“(T)hat’s why Doug has to be so hush-hush. If his last name were made public, people would try to put him out of business and, perhaps, threaten to kill him. That’s what happened to the last two gun dealers who tried to sell this gun.” Doug is the proprietor of DB Guns & Smithing. And according to a fortune.com article, he’s been selling the Armatix iP1 “smart gun” since January, apparently on the down low. You may remember that dealers in both California and Maryland had planned to sell the iP1 .22, but backed off when they received, um, negative feedback from gun owners. So you can probably understand Doug’s reluctance to ID himself . . .
Of course, most gun owners wouldn’t have a smart gun if you gave one to them. There are all kinds of reasons why — at least in their initial iterations — they are a bad idea, from both practical and personal defense perspectives. But the vast majority of gun guys and gals aren’t against them being sold per se. If someone wants to throw their money at an inexpensive, underpowered pistol (Armatix claims they have a 9mm coming) that injects a lot of variables into a possible life-or-death self-defense situation, that’s their business.
What gun owners do oppose, however, are smart gun mandates. And as most People of the Gun who are in-the-know know, once smart guns become readily available on the market, that will trigger the New Jersey
poison pill law mandating that all handguns sold in the state must then be so-called smart guns.
Doug and Armatix no doubt think they’ve sidestepped that hurdle, as back in December, New Jersey’s attorney general let it be known that, in his opinion, the iP1 isn’t smart gun enough to trigger the Garden State’s law. Legal opinions and interpretations can and do change, though. As long as the New Jersey law is in effect, America’s gun owners will be naturally skittish about any supposed ‘smart gun’ that’s sold to the public.
We’ve called Doug via the number on his minimalist web site (the phone rang about 15 times and went to voice mail). We’d love to talk to him about his decision to sell the Armatix guns and to buy an iP1 to check one out for ourselves. As always, stay tuned.