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Is time running out for dumb guns? (courtesy

Yesterday, I blogged the Washington Post’s love letter to smart gun technology (i.e. guns that won’t fire unless a computer chip recognizes the owner’s fingerprint or palm print). I missed this: “New Jersey passed a hotly contested law in 2002 requiring that only smart guns be sold in the state within three years of a smart gun being sold anywhere in the country.” Guess what? A smart gun is now for sale in California (‘natch). “The N.J. law requires the state attorney general to certify that the gun is for sale, whether it meets the definition under the law, and to notify the governor and legislature.” NJ Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D) sent a letter to the AG John Jay Hoffman asking him to start the doomsday clock for “dumb gun” sales. He wouldn’t, would he?

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      • You vastly, vastly overestimate the intelligence, planning and equipment of ‘bad guys.’

        But no less than NJ overestimates the reliability of electronic technology, much less NEW technology.

        • You really think if criminals knew all guns being sold could be disabled by something they wouldnt take advantage of that?
          Criminals are sometimes smart enough to emulate police to gain access to homes, you think they wouldnt get something that would render a victim’s defense useless to minimize their chances of being shot?

        • Really? You’ve never heard of cyber crime being perpetuated by guys with computer science degrees and $10,000 systems? How about experienced house or safe breakers that are intimately familiar with modern electronic security devices? How about the meth heads that are somehow able to attach a surreptitious card swipe monitor to any imaginable pos terminal and mine cardholder data?

          What did you stop paying attention to crime and criminals sometime around the Dick Tracey era?

      • yeah, because any upstanding “criminal” is going to be carrying around some sort of made up device you try to describe as an electronic scrambler. You are a true genius !!! And probably really misinformed

  1. There are a lot of sportsmen in New Jersey who enjoy hunting, but when I lived there up until three years ago there was silence from groups like the NRA, GOA and GRAA. These organizations need to start spreading the word to the people of New Jersey and stop treating it like a lost state.

  2. Does anyone have more information about this alleged California smart gun? I’m aware that the CA AG has said the technology is available, but haven’t heard of an actual gun store selling an actual “smart gun”. (I have zero interest in buying one, but have been saying “they don’t actually exist!”, and if they do, I should STFU about that.)

      • From their website.

        “Armatix is currently involved in advanced licensing negotiations with several gun manufacturers.”

        “The prototype from Armatix is proof that guns with integrated electronic intelligence are already possible and feasible today.”

        Doesn’t seem like this gun is in production yet.

    • IIRC the wording of the bill was “when the technology is available.”

      It’s been a while since I read it, but it is one of the most open ended pieces of legislation I’ve ever seen.


      • For the purposes of this section, personalized handguns shall be deemed to be available for retail sales purposes if at least one manufacturer has delivered at least one production model of a personalized handgun to a registered or licensed wholesale or retail dealer in New Jersey or any other state. As used in this subsection, the term “production model” shall mean a handgun which is the product of a regular manufacturing process that produces multiple copies of the same handgun model, and shall not include a prototype or other unique specimen that is offered for sale.

        • So a rimfire pistol being made available in NJ will, three years hence, preclude the sale of all pistols, rim and centerfire?

          Why is this new model in 22LR and not in the normal CF self-defense chamberings? Could it be that the circuitry is a bit delicate and subjecting the PC board and sensors to the repeated recoil of 9mm, 40 or 45 will compromise reliability? could it be that skinny 22 mags allow enough space for the circuitry, sensors and action locks but a full-width CF mag (never mind a double stack) will make the pistol too wide for comfort?

          Just wondering.

        • I’d say you’re right about everything except “available in New Jersey.” The portion of the bill that Matt quoted states “or any other state.”

          By the letter of the law as soon as a production model hits a dealer’s case ANYWHERE in the U.S. that’s all you can buy in New Jersey….

    • I’m not sure, but you may be confusing this with the CA AG officially stating that microstamping technology is available, thus starting the clock on that debacle.

