armatix smart gun
Courtesy Armatix
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After signing six gun control measures into law a year ago, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy warned that “Our work is far from done.” Several new bills are now making the rounds in a state already notorious for its extreme and oppressive firearm laws.

On June 13, the Assembly Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the new bills, including A1016 (“smart guns”).

The “smart gun” bill is especially interesting given the history of such legislation in the state.

Back in 2002, New Jersey enacted a bill sponsored by Sen. Loretta Weinberg on “personalized handguns” (those with technology allowing use exclusively by an authorized or recognized user).

As soon as the attorney general had made a determination that “at least one manufacturer has delivered at least one production model of a personalized handgun to a registered or licensed wholesale or retail dealer” anywhere in the country, the law imposed a prohibition that would ultimately ban retail sales of any handgun in New Jersey that was not a “personalized handgun.” Dealers that violated the law would be guilty of a crime.

While banning the sales of handguns other than “personalized handguns” was apparently justified in the interest of public safety, consumers were misguided if they interpreted this legislative policy as representing the government’s actual endorsement of these products.

The law made it clear that nothing in the legislative scheme, including the promulgation of a state-approved list of “personalized handguns” that could be sold, constituted “a representation, warranty or guarantee by any public entity or employee with regard to the safety, use or any other aspect or attribute of a personalized handgun.”

The 2002 law has yet to be implemented, although in 2014, the attorney general reported that a handgun based on an RFID chip did not satisfy the statutory definition of a “personalized handgun” because, “as a matter of design, the pistol may be fired by a person who is not an authorized or recognized user.”

Loretta Weinberg smart guns
State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Teaneck, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Quite apart from design flaws and reliability concerns, gun purchasers have opposed any legislatively-mandated market for smart guns, and remain unwilling to “buy in” to any technology that would trigger a total ban on retail sales of traditional handguns in New Jersey.

In 2015 and 2016, Senator Weinberg introduced new bills on “smart guns.”

The 2016 bill, S816, would repeal the retail sales ban in the 2002 law and replace it with a different constraint on gun sales. A new state commission, the Personalized Handgun Authorization Commission, would decide on and publish a roster of approved “personalized handguns.” Every licensed dealer selling handguns would be required to carry, as part of its inventory, “at least one personalized handgun approved by” the commission.

Along with the compulsory inventory, the bill included mandatory presentation and signage requirements. The handgun would have to be “displayed in a conspicuous manner that [made] it easily visible to customers and distinguishable from other traditional handguns,” with “a clear and conspicuous statement disclosing the unique features of the personalized handgun that are not offered by traditional handguns.”

A dealer that failed to comply (and had not obtained a financial hardship-based exemption from these requirements) faced fines and license suspension.

The governor at the time, Chris Christie, conditionally vetoed S816, recommending that the bill be pared down to a straightforward repeal. The legislature, he noted, had apparently recognized the mistake of enacting the 2002 law, an “overly burdensome and anti-free-market statute” that had “never been used because the technology imagined by lawmakers did not exist then and still does not exist today.”

Despite his “wholehearted support” of the repeal, he declined to approve S816 because it “replaced one unnecessary mandate with another unjustified restriction on firearms sales.” The bill, he concluded, was “reflective of the relentless campaign by the Democratic legislature to make New Jersey as inhospitable as possible to lawful gun ownership” and legitimate firearm sales.

Fast forward to 2019. The most recent “smart gun” bill, A1016, is essentially a duplicate of S816. The bill’s new and complex bureaucracy, as-yet-undetermined “performance standards,” and testing requirements before “personalized handguns” may be approved for retail sale have the same potential to promote the development of reliable “smart gun” technology as did New Jersey’s previous legislation.

And – despite these new testing and performance standards –the bill preserves the consumer warning against interpreting the law as a government “representation, warranty or guarantee … with regard to the safety, use or any other aspect or attribute of a personalized handgun.”

Understandably, gun rights advocates, firearm retailers, and everyday gun owners appeared before the Assembly Judiciary Committee to oppose this bill. A1016 simply swaps one unacceptable market constraint for another.

