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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.

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  1. I have every sympathy for Chiappa. A “hard to remove” RFID system would have helped Kahr argue against the suit. “We made every effort to prevent this theft.” Tracking firearms without visual inspection is also useful.

    However, calling your customers names is stupid. Just say “We don’t support the use of RFID chips for the tracking of customers. The chip is in location X, and can be removed (or rendered inert) in method Y.”

  2. The gun loon blogosphere manufactures a story out of thin air. The gun marketer calls shenanigans on them for making up paranoid bullshit. The gun loon blogosphere responds with more paranoid bullshit — and some self-righteous indignation thrown in for good measure.

    This is all so predictable, so transparent. Gun loons are classical extremists. Extremists always eat their own. They always turn on each other. Always.

    • Does your own appetite incline to eating crow? Because you make a lot of unsubstantiated claims yourself.

    • The story—RIFD chips in Chiappa products—was not manufactured from thin air. The press release confirms the facts.

      The fear—that someone would monitor gun buyers via those chips—is legitimate. If a capacity for monitoring (remote or otherwise) exists, it can be activated. If it doesn’t it can’t.

      American firearms owners are already subject to monitoring, through the ATF’s ability to examine FFL dealers’ log books (without notice or warrant) and the new long gun registration executive order. Oh, and foreign access to ATF records through the eTrace system. Etc.

      • The snarkiness of the press release aside (which I find kinda funny actually).

        The use of the chips in the manufacturing process is legitimate and at the end of the day if it’s something your worried about – remove the tag, or microwave your gun.

        In regards Paget’s 217 foot read of an RFID tag – you should note that that this was a line of sight read and special equipment needed to be used (also a HAM licence). It’s not as if you could drive by someone’s house and scan for all the guns. There are very real limits to this type of thing. You’ll note that when Paget tried unsuccessfully to get a 1000ft read he noted the Vegas heat as one of the reasons it failed.

        I’m a privacy nut and agree that RFID is not ready for prime-time in terms of identification or storing personal data but I also try not to be alarmist. While I completely agree that the gov has no business knowing what guns I may, or may not have, I think that this issue is leaning towards alarmist.

        That said – I do wonder if it would be better for them to use a tag that is looped around the trigger guard, and thus more easily removed, would be a better way to implement the tags.

        • Please let me know when you’re planning on microwaving your gun because I want that event to go directly on YouTube. 🙂

          • No doubt – I’ll have it fully loaded too.

            A note for those inclined not to use their brain: I am not encouraging anyone to put a gun, or anything for that matter, in a microwave. You may find this note confusing if you read my previous comment where I said “or microwave your gun”. If this is the case look up sarcasm in the dictionary and you should hopefully understand.

      • @Robert

        The story may not have been manufactured out of thin air – but It’s being blow way out of proportion when you compare the hyperbole being spewed in the post and the comments to the facts.

        I actually would have to say that Ryan was being a smidgen disingenuous in quoting the 217ft RFID tag read. Fact is that was in a lab-ish setting and it’s not as easy as it seems Ryan would like everyone to believe.

        The use of the RFID tags is legit and it does not contain any personally identifiable information beyond what’s already stamped on the gun. And unlike the information stamped on the gun you can easily, and legally just peel the sticker off. Never mind the fact that technology like this can lead to cheaper guns for you and me.

        The tone of the press release is another issue – it may have been advised to be a little less snarky but when you look at what’s being said here (in the post and comments), as well as elsewhere on the Tubes, you realize why they wrote it as if they were talking to five-year-olds.

        • Anyone is free to click on the link I provided to see what the exact test was. I was not being disengenious, simply stating a fact: you do not have to be within 2-3 inches to read a RFID, you can be much further away. The article was simply an example.

