Dick's Sporting Goods Wants to Start Selling 'Smart Guns'

You know Dick’s, the anti-gun sports and outdoor chain that’s had trouble selling the guns it still carries since they decided to drop the sale of scary black rifles, wrote checks to fund gun control lobbyists and some firearms manufacturers have refused to sell to them. But Ed Stack, Dick’s CEO and largest shareholder, has a new idea to boost his stores’ firearms business: jump into selling smart guns.

As Reuters reports . . .

Ed Stack risked the ire of some suppliers and customers in February when he decided to pull assault-style weapons from the shelves of Dick’s Sporting Goods, the $3.6 billion retailer he runs. His latest move will do so again. Stack says he would support the sale of weapons that can only be fired by their owner, an idea that traditional gunsmiths and their lobbyists hate, but investors should cautiously welcome.

If Reuters was actually familiar with any aspect of the firearms industry, they’d know the last sentence in that graph is utterly false. Virtually no “traditional gunsmiths” or firearms industry lobbyists oppose the development or sale of smart guns. The only beef gun owners or the companies who make traditional firearms have with so-called smart guns is in efforts by politicians to use the force of law to mandate their sale instead of traditional guns.

As Reuters notes,

A well-intentioned, if ineffective, law in New Jersey mandates that once such guns hit the market, all others will be prohibited for sale in the state within three years. That has made any discussion of selling such weapons political poison. Early attempts at selling high-tech guns in America flopped.

That’s New Jersey state senator Loretta Weinberg’s brilliant legislative achievement the Reuters story is talking about. Her law has done more to stifle the development of “smart guns” than any technological hurdles ever have (but it’s OK, because she then blames the NRA for her blunder and the resulting lack of development). Anyway, we hear from reliable sources that there’s a good chance that Weinberg’s boneheaded law could be amended this year to undo its poison pill feature.

But let’s say a viable gun is introduced tomorrow, while the New Jersey law is still in place. Would Stack think twice about putting it in Dick’s stores and triggering the ban? That’s a rhetorical question.

Anyway . . .

Selling reliable, affordable intelligent guns could help (Dick’s profitability). They would be likely to attract both wealthier buyers who previously eschewed weapons, and firearm connoisseurs who like gadgets. Moreover, first-mover advantage would give Dick’s pricing power it lacks with traditional guns. All that’s needed now is a product worth retailing. Sending a clear sign to venture capitalists, tech firms and manufacturers that they’ll find both demand and a ready distributor should get things moving.

Yes, because as the Reuters story notes, “there’s not yet a weapon ready for mass production at a reasonable price.” And while a number of tinkerers are working on them, there’s still nothing immediately on the horizon.

But that’s a minor hurdle that Dick’s CEO Stack surely won’t have any trouble overcoming. And once he does, we’ll no doubt see hordes of technophiles and gun guys and gals flocking to Dick’s to buy the latest in firearms technology. Right?

 

73 COMMENTS

    • “we’ll no doubt see hordes of technophiles and gun guys and gals flocking to Dick’s to buy the latest in firearms technology”
      Lol indeed

    • Dick’s, you will sell very few, if any these smart guns, but get stuck with them, which would be good, since you are anti-gun. You will never see me in any of your stores.

  1. If smart guns are the answer, then what was the question? This is a dead fish…but by all means, Dick’s, stake your future on this.

  2. They were overpriced garbage from day one and this continues to be the icing on the cake. Support just about anyone else.

  3. Loretta Weinberg would have stopped OSS arms shipments to Jewish fighters in the sewers of Warsaw Poland during world war 2.

  4. Here’s an interesting proposition; somebody should build a smart AR. Complete with pistol grip, bayonet lug, 30 rou nd ma gazine and a shoulder thing that goes up. It would obviously be easier to fit the technology in a full size rifle than a puny handgun. In fact you could use the pistol grip to house the electronics and a substantial battery. But most importantly, this would surely make the hoplophobic liberals heads explode, if the only smart g un available was also a scary black rifle.

    • With a collapsible stock and a flash suppressor, I’d be illegal for sale in NJ as well. Which would be pretty funny. Make an AR pistol s well and it would complete the taunting of the weinberg.

        • This is a pretty darn good idea.

          Here it is, Ladies and Gentlemen, America’s first full featured firearm with Smartish ™ technology. It has everything you need to be a super safe, gun totin’ good guy or gal. Get your Smartish ™ extra-deadly death dealing machine of death right here at your friendly neighborhood house of dicks. (some restrictions apply in California, New Jersey, New York and, hell I forget, half a dozen or so other states.)

    • That right there is some useful information. Who knew? (I mean, apparently you knew, I won’t ask how, but, who else knew?)

  5. Smartphones, smart guns, smart cars….Our society is becoming dumb and dumber, so we need more “smart” items to compensate.

    They could also rename their stores “Mangina’s”

    I cannot wait not to go check one out, so excited not to go.

  6. No one has a problem with personalize weapons. We just have a big problem with being forced by law to only buy them.
    And subsequently having the other types banned or taken.
    Which is a feature not a bug of this idea.

  7. Dick’s is actually trying to trigger the ban. They’ve moved to the head of the pack and agreed to retail these smart guns. Regardless of whether or not they’re ready for prime time or not. I’d never consider a smart gun as long as they rely on any electronic or digital means for operation. Unless a firearm used for self defense is 100% reliable under all conditions, it’s not for me. If any outside influences other than the odd ammo malfunction or parts breakage can effect function (because those can effect reliability in both traditional and smart guns) then it’s not suitable for self defense and life and death usages. Any company who looks to contribute to an ideological cause that makes these firearms mandatory, and would then ban the commerce of traditional firearms, should be considered domestic terrorists and treated accordingly, however that “treatment” may manifest itself.

