears repeating,

      “Outside of legislation(which would be unenforceable if passed), who would buy something like this. I say let them buy freedom group, and drain away all of the fat cat liberals money behind it until they are in the poor house. If this accurately describes their business model, they will be a flop just like solyndra.”

    • Because once they are in production, legislators can then demand ALL guns have this technology. So then either they do, or Remington and Bush master have the monopoly.
      Time to buy a lathe.

  2. Do they actually believe that people will line up around corners to buy these shitty smartguns? And that all they need to do is put them out there?
    This may actually be one of the better things to happen to gun rights in the long run. The fewer pro-control billionares we have around the better.

  3. If someone can figure out how to make it, someone can figure out how to break it. “Smart” guns will solve nothing.

  4. Ohhhhh F**k. Looks like I have a pretty solid timeline to move from New Jersey. whats a good state for a college student to move in and shoot a lot?

      • Even Pennsylvania would be an upgrade from NJ. Lots of pro-2A people in this state–Philadelphia aside. And they aren’t a problem–we outnumber them massively and they know it.

    • I know Texas is not the end all be all of gun rights. We have a ways to go, but your gun rights are at least pretty secure here and slowly but surely getting better.

      We also have an excellent job market compared to most other states. Guns are important, but making enough money to feed them is too. Moving back to Texas, after college, and taking an entry level job, my standard of living is definitely higher than my friends in other states.

    • Next door to you is PA. It has oc without a lic/permit, unless in Phila. It is a shall issue state. It has no restrictions on resturants/alcohol and carry. TX has the reputation as the most gun friendly state. Realitiy is otherwise. Check out VT and VA as nearby alternatives for gun friendly states.

      • Re Texas: I am afraid you are correct about that. OC of handguns in public places is not allowed, and carry permits are “shall issue” but still perhaps not as easy to obtain as in some other states. But the culture is definitely gun-friendly.

  5. The technology they’re touting, RFID, has been around for years. In passive systems the tags are unpowered and the readers are powered. In active systems both tags and readers are powered. In either case, no power no functioning RFID system.

    They may be able to push the boundaries of the tech to come up with something that’s better then in the past, or not. Either way it seems unlikely they will come up with something acceptable to shooters – the politicians will be easy to satisfy.

  6. Part of me wants this to go through just so these loons can lose ONE BILLION DOLLARS. I know there are deep pockets going after gun rights, but dropping ONE BILLION DOLLARS on a guaranteed money loser will hurt, and it’s money they won’t spend on buying politicians and sock puppet mouthpeices.

    • At the cost of the destruction if remmington marlin baud hamster para arms and Barnes I really dot think it’s worth it.

      • But also remember, after the billionaires go broke, the name can be resurrected and live on. Think Indian motorcycles, or umpteen low volume car makers with historical names. Remington, savage, marlin are too precious harkening back to their history that someone wouldn’t buy the scraps at a discount and rebuild them in the future. Maybe even for the better and no longer tied to the gun unfriendly northeast.

      • The beauty of the capitalist free market (that they are working to destroy, but haven’t succeeded yet) is that even if these companies ARE destroyed by their unmarketable products, anything that was being manufactured their that people really want will be quickly supplied to the market by other less foolish manufacturers.

        I can’t imagine these companies have patents on everything so tight that no one else can create a similar or better version. And Barnes hasn’t locked up the entire supply of copper in the world.

      • If that legislation is going to pass, it won’t be because this group only makes smart guns, for however short a time they remain in business.

      • “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

        I can see anti-2A legal minds trying to claim that by “allowing” us to own their smart weapons they are “allowing us to keep and bear, but I don’t think very many people will agree that this is not infringing on our RKBA. We could very likely see how their military and police armed with digitally enhanced weapons stand up against a few hundred firearms not so modernly equipped.

        Not that I actually believe for a minute that they wouldn’t exempt police and military from any such requirement and aim it 100% at “civilians.”

  7. It would never survive a free market; free being the key word. But just like micro-stamping in CA and the smart gun mandate in NJ; Government is not about freedom or safety; it is only about control; and what a great way to control people.

  8. Smart guns…. right. Note the proliferation of 80% receivers – completely unregulated! I’d guess there will be a lot more….

    Even when completed into a firearm by an individual, the govt requires no markings or serial numbers unless the finished gun is sold. Even then, all it needs is a serial number which doesn’t have to be registered anywhere.

    I suppose ATF will want to register drill presses and lathes….. Good luck with that!

  9. Try adding RFID, encryption, password protection, and wireless tracking to a fire extinguisher and see how many people buy it.

  10. This is an unsolicited offer from what appears to be an under capitalized suitor.

    The other option is that this is just a publicity stunt for their other products and services.

    The “announcement”, from them and written by them, not by some objective reporter (if there is such a thing but I digress) is so thick with buzz word BS, it’s hard to take it seriously. It sounds like a bad VC pitch as heard in Silicon Valley from the 2000’s (I’m surprised there isn’t some sort of half-assed social media tie in which is what you need to have now).