Given the dismal failure of one “smart gun” measure, New Jersey legislators should hesitate when presented with a fresh variant of the same dud law. One failed law is enough.


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  1. More than just being a safe-haven for anti-2nd Amendment Stalinism, New Jersey, in all areas of politics across the board, is a soon to be 3rd World SHITHOLE like Venezuela.

    The brain-dead, jackoffs of that state just keep on electing leftwing Maoists at every turn, and many of them like locusts, have moved on to other States like Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida, and are quickly beginning to completely destroy those States in due time as well.

    If you’re a typical New Jersey Democrat, please stay the fuck out of Ohio.

    • New Jersey Gun Laws are NOT “Failed”. They are designed to, in a ‘death by 1,000 cuts manner’, kill off the Gun-Culture of the 2nd Amendment and relegate it into a privilege that the Government can take away whenever it wants.

      The enemies of the 2nd are not stupid, misinformed, or ignorant ……..They are sick minded, evil, motherless fucks whom seek to entrap people into felonious incrimination by creating laws designed to do just that.

      If you keep taking them as ‘misinformed’, you will not take them seriously for the threat that they are to our Rights.

      • I would change motherless “fucks” to motherless “pukes”. The F-word implies sex and I cannot imagine any male in the universe wanting to have sex with that uglyass politician Weinberg.

    • Unfortunately, obamacare passed the SCOTUS threshold as lawful: it mandated citizens purchase a product and that product must include X, Y and Z. SCOTUS changed “penalty” to “Tax” because tax is witnin Congresses purview.

      GOVs can also control and restrict commerce which is the root authority for all gun control. In this case, they don’t mandate you buy a handgun but if you do: it must be a “smart gun”.

      Force smart gun (built to N.J. specs) as only purchase option but they add in a waiver of liability for the Gov if the smart gun FAILS to function resulting in your injury or death. That point shows the Gov has no confidence in the technology but is willing to risk your life in order to push gun control.

  2. Beyond all the other issues like hatred of guns I’d like to know if a specific problem, danger, or crime occurs regularly enough in NJ to justify this law. How often is it a problem and what about the non personalized guns in the world?
    This law isn’t going to transform NJ into a state where everyone has their own gun only they can shoot.


    • NJ does seem to have a diseased social fabric to me, in my thankfully limited experience. Not that half baked mandates or even a full switch to smart guns would solve any of it, but it’s a make-work job where the powerful stand to gain at the expense of individuals, so it’s a no-brainer in NJ.

  3. 1) The Federal Circuit is(and has been too long )in conflict -especially post Heller& MacDonald
    2) SCOTUS continues to be both obtuse and (retardedly)slow in accepting Second Amendment cases.
    3) These states,such as NJ;even accounting for the ” modern Progressive Liberal Base” go way beyond any boundary acknowledged even by the most left leaning of Americans who haven’t yet committed treason; remain not only in contrast to the less authoritarian states but essentially are ” RKBA Booby Traps” who seek constantly to ensnare not only their own residents but travelers in violation even of the lip service paid by the RINOcracy to FOPA…
    Which leads me to this conclusion:
    It’s all deliberate. It’s a rigged game. Stop playing it and enabling all of the shitstains on both sides-and include some of our alleged” friends” like the whole ” we must obey the law and respect the Thin Blue Line” crowd that forgets the essence of ” Molon Labe!”
    At one time in America,every kid was taught to ” pay as few taxes as possible”. Now it’s ” your fair share” bullshit.
    We need to go back to and ENCOURAGE massive and open civil disobedience. And NOT cooperate with anyone intent on breaking their Oath on the public payroll..
    This is possibly the most moderate way I can express this. And believe me I already self edited several times.

    • I myself would not encourage or partake in breaking of laws, even in civil disobedience, on this issue. Long story, you may think me a cowardly tool and I’m not going to try to deflect that in this comment section. It’s pretty anonymous anyway, worst case I’m not alone and hey, I am the Original Party Fudd, woo!

      But anyway, otherwise spot-on, I’d say. Thank you!

      • I find it reprehensible that my tax dollars go to abortions, trans gender duck studies (consult congressional pig book for specifics), countless was of aggression that gain nothing for We the People, countless destabilization operations, etc.