          I work in asset management, so I know and understand how greatly utilized RFID is as well as how helpful it can be. The point of all this, as I stated in my previous article and many have commented on here, that this idea Chiappa has could turn into something more, it has the ability to be used for a more sinister purpose. Will it? Who knows, but “we have the technology”

          As for the press release, MKS is selling a product. The idea is to sell as much you can by marketing to your customer base in order to turn a profit. You do this by bending over backwards with good customer service. I don’t care how “paranoid” you think your consumers are being, if you insult them you are practicing horrible customer service and they will not buy your product. Having dealt with MKS personally I can tell you that this press release is unfortunately indicative of the sub par attitude and service I have gotten in the past.

          • I disagree. I thin you and I both know that on a good day maybe one half of ne percent of people reading this post would click on the link and read the details on the test.

            I think that there is some responsibility on your part to provide some context for the people that won’t click on and read the details of the test. Sure RFID tags have been read from 217ft away but that was under a test environment, with specialized equipment and knowledge. You simply saying they can be read from 217ft away without providing that context is, I think, disingenuous.

            A gun maker is putting RFID tags in their guns for inventory tracking and you post an article that say RFID tags can be read from 217ft away without any context as to how that 217ft read was done. All you’re doing is adding to the hyperbole.

            Please answer this – what sinister purpose can an RFID tag do if it’s in the garbage?

            See, I might agree with some of the hyperbole if they were embedding the tags in the gun so that they could not be removed but were talking about something that can be removed and they’ve told you exactly where to they are. Like I said in another comment, perhaps it would be better if they attached them to the trigger guard via a zip-tie to make them more noticeable to the consumer… but putting them in the grip actually makes sense because there less likely to fall off.

            In any case until they start talking about embedding the tags in the guns (so you can’t remove them) then all of this is pure hyperbole.

            Buy the gun, take the tag off – what’s the issue?

            • My editorial on the issue was simply to put out information and stimulate some conversation, which has very obviously happened. You bring up fine points about the use of RFID as well as the limitations of it and stringing the chip on the trigger guard is a great idea.

              However I will say, I did not simply go and misinterpret or willingly mislead anyone on the information contained within the story on the guy from DEFCON. I simply said that it is possible for a RFID to be read at long distances, which is a fact stated within said hyperlinked article. This article was about a press release with information about RFID chips being inserted into guns and the severe lack of professionalism contained within said release. That is why I didn’t take (or have) the time to get into a lengthy article about how RFID works or how the guy at DEFCON achieved said feat. I hyperlinked the article so that those with a thirst for knowledge could read the details. I hope those reading my articles take the time to delve into the back story of what I write; however, I don’t know how many people actually click on the links contained in my articles, so I won’t presume that you do either.

  3. Goodbye, Chiappa.
    Don’t let the porta hit you on the culo on the way out. We’ll forgive you if you take a certain concern troll with you.

  4. There’s plenty of choices out there. It wouldn’t bother me to buy a gun from a manufacturer with a removal RFID chip in it. But the attitude they are displaying in this press release does bother me. A lot.

  5. This is paranoid blogging and tinfoil hattery at work. Oh no there’s an RFID chip on firearm all of my sensitive information will be exposed to big brother. Never mind the RFID tags on my Passport, credit cards, grocery discount cards, work ID, car tires, groceries, and toll tag, it’s the chip on your pistol that will let the government track you wherever you are. There is just too much misinformation about what RFID tags report back to anyone with a reader. It is doubtful that the chips that are going to be placed will be able to be read by a scanner at great distances. The chip that Chiappa is installing is not a GEN 2 tag, it’s a gen 1 which reacts in a completely different way and must be read up close. Also the information stored on the chip will not contain any personal information about the purchaser, is not going to be logged and tied to the buyer like the serial number stamped on the firearm. The press release does not have any misinformation, the misinformation comes from bloggers who see one hacker read a tag from a hotel room and assume that the hack will work universally with RFID’s. Your cellphone and credit cards are far less secure than the RFID on the pistol.

    • Toll tag information is already being used in criminal and civil cases to establish proof of past movements. I don’t know if any of the others are being similarly used, but nothing stops it.

      There are no legal restrictions forbidding the government from collecting and saving RFID historical data, or from requesting it from third parties that collect same. Google Maps has already recorded and geolocated wireless access point SSIDs (and posted them to the internet before it was taken down). What’s to stop their vans from vacuuming up RFID data too, except that they have not yet thought of a commercial angle?