    • “The other option is that this is just a publicity stunt for their other ”

      It appears there are no products and services. None at all. Which would seem to make this scarier, not less so.

  11. One word.

    “Jailbreak”

    Of course I am sure the Fed will make it a felony to disable a smart gun’s “smarts”.

  12. No way will this shake out like they are hoping. Shareholders will riot if they buy gun companies and then run them into the ground losing all their money.

    Not to mention the people left running those companies will just jump ship and make new companies that will regain all the lost business from this possible fiasco.

    It is hilariously short sighted and a great way to watch a billionaire lose ridiculous amounts of money.

    • Mine is nestled safely in my safe as we speak 🙂

      I own two Remington products and a Marlin. Realistically there are viable (some would say better) alternatives to the models I own with other manufacturers, if it were to come time to boycott.

  13. Having been involved in a number of commercial deals as an attorney, I cannot see this transaction closing. I suspect they signed some non-binding bs agreement and will walk away as their financing isn’t there and the public demand fades. No one likes to lose $$, esp not over a billion and esp not a billionaire midget with an ego to match.

  14. Only from the minds of globalists.

    Perhaps when we get some measure of responsible behavior from those parasites in power who scratch and claw their way onto the public nipple, perhaps THEN the citizens might buy into this Smart Gun nonsense.

    Until that happens, as in, when hell freezes over, sorry ……. no dice.

  15. “We’re extremely excited….”

    I’m extremely scared….

    Hopefully, their plan will crash and burn, and nothing will come of it. But it’s good to be paranoid when I know they’re out to get me.

  16. Aww, look who’s an “adviser”:

    Senator Scott P. Brown has a long history of public service beginning as an Assessor and Selectman in the Town of Wrentham. He then served in the Massachusetts Legislature as a State Representative for 3 terms and the State Senate for 5 years. During his time in the U.S. Senate, Senator Brown was a ranking member on the Armed Services Committee, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the Veteran’s Committee and the Committee on Small Business.

    RINO summabitch.

  17. One thing this and the precious article are missing are any contact with anyone at remington to confirm this isnt just the stunt that it obviously is. You guys dont have a single contact there to get a quote from?

  18. Whatever. Nobody in their right mind will buy one of these “smart” firearms–Nobody will buy them and they will go under.

  19. I had been thinking of ending my Freedom Group boycott when they announced they were moving much of Remington’s operations out of NY. Well that thought is gone if they are going to have anything to do with smart guns. Good luck!

  20. The bullet point of “Encrypted, cloud-enabled databases” concerns me the most. Sound like they could build a database of where and when a firearm is used and possibly it’s location. That to me is a major invasion of privacy. Not to mention a potential tool for confiscation.

    • This will allow the database owner or the government to simply turn off all guns at a whim. There is no way I would own a single one of these things and I cant imagine anyone else in the 2A crowd would either.

      There is a legal consideration here. The company has a legal obligation to act in the best interests of the share holders. Anyone who has looked at this objectively knows that this will kill the company. It appears that this is the whole plan. As such, the officers of the company could face prosecution.

      • Great point, Braenen. Why bother with the risk and hassle of confiscation, when with just a few clicks of a mouse they can turn off someone’s firearm. Too many things wrong with a technology nobody wants, except for the anti-gunners.

  21. While the press release was comical, and perhaps worth the time to read, there is not much here, folks.

    BREAKING: LS/HD to Buy Leghorn’s SCAR for $200

    Then the underlying facts are that LS/HD emails Nick in January that he’d like to buy Nick’s SCAR for $200. As of the end of February, Nick hadn’t returned the email, so no deal.

    Not a perfect analogy, as Nick’s SCAR might or might not be for sale, but that is all that happened here.

    • So this is the business equivalent of a high-school nerd getting his name in the news by asking Taylor Swift to the senior prom?

  22. So this company wants to spend over a billion dollars to buy this collection of gun manufacturers and their goal is to do something that will bankrupt all of their manufacturers?

    Sounds like if I was one of those manufacturers I’d not like this plan.

    -D

    I’m going to have to put on my tin-foil hat when reading about this potential buyer.

    • Frankly, their name “global digital solutions” sounds like “american citizens for responsible common sense solutions to illegal gun violence prevention for the children, etc”. Their alleged technology solves the problem of a fascist state not being able to turn your gun off, and that’s about it.

  23. There’s little doubt technology can eventually take hold in firearm’s design and manufacture. Consider the AR-15 design where a lower receiver could be developed that is electronically controlled and can be “paired” to an owner, or some sort of transponder that the owner/shooter must have in proximity to enable the rifle to be fired. There’s plenty of room to install requisite electronics, mechanics and power source, including battery condition indicator. All you have to do is swap lower receivers with upper and you’re in business. Handguns would be a lot more difficult unless tethered to some sort of external pack that controls firing, supplies power and, of course, unique identifier.
    Possibly means demise of revolvers and some types of long guns. Also means there would be a fierce debate over where to draw the line for “antique” guns. But, of course, the anti-gun people will immediately claim these techno-guns are not “foolproof”, prone to accidental discharge, can be “hacked too easily”, or altered to defeat the “safety features” by teenagers with soldering irons…blah…blah…blah… because the long-term goal is to overturn the right to keep and bear arms for all private citizens, so there’s no firearm design in the possible future that would stop those determined to render us defenseless because they cannot be satisfied until they have absolute control over us.
    There’s no better possible firearm safety system than a responsible, morally minded, ethically stable Human Being, who believes in the right to self-defense, understands the awesome power the ownership of firearms bestows on a person, and intends no harm to any other person because they deeply and firmly respect the rights of every other Human Being to pursue their own Life, Liberty and Happiness (among other inherent Human freedoms). These are the essential qualities of peaceable, free people. Just my opinion.