      • No, it is a chipped .22 LR pistol from Germany, and it is on the roster of “not unsafe” firearms in California. Couldn’t tell you if anyone has bought one–they are very pricey, especially for a .22. The pistol does NOT have microstamping–apparently you can’t stamp a rimfire, but in any event they are exempt from the requirement.

    • They appear to exist in .22lr… Only.

      Now, if I was a smart, smart gun manufacturer, I would make the gun available in a caliber that ammunition suppliers were supplying. I would also make it available in something that would be fatal to things larger than squirrels.

      • I’m betting it’s only available in .22LR because that’s about the most powerful round the electronics in the gun can survive being subjected to repeated firings from.

      • I have a feeling they aren’t experiencing the same ammo shortage in Europe that we are experiencing here, although there’s no European manufactured .22lr to be found here either.

  3. Sunday January 1st 2017 12:03 am local time Trenton, NJ – Local Chevron Gas station is robbed by a criminal with a smart gun. The smart gun in question was reported stolen earlier the day before.

    • Just because it may not be able to fire does not mean that victims will be aware of that fact. Any number of robberies have been committed with airsoft guns.

  4. As soon as they start applying these shitty laws to police officers, they will vanish like a pizza at a weight watchers convention.

    • Sorry, that’s already been written out.

      C.2C:58-2.5 4. b. The provisions of this section shall not apply to handguns to be sold, transferred, assigned and delivered for official use to: (1) State and local law enforcement officers of this State; (2) federal law enforcement officers and any other federal officers and employees required to carry firearms in the performance of their official duties and (3) members of the Armed Forces of the United States or of the National Guard.

  5. Just thinking out loud here, but it seems to me that if the cost of these new “smart” guns is high (say $1000.00 or more), it will definitely have a disparate impact on the ability of minorities to keep (i.e. buy) and bear arms, and may be found to be unconstitutional on that basis. (much in the same was as literacy tests for voting registration were found to be discriminatory in effect). I’ve often thought that the NFA was vulnerable on that grounds as well, but the fact that the NFA imposes a “tax” makes it is a more difficult case.

    • Actually, you might make a case that it violates the Fourteenth Amendment because it exempts certain groups from compliance and therefore, denies others equal protection under law.

      • The problem with any argument based on the 14th Amendment (equal protection) is that proof of racially discriminatory intent or purpose is required to show a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

    • Non-smart guns is a “class” of weapons in common use for lawful purposes. Banning an entire class of weapons in common use for lawful purposes violates the Constitution. See Heller Vs. D.C.

      • I agree that this is the easier legal theory to advance as compared to what I was proposing. I mainly like the other argument due to the “white guilt” factor: liberals generally don’t want to be seen as infringing on the rights of minorities in any way – except perhaps when it comes to self-defense.

  6. It should be mandatory for the police/Law enforcement to convert to these guns. Now. Anybody in NJ- write your representatives, form groups.

    Its for the police officer’s own safety. Never again can their gun be seized and used againt them!!!

    The pushback from the police unions would be the best publicity about the stupidity of this.

    • You raise a good point. It would be great if Republicans, once they regain power, would pass a law that subjects all law enforcement to the same rules applicable to civilians in that state. If done on a federal level, such a law might have significant constitutional problems (related to Federalism, 10th Amendment, etc) but it would send one hell of a message.

      • Nah. Unless it’s a really unusual Republican, like Ted Cruz or Ron Paul, they’ll just get elected by paying lip service to the 2A and they’ll recruit the knuckle-dragging redneck types as Brownshirts as they escalate their insane war on drugs, their war on women, and their war on Liberty in general.

    • My thoughts exactly. After all, if the safety arguments being made apply to the common citizen for use in a defensive situation in their own home then wouldn’t we want police and law enforcement who carry publicly to have this technology as well? It could save the life of the officer should s/he lose control of the firearm.

  7. Now we know when the laws requiring only smart guns to be sold will be ruled unconstitutional, by 2017 at the latest. The one aspect of this that is good news is the smart guns will not be in common use, and will almost certainly not be in 2017, which in turn will make it very difficult to hold up the law in the courts.