      “Also the information stored on the chip will not contain any personal information about the purchaser, is not going to be logged and tied to the buyer like the serial number stamped on the firearm.”

      It is reasonable to assume that a manufacturer would have data correlating its own RFID tags to stamped serial numbers.

      • That was my point there are already other RFID tags that can potentially disclose more personal information about you that what is being installed on the Chiappa pistols. The information stored on the pistol is simply device info that is already being recorded about the firearm when you purchase it with the ATF. From what I remember the long range RFID antennas in Las Vegas could only detect the tag, not read the information because the heat prevented it. Correct me if I am wrong but doesn’t the RFID signal become unstable in temperatures above 90 degrees that is the tag itself has to be 90 degrees. There are special purpose tags that are heat resistant, acid resistant ect. but the standard tags in use now are prone to fail in adverse conditions, and I am thinking it would have a hard time with gun solvent and gun lube.

        • Don’t tell us what you think you know about Chiappa’s chip, because you don’t know sh!t about it. Do you? Have you ever seen one of theirs? Tested it? No? Didn’t think so. The chip Chiappa will use is mandated by the Italian government. Doesn’t that ring at least the tiniest little alarm?

          • But you have two options:

            1. Don’t buy a gun from them.

            2. Take the tag off.

            Now, the first option might start being a problem for you when, and I mean when US manufacturers start using RFID for inventory tracking as well.

            • I guarantee most manufacturers are going to be smart enough to make the RFID easy to disable and will not trash their customer base in the press release meant to calm consumers.

              You may not think RFID’s are a big deal…I generally don’t either. Everyone has their own hot button issues and when a manufacturer, marketer, distributor, or even a shop make a douchey comment about their customer base I like to know about it, and I choose to spend my hard earned money with people who know how to treat current and potential customers so MKS is permanently off my list of who to give my money to.

  6. “the RFID tags on my Passport, credit cards, grocery discount cards, work ID, car tires, groceries, and toll tag…”

    Which is why I have an RFID blocking wallet. It’s neither hackers nor the gub’mt but rather the mob who I worry about filching that information. I guess the next step is an RFID blocking holster… ;->

  7. Magoo, this is not paranoid bullshit. I was at Defcon and saw the demonstration. Be very afraid of what havoc RFID is capable of wreaking when exploited by the wrong hands.

    It is already a problem that RFID tags are being embedded in carriers of personally identifiable information — passports, employee/student ID badges, and the like — and thus readable by anyone in the vicinity. Identity theft via RFID tag is a growth industry.

    No, RFID doesn’t have a power source or a GPS locator. But the whole point of it is that it passively retransmits its ID information whenever hit by a particular RF signal. So it’s like an IFF system, except that anyone, friend or foe, can produce the correct signal and elicit the response. Would you like for anyone — burglars, robbers, or feds — to be able to point an antenna at your car, your house, or even your person if you are a CHL holder, and have your guns answer back “here I am”?

    This kind of thing needs to be nipped in the bud before other manufacturers adopt it and especially before the feds then demand that all guns be required to have it, “for the children”. Look for law enforcement to demand it in the name of ensuring police officer safety. Our own safety is far less of a concern to them.

    • Others have suggested this could be used to tell if you are carrying. Joking aside about whether anyone actually carries a Rhino with all it snaggy bits, does anyone know if these chips would report IDs in some well known range so that a scanner would even be able to discriminate the firearm’s ID from the other RFID tagged items one might be carrying? If so, then yes, this could eventually devolve into the state demanding it of our manufacturers, something we wouldn’t want to happen.

      But just like discriminating firearms consumers educate themselves about gun models with ILS locks, mag safeties, Massachusetts and NY triggers and avoids them at their choosing, the same educated consumers will either avoid manufacturers that include RFID tags or just remove them.

      Until there’s legislation pushing for mandatory tagging or for manufacturers to reveal telltales in the IDentifiers, I’m not going to worry about it. In the meantime, urge manufacturers to disclose when they use the tags and make them easily removed.