    • Does anyone actually make smart guns at a series production level? So far all the examples I’ve seen are “craft production” prototypes.

    • I post here because of the previous post about reliability. What happens when someone buys a smart gun and needs to use it, and it fails? Batteries, RFID, circuits what ever. Computers crash and a smart gun is just a stupid computer. Somebody is injured or killed. What are courts going to say? Is the gun maker at fault for a defective product? Or is the person at fault for taking the risk of using a technology that is failure prone. Who sues whom?

  8. Does anyone remember the USFA “Safest gun every made” Zip 22? Instead of being safe, it was just i’ll conceived, dangerous, and barely functional. Oh, and I think it bankrupted the company that made it.

    • It did. It was a complete flop, the result of which being the death of the company. Also, if you had big hands, you risked getting hot brass jammed against your hand. It also was capable of being mounted under a normal AR barrel. Which then turned you into a felon. 🙄

      Ian on Forgotten Weapons did two videos on it.

      • Yes sir, those were some funny-ass videos. I saw one at the first gun show I ever went to, and even a younger and very much stupider me was like, ‘that gun looks asinine and useless.’

        • For some reason that discussion reminds me of, I think, Sec’y of Transportation under Carter (???) determined to invent a backwards steering motorcycle, spent millions of taxpayer dollars on the stupidest idea ever imagined, and ended up with a vehicle with outrigger wheels which STILL crashed every time somebody fired it up. The only thing any government really has to be proud of is their world-class incompetence.

    • I thought that was a deliberate case of the boss trying to force the company to commit suicide. USFA made the absolute best Single Action Army revolvers, better than anything that ever came out of the Colt factory, and they ditched those to produce that utterly worthless Zip doodad. Nobody in their right mind would have made such a decision.

  9. So there’s just the small problem that a smart gun worth buying doesn’t exist. Apparently, that’s not considered a significant problem in Reuters’ eyes. At least, not for a retailer like Dick’s that doesn’t develop new products and has no capability to do so. They’re just going to corner a new market by selling a product that doesn’t exist, which nobody wants, at prices nobody is willing to pay. It takes a journalism degree to figure stuff like this out, folks.

  10. The only thing I like about these smart guns, is the aesthetics. I like odd and futuristic looking things, but unless they drastically reduce the price, I’ll stick with my Beretta Neos. It actually works and looks cool as well.

    • One of the negative effects of Glock becoming so popular seems to have been the general ‘uglification’ of handguns. So many of them are just black plastic blocks now. I’d like to see someone at least make a gesture towards adding some sleekness to a modern pistol. The Beretta APX has those ridges on the slide, but I think those were intended for function. The old metal autos tended to have nice aesthetics like the CZ75, the Baretta 92, the 1911. Same general shape, but different styles going on.

  11. This is a political ploy to get Smart Guns legislated into existence by saying that respectable Dick’s is trying to selling them but cannot unless conventional guns are banned.
    For the children….

  12. Belong to a 1200 member gun club and all have stopped purchasing anything from Dick’s.

    Their latest move confirms that none of us will ever enter any of these stores.

    Hope they can survive on golf.

  13. I am totally down with smart guns. After the police have proven them in combat situations for say… 5 years or so.

    Perhaps people should be lobbying states and coty councils to mandate that LEO only use smart guns first before requiring free citizens to do so.

    • Mostly this. Require LE to use them. Make them available for retail sale for those who want them. Many non-POTG might find them useful, especially the types who leave them in shoeboxes or coat pockets in their closets where kids keep finding guns to take to school. Otherwise,

      SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

        • I do t store my guns that way. But if your kid took an inert smartgun to school or robbed the local choke and puke, I would certainly hope they would get in trouble. My point was, folks who are irresponsible with guns might benefit from this. So long as it’s optional, and the rest of us aren’t forced into them.

  14. Dicks could offer free blowjobs from beautiful tested women and I still wouldn’t go there…. and I’m kind of a blowjob fan…

  15. Dick’s Sporting Goods has long been dead to me! If it was the only store on the planet left that sold sporting goods equipment, I’d take up knitting (“Not that there’s anything wrong with that”)!

  16. “Dick’s Sporting Goods Wants to Start Selling ‘Smart Guns’”

    The inhabitants of hell want ice water,I wouldn’t purchase a dumb gun from the pricks at Dicks.

  17. Dicks talk (which is what it is) about selling smart guns is a low risk move to keep their name in the news. The purpose is not to sell any significant quantity of guns, but rather keep their name in the media. They have already pissed of most gun owners, so pissing them off more won’t cost them. There of course remains a small segment of people who want a gun because they are “special” and a smart gun makes them feel better because they don’t consider themselves a gun person / red neck, etc.. The scary part of a smart gun is not only that is might not work all the time, but that people will rely on the technology rather than the basic rules of gun safety. The other interesting aspect is the legal liability of the seller / gun maker when the smart gun fails. Either it does not go bang when an authorized user needs it to protect themselves or when your kid learns to hack it like any other computer and shoot someone by accident. Either case you have functional failure, my understanding is the mfg company has protection if the gun functions properly and is used to commit a crime, but not if it is malfunctioning.

  18. I own several guns, I’m not against owning a smart gun. But it has to be an option, not mandatory. If you give people a choice, some will opt for those, some won’t.

  19. Someone ought to inform The Dicks that selling a product that no one wants to buy(like destroying your own inventory) is not the way to stay in business.
    But it won’t be me. The sooner The Dicks become The EX-Dicks the better.

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