  8. Wouldn’t this violate Heller… dumb guns being “in common use” and all?

    I’m still in the beginning stages of planning my exodus from NJ… As much as Christie sucks, once he’s gone (and Sweeney is potentially in) it will get 10x worse here.

    • I know man. I’m going to school at Rutgers Law in Newark, and more and more I look at 2015 as the year I graduate, pass the bar, and get the hell out of here.

      Go somewhere a pro-2nd amendment lawyer is wanted.

        • Are we?

          With our justifiable needs standard, word of this 10 round ammo limit on the table, and now this smart gun nonsense…. I think it might be time to pack up and leave this cesspool behind.

        • I don’t have a whole lot to compare it too, since I’ve only been to a few indoor ranges, but…. When I was home visiting family this Christmas in Columbia I stopped by Palmetto State Armory just to check it out; their indoor range was magnificent. Really cool gun store too.

          I’d also like to recommend Palmetto Pig for BBQ. Delicious.

    • It is not a law on possession, but a law on sales. Heller said that such laws are presumptively valid and do not infringe the 2A right. This law, though, could change all of that. Moreover, this law, like the microstamping law in California, applies only to dealer sales of new firearms, and does not ban the old ones.

      • Slippery slope, though, right?

        Okay, so it’s 2018, and NJ is only selling smart guns new. Violent crime and gun accidents have not magically gone down, so what is the next hue and cry?

        “It’s all those dumb guns. We TRIED to make guns safer and it has not worked. Now we need to round up all the dumb guns so that are Smart Gun technology can actually work!”

        You don’t see that coming as the next step?

        • Wouldn’t it be a violation of ccw to be carrying that stupid thing on your wrist? Yes, I know barely any ccw in nj

      • And how else does one generally come into possession of a gun, if not through a sale?

        They are effectively trying to state that “from this date forward, all non-smart guns are illegal except those grandfathered in through prior possession”.

        If you don’t think that’s how they’ll play it, take a look at other NJ gun laws that basically make EVERYTHING illegal (possession and transport) except within a narrow exemption (i.e. to and from the shooting range, etc. as long as you have an FID card)

    • The common use thing doesn’t mean that you can’t use guns that aren’t in common use, it just means that you can’t ban ones that are. As conventional non-electronic guns are clearly in common use, they have absolutely nothing to stand on.

  9. FTA:

    “The company also has technology that would render guns inoperable if they approached electronic markers — for instance, near a school.”

    Prevention of “accidental shootings and suicides” indeed. Prevention of accidentally defending yourself against government oppression, more likely.

    • There are democrats very solidly 2A, just as there are some republicans weak on 2A.

      Disagree on other issues, fine. But don’t alienate folks on our side in this issue.

    • No smart Democrats in the US? Guess I should sell off my gun collection & give the profits to Shannon Watts… Stay classy, Ralph.

  10. So since the law makes no mention of the gun being offered in a caliber suitable for self defense, and this gun is only offered in 22lr, does this translate to a de facto ban on useful calibers?

    • Another good reason to push the NJ legislature to mandate only smart guns for their law enforcement/government personnel. Demand the legislature do so:

      – Keeps the criminal from using the officer’s firearms against them
      – Keeps criminal from being able to use weapons stolen from the police in other crimes.

      Make the police forces themselves argue against the law and its stupidity.

      • They will have no need to argue anything; law enforcement will be simply exempted from compliance with such laws. That’s nothing new.

        • But we should at least fight to get the LEOs included. Maybe in the slave states we can’t get this stupidity stopped, but we may be able to cause enough ruckus to at least get including the LEOs and have their arguments againts being included showcased, which would be the same arguments for not imposing this on the general public.

  11. Just a point of clarification: the law only mentioned handguns, not long guns. Apparently NJ doesn’t care enough about THE CHILDREN to keep them from hurting themselves with rifles or shotguns.

  12. gun looks cool for CC but hate the idea of identification being required for use, something that could fail in the moment of need.