  8. Robert Farago says: “The story—RIFD chips in Chiappa products—was not manufactured from thin air. The press release confirms the facts.

    The fear—that someone would monitor gun buyers via those chips—is legitimate. If a capacity for monitoring (remote or otherwise) exists, it can be activated. If it doesn’t it can’t.

    American firearms owners are already subject to monitoring, through the ATF’s ability to examine FFL dealers’ log books (without notice or warrant) and the new long gun registration executive order. Oh, and foreign access to ATF records through the eTrace system. Etc.”

    No, the fear is illegitimate and irrational, ginned up by irresponsible bloggers who shamelessly pander to their paranoid audiences.

      • He’s not a gun-grabber, just a troll. There’s a difference. Gun-grabbers are dangerous. A troll is no more harmful than gum on my shoe.

      • I actually agree with Magoo on one point – this post is pure hyperbole.

        Did everyone skip past the part where it said you can remove the tag?

            • Weird I guess when I read the title that begins MKS Disses Gun Rights Supporters I tend to think that is the meat of the article…I guess that would be way too rational for you though ;o)

              • Ok, but the thesis of the post is that MKS is wrong for disusing “gun rights supporters” because they [gun rights supporters] are justified in their tin-foil hat fears of MKS’s use of RFID tags.

                And most of the comments here hover around the RFID tag issue. It seems prudent to base my comments off the topic of the majority of comments in order to stay on topic.

                Actually, now that I think about it the title is rather dubious – this has nothing to with gun rights. A gun manufacturer using a piece of technology for internal tracking does not violate your Second Amendment rights – especially when you can remove the tag. It would be a different discussion if the government were mandating the tags, or worse mandating some kind of GPS tracking device. I’d also be concerned if the tags were embedded and not removable but this is not the case.

                This is maybe a privacy issue – which is how these sorts of implementations have been stopped in the past.

                Beyond that I already decried MKS for the poor customer service… it was definitely a bad move on their part. Though I did say (and still think) that the snarkiness is somewhat well placed given all the hyperbole over what is largely a non-event.

            • I don’t take the press release as a dig on the customers but on the bloggers who went off half-cocked, creating the hysteria. To me, the bloggers are hiding behind the skirts of consumers.

              • Well magoo, I’m not terribly surprised you feel that way since gunbloggers and gunloons are the big bad boogeymen of your world.

                It seems to me that if MKS had issue with the bloggers they would have straight up called them out rather than simply painting anyone who dislikes RFID’s in their guns as conspiracy nuts. I guess I just choose not to create an alternate reality to justify beliefs about what MKS says vs. what they mean like you have

              • Did you read the press release? It starts, “Recently there has been some blogger activity…”

              • And ends with trashing individual consumers. The last sentence is clearly directed at consumers not bloggers. If they had said bloggers in that last sentence sweet have fun not my issue. But instead they took it out on the people that buy their products.

                It seems you are very good at reading selectively but not for overall content…big surprise

  9. I’m still hoping to talk to Chiappa prez Ron Norton for a comment on this. I’m also fine with a manufacturer using RFID for internal controls and inventory monitoring, as long as they tell me about the RFID tag and show me how remove it.

  10. I think a bigger issue than the tag is the company deciding to just flat out insult its customers. If I wasn’t going to boycott them over the chip I surely will over that.

    • I’m all for insults and snarkiness when it’s deserved – with all the hyperbole being thrown around in this case, I’d say it is.

      It’s an passive RFID tag. Not an active GPS tracker. Just peel it off if it bothers you,

      • It bothers me, and I shouldn’t have to “just peel it off.” It shouldn’t be there in the first place.

        • “It shouldn’t be there in the first place.”

          Why? It’s for internal inventory tracking. Do you expect them to operate in the dark ages because “it bothers you”?

          DO you have any idea how many of these things (RFID tags) you encounter everyday? Ever buy an electronic device from a retail store – has a tag in it, and a lot of them go home with you.