  24. If they produce RFID chip enabled firearms, I will personally dedicate my brainpower into breaking into and then taking full control of this firearm at every demonstration they decide to hold. RFID technology is pathetically insecure, and I’ve broken into many a keyfob using this tech with nothing more than an Android phone. Do these Progressive idiots seriously think this isn’t a realistic scenario? Its already too easy to swipe credit card data as it is. I bet it would be just as easy to disable the arm permanently.

  25. And don’t forget the ultimate end of the “smart ” gun. The government controlled “kill ” switch. The ability of the folks with “authority ” to shut off a gun. Either local control like in a hostage situation or in a city or region of the country.

  26. Unfortunately, theres big business in selling guns to public agencies like the NYPD, and others.

    The folks who make the decisions as to who should carry what aren’t usually street cops with real world experience, but hidebound desk jockey administrators who fear liability suits more then rampaging criminals.

    IMO: Just my two cents, but the progression will work like this: the technology will be invested in by this firm, the NYPD or some other liberal district police agency will adopt the tech against common sense and the wishes of the patrol cop, and once it stops one wrongful death suit (the RFID tag and camera on Officer Publics gun shows the bad guy really did shoot first) every city manager with minus zero real world police experience will be tripping over themselves to adopt the technology.

    It would mean the patrol officer would be carrying substandard equipment ,but that’s not a first at all.NYPD wasn’t allowed to use hollowpoint ammo until VERY recently, and back in the day Jim Cirillo violated ammo rules mandating round nose .38 special ammo.

  27. How far can an EO go? Can the chief idiot just sign this into law? Obviously this electronics garbage is confiscation.

  28. This is what all you trackingpoint “new tech is great for the firearms industry” people get. Gun control. Unfortunately everyone will be affected eventually if even the few support and buy these firearms and equipment at first.
    I am done with every brand related to Freedom Group. Done! And I’m passing the word around my circle, not that Freedom Group hasn’t already given itself a bad name amongst many gun people.
    People saying this could never happen, same as microstamping even though it’s of course useless, is dead wrong. It’s like gun and non-gun folks saying gun control could never happen. Not happen? It’s already here.

    BOYCOTT Freedom Group. We all have to make choices, we all have to pick a side.

  29. Anyone or anything that prevents me from using my firearm is an infringement of my right to “keep and bear arm”

  30. When the military, private bodyguards of politikos and the cops use these “smart” guns on a frequent & exclusive basis without any issues and the same models are made available to John Q. Taxpayer, only then I *might* consider them worth looking into.

    But until that time, they can go pound sand.

  31. The Happy News: You can’t uninvent tech that his 100s of years old and that can be milled in your garage.

    Or by any other number of currently-smaller manufacturers whose prospects just improved.

    Even Happier News: Libs spending billions that they will lose.

  32. I want to make bullets that turn into confetti if the are aimed at people. Then if people get shot they won’t be hurt they will just feel happy.

    Then I want to make it so everyone shits unicorns.

  33. Called it. In all honestly, I actually hope that Bloomberg and his thugs made the offer. He has insane amounts of money, but it’s not infinite. Purely from a business standpoint, that would be an atrocious purchase. Sure, there are some big names in firearms under the banner. But how many billions is the entire industry worth? Other companies would show up to pick up the slack. Even if this could be leveraged to pass legislation, people would refuse to follow it and turn to the black market.

    In short, if this was all orchestrated by the civilian disarmament campaign, it could end up bankrupting the them, permanently crippling the already rapidly weakening movement.

  34. I notice no one has mentioned that this is a two-edged sword. If it were to pass, there’s a possibility that police all over the country, and maybe even the military, will have these so-called “smart” guns, then some clever hacker, possibly Chinese, can hack into the “cloud-based” system and turn off all of their guns.

    That would be pretty cool, but I’m a dreamer…

  35. I smell a rat. A big, fleabitten, sneaky rat. Could these guys be fronting for the Administration?

  36. Now is it time for all firearm owners to forget about those manufactured in New York and Connecticut and to specifically add the following to your own prohibited purchase list: Remington®, Bushmaster® Firearms, DPMS/Panther Arms™, Marlin®, H&R®, The Parker Gun™, Mountain Khakis®, Advanced Armament Corp. ®, Dakota Arms®, Para™ USA and Barnes® Bullets. If you remember S&W’s actions during the Clinton years you’ll remember our economic actions effected change in the corporate mindset. Did I say boycott?

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