  13. If you read about the gun, you have to put in a passcode into the watch before you can shoot the gun. If the gun leaves the 15 inch radius of the watch, the gun deactivates and you have to re-input the code.

    • Nice. Not too hard to come up with heaps DGU’s where that would have led to a dead victim rather than a crime stopped.

      Who is this supposed to help again?

      • trayvon martin, he might be alive if this technology was available then. He could have been holding Georges Patek more than 15″ away with one arm & beating him to death with the other. sniff, sniff. liberals, gotta love em, sure can’t shoot em.

    • 15″ is WAAY too short. This would mean that the watch would have to be on the same hand as the gun (as just extending your arm to shoot with the watch on the other hand would deactivate it), and further means that you could not use a holster, since just getting a cup of coffee or shaking someone’s hand would deactivate the pistol. Query: once authorized, is there a time limit on how long it stays activated? that too would be a potential killer.

    • Same here. All I could come up with were some obscene observations comparing the effect of this infringement upon NJ firearms owners, like backdoor disarmament, with the guy who signed this into law: Jim McGreevey.

    • Ditto. Just too depressing, both knowing there are minds out there they can come up with this legislation in NJ and knowing good people have to live with it.

    • Anyone who puts their faith in advanced technology to save their life is a fool and deserves to be Darwinized. This was driven home for me in skydiving class, where they pointed out that the automatic opener on the reserve chute only has to fail once. (so in other words, if you need to use your reserve chute, pull your own ripcord!)

  14. Like is mentioned in a previous comment these are remotely controllable firing systems in these “smart” guns. Giving the power to disable guns to a malevolent hacker type or government functionary is the definition of gun rights infringement.

    • Legislating the micro stamping and smart gun technology is creating a de facto ban on exercising ones Second Amendment right to bear arms. If so called ‘smart’ guns are rendered inoperable by easily defeated technology, they are of no more use than a rock, if that. All this technoligy can be easily defeated or render the gun useless.

      Besides, turn the antis’ old anti AR argument back on them; ‘smart’ guns are not in ‘common use’, and if practical, effective, reliable operation of such guns at a reasonable cost cannot be achieved, they never will be.

      • If they unintentionally open the door not just by allowing, but by mandating, weapons that are not in common use, then I want a rail gun for the bed of my pick-up. I’m not really even all that sure what a rail gun is, but I totally want it.

  15. Do you know how quickly these things would get hacked? Whenever I get a new phone, the first thing I do is root it, unlock it and install custom operating systems. I never thought this kind of geekery would extend to guns. I’m going to program mine so that it provides a laugh track instead of a BANG when I pull the trigger. Or maybe that “WAH, WAH, WAH!” game show sound. What fun!

    • The circumvention will be unlawful, just like it is under the DMCA. You’ll be risking jail time for possession of a gun without criminal intent. Business as usual.

      • This illustrates the complete and total failure of trying to legislate behavior. Such a law cannot stop a person from DOING the hack; it only provides a punitive handle after the fact.

        • That is pretty much true for all laws. You are free to act, even illegally, but can be punished if caught. It is illegal to exceed the maximum speed limit (70 or 75 mph), yet there is hardly a car built today that cannot do 100 mph or (much) more. Should the government chip them all with governors so that we can’t speed? We have the technology–parents can not only program cars to track their teenagers movements, but to record their speed and I think, artificially govern that speed.

        • Mark, that’s my point. The Anti-Gun laws are sold to people under the guise of “this will stop x.”

          That’s farcical.

          Once we open(ed) the can of worms of TRYING to legislate behavior, rather than just punishing socially agreed upon offensive behaviors, we unleashed a massive power the government was never meant to have in this country.

          They can pass all the laws they want regarding smart guns…sale, use, possession, etc. People will circumvent the technology or just by-pass it altogether by using homemade firearms.

          Or…use the millions of firearms already in the wild would work, too. Unless these sales laws are going to also come with confiscation of existing firearms, I cannot see how this tech (even if it DOES work properly) will do anything whatsoever to curb the problems “they” are claiming to want to solve.