            • But what is anyone going to do with it beyond internal inventory? Even if it was possible to easily read the tag form 1000 yards away, so what?

              Isn’t it a necessary function of the tag to stay on until it is sold, at which point you are more than welcome to remove it?

              Do you have anything against the tags in electronics or clothes? Many of those are not removed before you leave the store.

              • Actually I don’t like it when any product in constructed or manufactured in a way that makes it difficult to take their trash off. Whether it’s decals, tags stickers or RFID’s they should be packaged in a way that is most convenient to the customer while serving their purpose.

                It seems you just want to argue about this, and you love it when people pull out the attitude stick on people you don’t agree with.

              • You’ll note that in at least two other comments I said they should probably make them easier to remove – such as a zip-tie around the trigger guard. I agree with you on that point. I hate having to take stickers, etc. off stuff I’ve bought as well.

                I just realize that in the 21st Century you can’t expect companies to operate in the dark ages because it offends people’s sensibilities to make use of technology.

                If this were some secret plan to embed the RFID tags in the guns so that they could not be removed then you could bet your ass I’d be raising hell about that.

                I think you pick your battles and trying to fight this one, as it stands, kinda makes one look like a paranoid loon. Or at least the type of person who makes a big deal over nothing.

                It seems you just want to argue about this, and you love it when people pull out the attitude stick on people you don’t agree with.

                I think it’s more like debating but if I’ve offended you in some way by stating an opinion contrary to yours, well then I apologize for the offence but not for my contrary (and perhaps slightly more rational) opinion.

  11. I’m willing to let the snark slide. We all joke about stuff other people say and do…and then get it in a wad when the favor is returned????

    What I want to know is if everyone really is soooo concerned about being tracked, why isn’t there a huge market of RFID jammers or at least other countersurveillance gadgets that will warn you when your person has been pinged by a n RFID scanner? If people really cared to not be tracked AND if the problem is real wouldn’t there be a consumer grade device that you could carry around and which would alert you to the problem?

    • It seems a fallacy to conclude that because we don’t know about something then it doesn’t exist. Simpler however than actively jamming RFID is just blocking it. There are e.g. little RFID blocking sleeves for credit cards.

      My debit card these days is a “Tap & Go” model. I suspect the specific technology in use is called Near Field Communications (NFC). NFC is an RFID scheme designed to only operate over very short distances, a few inches. That short range plus data encryption help make it secure. Unfortunately researchers note that an NFC proximity card data exchange is an instance of the so called “grand master chess problem,” a scenario which is susceptible to a man in the middle relay attack. Also in the lab NFC signals have been read over long distances.

      Hoi polli may not be concerned but that doesn’t mean they (we) shouldn’t be. Organized crime has the big bucks to develop relatively long range scanners. Imagine just walking by a store front window where a poster or the like is concealing some scanning equipment. Credit card companies are secretive about their fraud losses so I wouldn’t expect them to volunteer whether they’ve encountered this.

      • Your scenario wouldn’t work. The tap and go cards issue a onetime use number that is registered with the credit card company that is independent from your card number. If someone scans the card and pulls a number from that number would be useless unless matched with another tap and go system, and even then the charge is good for one use within the defined limits set by the user’s policy. If a tap and go charge exceeds that amount the charge is flagged and the card is shutdown until the user confirms that the purchases were made by the owner. All of the tap and go systems have to be registered with the company on a static ip so that all charges can be tracked to a stationary and approved vender. The system is a little more secure than your giving RFID credit for.

  12. So a machine probably glues the tags on the firearms, right?

    How long until someone notices it had the wrong chips/chips were programmed incorrectly and X number of firearms were sent out the door misidentified because of computer/mechanical error?


    • Your scenario is exactly what the system was desgined to prevent, if the chip on the gun doesn’t match the tag on the box the system flags it and the box is manualy checked. if there is a mismatch those firearms would be flagged reboxed and the packing sysmtem checked. That is generally how RFID inventory systems work.

      • That’s not the scenario im talking about.