        Better know I pull every trick I can to keep my taxes down.

        • OK. I’ve never intentionally paid more than I had to. Work the system legally, you can still be POTUS. Flaunt it openly; the things that happened to Gordon Wendell Kall.

        • I mean, I don’t have real-estate operations to play with and a legal/accounting team to help. Neither do I have bankruptcies or qualification for any major carve-outs. At my wealth level the landscape of tax laws… well it’s not simple, it’s nuts, but still there aren’t to many different plays to be made.

  4. Actually the gunm companies are probably all over this Smart Gunm stuff, I know I would be, a brand new market, force We The People to have nothing but Smart Gunms Now not only caliber wars but I Q wars as well. ,,, In just fine with my dumb gunm,

    • Back in the early 90’s, some of them would have been. Virtue signal and get on the right side of regs that will schlong the competition.

      Mostly the gun culture have let our vendors know that if they try that stuff they get boycotted. This helps the ones that might otherwise do so forget about it and spend their time in better ways. It also helps the ones too small or too virtuous to try it have the confidence to stay in the industry.

      We could have a handle on gun rights organizations like that but we refuse. We let the NRA fudd-out every chance they get for a century and make excuses for them.

    • “Actually the gunm companies are probably all over this Smart Gunm stuff, I know I would be, a brand new market,…”

      Current political environ, no.

      But that could change *drastically* in a few short years. And if that happens, all bets are off.

      Leftists never give up. They are incapable. They are like moths, beating themselves against an evening porch light bulb, over and over, until they are dead.

      And they continue to breed like the vermin they are…

      • Party-line leftists will change in the same situation as party-line rightists, NASCAR fans and cola drinkers; when their TV and other media tell them to. Practically, you’re right, in the forseeable future that is never. But the implication that it’s just lefties is wrong. It’s boring, out-of-touch, path-of-least-resistance-seeking US consumers of all kinds.

  5. “New Jersey’s Latest ‘Smart Gun’ Bill Gets an ‘F’ Grade”

    They may get an “F” from the NRA, but they get an “FU” from gun owners everywhere…

  6. Apologies and no offense to those that must live there but New Jersey is just weird.

    Yes I know glass houses and all but banning hollow points because I don’t know why..expansion a/k/a what they are supposed to do?


  7. Well, ID’d guns won’t work as stolen guns, would they? /s
    Like Possom, I like my guns to be dumb. I like to be the smart one.
    I also haven’t made my cell phone “smart” either.
    Been waiting for global warming to happen so I can saltwater fish in the Sierras and in the Smokey mtns. Still waiting…..

  8. Christy was right on this one. The thing is, even if the bill is repealed, it could be replaced as soon as a ‘personalized gun’ is on the market. Lawmakers could have been less stupid and avoided writing a law for a technology that doesn’t exist but they just HAD to virtue signal.

    • Stupid is thick in all politicians. A law being passed where the technology doesn’t exist? Tell me about it. We have this shit law requiring “micro-stamping technology” here in Calif. It doesn’t exist. It is designed to whittle down the number of guns on the “Not Unsafe Handgun Roster” (whatever the phq that means). I think NJ and Calif are running neck and neck in the race for stupidity. With NY and Washington coming up fast on the outside.

  9. WILL THEY CARRY ONE THEMSELVES in a situation where their life will depend on it? Or give them to their bodyguards?

  10. I know it’s not about guns but control, but what half ass bold face lying sack of shit person actually believes that “user identified” guns will serve any purpose other than annoying their rightful owners?
    I can find pictures of Lindsey Vonn holding her snatch open on the internet. They were stolen from her phone. One would think anyone with Google and a few hours could figure out how to hack the stupid “smart gun” so it works as they wish. Guns are simple devices that press a primer and guide a projectile through a tube.

  11. I’m surprised that anti-American terrorist Bloomberg hasn’t invested $100 million into a smart gun company in an effort to push this down our throats. Instead of being worth $46,000,000,000.00 he’d be worth $45,900,000,000.00.

  12. Smartguns today may have been in a much more advanced state if not for NJ’s repressive law actively suppressing development of the technology for the last 17 years.


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