    • Exactly. I suspect disabling the “smart gun” features on these weapons would be only slightly more difficult than removing the lock on a S&W revolver.

  16. RF….
    The Armatix iP1 / Steel; Polymer is on the safe gun registry with an October 2014 exp date.
    Unless the pistol in question has no changes in production whats so ever it will also need to include micro stamping which it does not have to remain for sale beyond that date. Having said that with such new technology I doubt this will come to pass.
    So no it is not available for retail sale. Least I have never seen one.

    • Wrong answer. If it is on the roster, it is available for retail sale. [I just can’t imagine that there is much of a market for short barreled and inherently inaccurate blow back.22s that run $1300.] Further, microstamping does not apply to rimfire pistols, only certerfire psitols. And even if you could microstamp one, once on the roster, a gun does not fall off the roster until the manufacturer stops paying the fee, or makes material changes to the gun that require recertification. In the latter case, recertification for center fire pistols does require microstamping, which is why Rugers are falling off the list–they made changes that the DOJ deemed “material.”

      • Just because you could order one for your shop, does not mean anyone has. I am sure there might be a couple of special orders out there, but reality is I cannot go into my LGS and buy one off the shelf. It is certainly not common use, nor has the technology been perfected.
        Material change is so microscopic. Glock is going to fall off soon as well.
        I can’t imagine that NO changes would ever take place with this gun, and even if it skirts the law by being a 22, you can not tell me this will hold water in NJ, since a defensive gun is almost never a 22 only. I could see it being valid if the manufacturer offered various calibers, maybe a revolver too, but in reality this is still a unique example, single model, single caliber gun.
        It is certainly not in circulation for full production across multiple manufacturers.
        Although honestly since the LEO’s are going to ask political questions for gun contracts, I hope they get it for all the LEO’s in NJ. Let’s be the first to outfit all police in that state with 22 pistols with smart technology!
        The politicians can put their money where their mouth is.
        Besides, you don’t need a .45 ACP to defend yourself!

  17. I would say the smart thing to do is for all gun manufacturers to stop selling guns of any kind in New Jersey including to all law enforcement agencies. Get a jump on it now, starve the pigs (NJ politicians) as they will be the ones that will have to answer to this. Dreaming I know but it would serve them right.

    • Can’t be done. Manufacturers sell through distributors–and the agencies can go to any distributor they want, anywhere in the country, to buy guns. Might be some restraint of trade law violation for manufacturers to try to control their distributors.

  18. Did anyone else notice on the web page for this “smart gun” it says the gun must be within 10 inches of the watch to function? I think that might complicate weak hand shooting.

    • Also, consider this: it’s common in gunfights to get shot in the hands / forearms. The theory is that people look at the gun (as the thread) and shoot there.

      So, what are the odds that the watch gets shot, rendering your means of self defense in operable?

      Not attractive, or practical, at all.

  19. Armatix is not unknown in Germany.
    Search and you should be able to find:
    Contribution to the anti-gun lobby,
    Lawsuits against demonstrations to defeat their locks in under a minute,
    their business report (several millions in the hole),
    despite being the only authorized manufactorer of deactivation locks in Germany for a long time.

  20. The point isn’t for this to be “ergonomic” or. “Effective”. 22lr – yes, that’s the point. Wouldn’t want “civilians” to have anything more powerful than that.

    A future of .22lr being the only “legal” caliber and guns that have to be fired with your “watch hand” (and you have to be wearing the watch?)

    To the antis , that sounds like “respecting our 2A” to them.

    • I seem to recall that all legal handguns in Mexico, which must be purchased from a government agent, are limited to .22LR.

      • They can’t legally own weapons that shoot calibers shot by the military; 9mm, .223, 762 x51 and so on. That’s why .38 revolvers and .38 super semi-autos are popular pistols in mexico.

        • What about necking down 45 ACP to 8mm and loading it with spitzer bullets (think soft points)? Would that be legal?

          Or if you want to be simple, just neck down 9×19 to accept .308 bullets.