        What happens if the wrong chip or an incorrectly programmed chip is put in the gun?

        Chip says its gun model A
        Box says its gun model A
        But the gun is model B with a model A chip

        • Then you gun get a model b and send it back for a model a. It doesn’t affect anything but shipment tracking, so it would be like you recived the wrong part or order from any other manufactuerer. It’s not a OMGTSHTF the ATF are going to black bag you in your sleep moment. You just send it back and they send you the correct model, most likely the consumer will never see the problem, only the distributer, becuase it’s the exterior shipping label to be matched with the rfid on the unit inside. It’s pretty basic logistics and is being put into use worldwide, it’s not a new idea, Wal-Mart does it everyday. If you want to blame someone, blame them there were the biggest corporation to push for RFID use.

          • I never said anything about the ATF, SHTF, or anything like it.

            What I’ve said is that its not foolproof. Dont ever put words in my mouth.

            But since you brought it up, ill go on to say that I don’t like the precedent it sets.

            Inventory tracking is fine. But I don’t want people with “common sense” ideas trying to come up with an RFID gun registration system.

  13. There is a lot of hyperbole in this post and the comments:

    1. It does not seem that the tags will contain any more information then what’s already stamped on the gun – i.e. serial number, etc.

    2. Despite the claims to the contrary – long distance RFID reading is not that easy. It requires special equipment, very special knowledge, and in some cases FCC licencing.

    3. At the end of the day if it bothers you remove the tag. It’s not like this was some super secret plan to track guns – well it was a plan to track guns, in the factory, but it certainly was not secret.

    4. This type of inventory control can reduce costs which can lead to lower retail costs.

    • “This type of inventory control can reduce costs which can lead to lower retail costs.”

      Now that’s the funniest thing I’ve read all day.

      • Why is it funny? Because you don’t believe it? I said it can not that it would.

        See: WalMart for a really good example.

  14. If you’re really that worried about radio signals, stop using your computer.

    Passive RFID tags are used in almost all areas of modern manufacturing. Every major component of your car probably has an RFID tag. Every pallet at Wal-Mart has an RFID tag and they want it embedded in every product.

    Having an RFID tag embedded in the receiver of a firearm just means it was made in a modern manufacturing facility.

  15. Dear Chiappa

    Let met give you some free advice on how to extricate yourself from the mess you’re in:

    (1) First and foremost. Know your customer. If you’re going to market in the US, you need to make youreself extremely familiar with your customer base, its beliefs, and fears.
    (2) End your business relationship with that third-rate Dayton-based distributor. Clearly they do not understand Suggestion #1, or lack a well-rounded education. Either of them is sufficient to end the business relationship.
    (3) Hire a first-class public affairs representative that is familiar with 2A issues. If you do not know who to hire, contact your fellow competitors in the business. I have no doubt that they will direct you to the best. In the end you may be competitors, but you are also allies.
    (4) Can the RFID program for your US sales. Do that now! Put out a press release that reflects such decision NOW!
    (5) Become a full-fledged partner with US 2A organizations. That means not only the major players such as trade groups, or member groups (re: NRA), but also with the well-established, state organizations (re: State pro-2A internet forums). You need to earn their trust.

    Failure to do any of the above will result in a quick and painful end to your business hopes in the United States.

    p.s. And keep the BATF at arm’s length.

    • This isn’t a 2A issue. It’s being blown way out of proportion and you wonder why Chiappa responded with such snark.

      It’s a passive RFID tag that they want to use for internal tracking. They are not sticking GPS trackers in their guns.

      It’s a glorified sticker – peel it off.

      • +1.

        This is one of the silliest discussions in the annals of TTAG. If I were RF I would delete the whole thing to spare the guilty the embarrassment.

  16. What the hell is up with the woman’s face? She looks like she’s trying to squeeze one out.

  17. I would by a pistol from them if the chip can be removed by I may still hit the gun with a HERF pulse just to be sure. I know the gun won’t carry personal information but it could conceivably act as a tracking device, an RFID reader at the doors to buildings and things of that nature. As too the tags in my credit cards, no problem, I use a steel mesh wallet that blocks signals.

    I thought the release was more sarcastic than actually insulting and while it is not how I would have put it, you have give it to them having the courage to put out something that cold easily be taken as a insult by their customers. Most companies would sugar coat everything. If anything it seems like it should be an internal paper not meant for the public.

  18. I’m out of popcorn…damn.

    As my old grandpa used to say…”If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide or fear.”

    Thus, my paranoia of Big Brother monitoring, tracking, recording, etc… my guns doesn’t really ruffle my panties too much. There would have to be a colossal break down in our Constitutional law for deep concern from this gun owner.

    ATF is more than welcome to expend the energy and resources in watching me from a satellite next time I’m at the outdoor range. I’ll be sure to wave. 🙂

    The ability to track your every move on the internet via your computers IP address is probably more invasive than a passive inventory control system on your gun.

    Carry on boys…I put more Redenbacher popcorn in the microwave…

  19. Do you own a car made in the last say 10 years?

    OMFG! Better get rid of the keys! They have RFID chips in them and the Goverment is probably tracking you RIGHT NOW!

    • The RFID tags in this case are passive (most RFID tag implementations are) – they do not transmit anything unless a tag reader is in close enough proximity (we’re talking inches) to “excite” the tag enough (that is power it enough) for it to transmit it’s data to the reader.

      Oh, and as the press release said – you can remove the tag.

  20. Loving the comments about ‘hyperbole’ and things being ‘blown out of proportion’. Because the fact that an expert with presumably homemade equipment can read a tag from 200 feet away clearly doesn’t mean that an expert.. say one working for some government bureaucracy… is perfectly capable of building their own gear that will do the same. And there will never be a need for more than five computers in the world.

    • Since you (and many others) seem to have ignored one fact that is inconvenient to your hyperbolic comments, let me restate it here:

      You can remove the tag

      So what if the tag can be read from the Moon – If it’s in a landfill.

  21. Seems like a lot of over reaction for something that Chiappa doesn’t have any control over(the chips not the snarky press release) since this is mandated by the Italian government.

    And at the end of the day if the RFID chip is a deal breaker for you then don’t buy one.

  22. Anybody who buys a gun with an RFID chip in it is a fool. It shows that the company is pro globalism pro servailance etc… Stick with what we all know AR and AK.

  23. While I would be the first to criticize any attempt to track firearms in civilian hands, the problem here is not one of technology, but one of perception. While American gun owners are rightly paranoid about clandestine efforts at gun control (it’s not paranoia if they really ARE out to get you!) this appears to be an innocent manufacturing technology being distorted as a nefarious means of gun control.

    There’s little doubt that the stated purpose of the RFIDs is accurate, and the advantages as stated. While it’s likely that the RFID is readable at distances greater than a few inches, realistically, reading ranges are limited to a few feet without “world record” class equipment.

    I can imagine that firearms retailers might also see significant advantages to RFID tags. Doing inventory would become a matter of waving a reader over the shelves and having your computer compare stock records to inventory read. Or putting RFID scanners in the door frames to reduce theft? Whether you like the technology or not, these are legitimate functions that help keep gun prices down and gun dealers in business.

    The entire issue could be eliminated by inclusion a piece of paper in the box telling the end user the location of the RFID and how to remove it. This is the acid test: If the manufacturer does NOT include this information with every firearm, they should be excoriated and shunned until they do.

    Manufacturers can make use of RFID technology to increase efficiency (and lower the cost of manufacturing firearms – Yay!) and end users can remove the RFIDs and attach them to automobiles belonging to politicians in New York City and Washington DC to help cops find dangerous criminals.

    Finally, I don’t see the last line of the press release as an insult to gun owners so much as an attempt at humor. After all, the Mel Gibson character in “Conspiracy Theory” was right! From the manufacturer’s perspective, a tag that can only be read a few inches away is not a threat to anyone. Thinking in context of manufacturing, they may be unaware of the potential for abuse.