        • lolinski, I think you’d have some trouble with the wildcats you propose.

          By the time you neck down a .45 ACP case you are

          (a) not going to have very much neck to grab a bullet.

          There’s a general rule of thumb that one should have as much neck on the bullet as the bullet diameter. Otherwise, you end up with neck tension and runout issues.

          (b) not very much case capacity left after necking ’em down.

          Add to that that rifle bullets for 8 mm tend to be much longer and heavier than your typical .45 ACP bullet.

          There are a few .308 bullets that are on-par with 9mm Luger bullet weights, but I cannot imagine a 9mm bottleneck case remotely working well.

          Now me…I have been for a while envisioning a revolver in 30-30 Win, .30 Herrett or .357 Herrett or something like that. That would be a fun (eh hem) revolver to shoot.

          (Yes, I have heard of .357 Sig, by the way; just saying it’s not as easy as “just neck this down to that”).

        • maybe, but I know that some militaries have done this with a reduced powder load to simulate the trajectory of rocket launchers (cheaper to spend a couple rounds zeroing than wasting a couple of rockets). So it should be possible.

  21. —————————-
    .22 LR calibre, 10 round magazine
    electronic magazine disconnect
    different operating modes
    an operating distance of up to 10 inches
    integrated grip and drop safety
    color-coded operating mode, patented mechatronic
    interface for additional applications (e.g. camera)
    tested and approved by ATF
    Looks like it has a light in the back… presumably that strobes bright orange at night so everyone knows the gun is activate (i.e. scary)

    Armatix: building a gun to export to america which is fully safe for everyone but the person trying to shoot it.

  22. On there is a vid of a demo of the gun. It takes about 10 seconds to “arm” the watch, allowing the handgun to be fired.

    NJ is gonna have to institute the 210 ft rule.

  23. I hope they do ban all conventional firearm sales in NJ. It will give the voters there a little motivation to be more outspoken.

    • There will be a case where someone now claims their gun “just went off” and shot that poor misguided youth… bring the NJ AG in for questioning as to why he forced them to buy a gun that does not operate as a machine anymore.

  24. The ironically named “smart guns” are yet another dumb idea of people who want to control everything you do.
    I can think of several scenarios where this RFID-watch thing is not going to work on the owner’s favor, with not-so-pretty outcomes.

    Commiefornia commarade don’t remember that RFID’s are easily hackable? Nyet?! Bozhe Moi !

  25. There’s a heapin’ helpin’ of fail, there. They’re chuckling in their lattes over how many perps will get away with murder against that monstrosity.

  26. Does this only apply to guns being sold in the state? If so can’t I just go into pa and buy whatever is nj legal? Or does that make every gun illegal to possess?

  27. OK, so to increase Officer Safety (R) I propose that the State and all Township police be required to use this technology. After all, if it saves one life (TM)…

  28. Holy crap! There is a lot of dialogue on this. I’m going to simplify it considerably.
    1. As per Heller, guns in common use cant be banned (it’s a matter of a law suit to prove this in NJ or elsewhere).
    2. There is no 2, see 1.

    Given that guns in common use included virtually everything but a ‘smart gun’ the NJ law is unconstitutional on it’s face and can’t survive even a circuit court challenge. SCOTUS has no reason to hear it since they have already ruled against NJ.

    This is a still born law and an example of the desperation of anti rights politicians.

  29. If you still reside in Joisy you best be getting your guns before you can’t. Laws in this place stay long and die harder. Politicians are bought regularly.

  30. $10 says the court this gets taken to will find a way to uphold it. The ruling will start like this: “We agree that non-electronic guns are weapons in common use, but…”

  31. This makes about as much sense, and has about as much chance of being enforced, as if they tried to force all new car sales after 2017 to only be fuel-cell cars because BMW has one.

  32. The voters of New Jersey put the socialist politicians in office that enacted this insane law. All the complaining in the world will never change the minds of gun banning politicians. Stop complaining, it is getting old. Get off of your rear ends and actually do something about it!


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