    Rather than get our feathers ruffled over this, what we should focus on is getting the manufacture to agree to full disclosure of the RFID in the documentation accompanying every firearm sold. Educate them. That way, we set precedent for all manufacturers to disclose the presence of RFIDs and let consumers decide.

  24. IIRC H&K has been putting RFID chips into their SOCOM pistols for years, only theirs are imbedded into the polymer frames. When I can find the magazine article again, I will post the info here.

      • As the article says:

        for military/government/law enforcement end user handguns.

        and the only reason anyone noticed, or cared was because:

        A few law enforcement packaged handguns were sold to civilians in the USA early this year and that’s when non-government people started to notice them.

        So unless you into buying military or LEO surplus I’m not sure that you have anything to worry about.

        Also, it would be nice to have more than one source to corroborate this “story”,

  25. I’m in the tech industry and I’m quite familiar with RFID technology. An RFID device is not something that I will be having in my firearms.

    If Chiappa makes use of RFID technology, there is some very real cost savings to the company.

    If the RFID device is hidden and requires taking something apart to remove it, I won’t be purchasing from Chiappa and will buy elsewhere.

    Then there’s the separate issue of the press release by MKS. I don’t think I want to do business with such a company.

  26. I absolutely will not purchase any firearm with any kind of RFID tracking technology. They’ve just lost a customer… And insulting us in a press release? WTF!!!

  27. Just remove it? Better check your state and local law. For example:

    California Penal Code Section 537e
    (a) Any person who knowingly buys, sells, receives, disposes of, conceals, or has in his or her possession any personal property from which the manufacturer’s serial number, identification number, electronic serial number, or any other distinguishing number or identification mark has been removed, defaced, covered, altered, or destroyed, is guilty of a public offense

    • I’m just spewing out speculative dribble here:

      Note that that’s a general law regarding any product, not just guns.

      Also, I would think (though what do I know) that if you removed the tag, and filed off the serial #s you’d be in trouble.

      Simply removing the tag but leaving the engraved serials intact – I bet that’s ok.

      Plus I would also guess that that penal code is meant to keep people from removing serial numbers that the manufacturer did not intend to be removed. If in fact the RFID tags in question contained the guns serial number and if the manufacturer did not intend the tag to be a permanent part of the gun, and is encouraging their removal (in this case), then I don’t think the quoted penal code would apply.

      The RFID tags purpose (in this case) is not meant for permanent identification of the “product” so I don’t think it applies.

      Could be wrong though.

  28. As a firearm enthusiast/collector and 2A advocate, I can understand the concerns of gun owners with the implementation of RFID tracking by Chiappa. But as someone with 30+ years in the high tech industry, I also understand and appreciate the benefit of RFID technology for any manufacturer.

    Having said that, my 30 years are all as a Marketing executive who has dealt with many potential PR nightmares. Chiappa’s real issue now is how to deal with this ridiculous excuse for a press release, which serves only to offend and inflame their target market.

    Why take the low road and be snarky in your reply? The blogosphere is what it is, and responding in a ‘tit for tat’ style can only harm Chiappa. Just explain why the tags are a non-issue and politely explain that they can be removed…in technical marketing parlance, it’s called “when handed lemons, just make lemonade”.

    Way to go, and good luck, MKS/Chiappa!

  29. Um, when you buy a gun, the feds already have access on demand to your 4473 where you listed your personal info and drivers license number or other forms of ID. Anyone who thinks the gun grabbers are going to waste time going after a bunch of overpriced cowboy action guns or el-cheapo $99 Hi-Point pieces of crap NEEDS to get that tinfoil hat on as the MKS letter suggests.

  30. I need to find a handheld RFID detector (I do not say “reader”). Also, I need to check future potential firearm purchases for the names “Chiappa”, “hi-Point”, and “MKS” so that they may be struck from the list.

    No, I ain’t mad. I actually appreciate it when people who think ill of me tell me up front rather than stabbing me in the back. Thank you, Chiappa/Hi-Point/MKS for your honest fair dealing. Too bad I won’t be expressing my appreciation in any positive financial way.

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