Question of the Day: Would You Trade a ‘Smart Gun’ Mandate for Shall-Issue Permits?


From reader Ian K:

I recently had a thought about the right to carry, “smart guns” and how some states make it almost impossible for the average person to acquire a carry permit. It seems highly unlikely that we’ll see shall-issue permits in states like New Jersey or Maryland without higher level intervention. But what if the antis were willing to compromise? They want smart guns and we want shall-issue permits. I pose a question (and please note that this specifically applies to those who live in may-issue states): would you accept a requirement to carry only a smart handgun in exchange for shall-issue permits? . . .

To answer my own question, I’m not sure I would make the trade, but if it was already the law then I’d accept it and carry on. Then again, if smart guns don’t work out as well as some people think they will, maybe we could fight it in court later on to remove the smart gun requirement and keep the shall-issue part.

For some background I this, I used to live in a shall-issue state where I had a carry permit. I carried every day during that time. Due to work, I unfortunately now live in a state (Maryland) that is may-issue which also has some form of legislation regarding smart guns and potentially mandating their sale.

My understanding is that if a smart gun goes on sale in the US, these states may end up requiring smart guns (even if it only applies to handguns) be the only purchasable option. This idea scares me as a massive overreach. I’m absolutely against mandating smart guns as the only purchasable option because I think individuals should be free to choose. I understand there are many issues regarding smart guns including, but not limited to availability and reliability. That said, I still think smart guns should be available to the public.

Again, I’m just not sure I would accept the idea for various reasons, but it sure would be nice to have the option to carry when I have to go into Baltimore.


    1. avatar styrgwillidar says:

      No, no, no, no, no, no, no … Should I go on?

      Because entering a deal implies that may issue is in any way constitutional or acceptable. There shouldn’t be any indication at all that some kind of concession should be required to eliminate may issue, it never should have been permitted, it has always been unconstitutional.

    2. avatar notalima says:

      ^^^ That. Right there.

      Not only ‘no’ but ‘F No’. We should not have to horse wrangle rights.

    3. avatar Mediocrates says:


      As soon as the Secret Service, FBI, CIA, and the 100+ other armed law enforcement agencies, a.k.a. standing domestic armies has field tested and used them for about 15 years, I’ll get on board…

      1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

        And even then: still, no.

        1) The technology can be hacked (or backdoor-designed) to allow a government-controlled kill switch

        2) Why should my wife not be able to pick up my handgun and use it in self-defense, or I, hers? Or why should my children, when of age and capable of handling firearms on their own, not be able to do likewise?

      2. avatar Jake M says:

        Even if all these agencies field tested this for years i would say Fuck no! Give the Gov the power to remotely shut down my gun.. FUCK THAT!

        1. avatar Tomyironmane says:

          They will never adopt it because it would give YOU an opportunity to shut down THEIRS.

    4. avatar Hal says:

      I will see your ‘”no” and raise you a F*CK NO!

    5. avatar nemsis says:

      Hell No!!!

    6. avatar Paul B says:

      Not no, but HELL NO.

      1. avatar Avid Reader says:

        My sentiments exactly.

    7. avatar Henry Bowman says:

      These smart gun morons do understand that you can put your pistol in the microwave and fry the chip…right?

      1. avatar Todd Moriarty says:

        Most of the designs out there fail “safe” (locked out) in that situation.

        I’ll just stick to my old fashioned guns that go bang every time the trigger is pulled. I have the same issue with Tracking Point’s “Intelligent Trigger”. The decision to send a round downrange is mine to make, not a computer’s. The computer isn’t the one who risks a lawsuit.

    8. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      OH HELL NO!

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Infinity X Infinity Hell, F’ing no!

    9. As we say down South…Naw…uh-uh.

  1. avatar Ah Clem says:

    No. Do not trust that the gun could be deactivated by the .gov folks.

    1. avatar Julio says:

      I’m with you on this one. Some days, I’m impressed with what our government can come up with (or maybe just the technology that they spend our tax dollars on) to save lives or take lives. However, I’m pretty sure that everyone is still feeling uncomfortable about all of the NSA revelations. Advances in robotics, drones, AI (artificial–not armed), and facial recognition are all trending down a potentially dark path in our future. I’ll just leave it at that. Something about absolute power corrupting absolutely. A previous TTAG article had the thoughts of the German inventor admitting that the shut-off or kill-switch (pun intended) is a possibility. No thanks. I’ll pass. Just my personal two cents–from a .mil BTW.

  2. avatar SD3 says:

    Yeah, THAT would end well.

  3. avatar Chad says:

    Our rights haven’t been compromised enough for you?

    1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:


    2. avatar OakRiver says:

      Bingo! Compromise has, to date, resulted in – diminishing rights, increased scrutiny, and treated as mass murderers in waiting.

  4. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

    Nope no way no how.. Easy..

  5. avatar Roscoe says:


    Give an inch…

    1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      Give a moose a muffin and…..

      1. avatar Leadbelly says:

        No moose in these parts, so please complete whatever this saying is supposed to be. Never heard it, myself.

        1. avatar Laura*Numeroff says:

          It’s the title of a popular children’s book and the sequel to “If you give a mouse a cookie” The story goes a little like this. If you give a moose a muffin… He’ll want some jam to go with it!!!…and it goes on and on… Basically if you give an inch they’ll take a mile. LoL!!! If I didn’t have my two little guys I’d be just as confused as you.

        2. avatar Ing says:

          Give a pig a pancake… Give a mouse a cookie…

          Those are great children’s books. My kids loved them, and I had fun reading them. Fun illustrations, and chock full of life lessons (even if unintended). 🙂

        3. avatar Lucas D. says:

          You’ve gotta love that series. Without even trying to deliver a message, Laura Numeroff managed to say in less than 30 pages what took Ayn Rand almost 1200 pages to explain in Atlas Shrugged.

      2. avatar Jeremy S says:

        I had no idea what you were talking about. But…

      3. avatar Leadbelly says:

        Thanks, Laura.
        No kids myself, so I would never have got it.

        I have no experience with moose and muffins, but the last time my wife and I were in Estes Park, Co they were having problems with elk chowing down on left over mash from the local craft brewery. Basically, it made them act like college boys.

  6. avatar Governmentknowsbest says:

    NO…I’m not trading anything…suck it

  7. avatar JoshtheViking says:


    1. avatar Ian says:

      To expand on my original comment, I played several years of competition level paintball. Any of you familiar with the sport will know that starting back in the 90s paintball markers started to convert over to electronic triggers and valve systems. These days ALL competition markers are electronic because of the incredible advantages that electronics offer in the way of synchronizing all of the gas and feeding systems. The result (if you can train your fingers to work fast enough) is semi-automatic rates of fire in excess of 20 balls per second. This is only possible because of the electronics that control the marker which have made all mechanical markers obsolete from a competition standpoint . . . when they work.

      More than once I have had my marker stop working entirely or set itself into a default limp-mode in the middle of a match. Causes included bad/old batteries that I purchased new but were obviously not, rain/condensation getting inside the marker, connections being damaged by the constant bouncing around from running/diving/jumping/sliding and the ever present electronic gremlin that we all know from computers . . . it just started working right again later. Stopping in the middle of a paintball match to service your marker is only survivable because it is a sport. If we had a quick turn around between matches I went back to the car and picked up a second marker, usually my old school mechanical tournament gun from years past because with routine care and cleaning it ALWAYS worked.

      I guess what I am getting at here is this. Paintball markers have been driven by electronics for almost 20 years now and they still don’t have it right 100% of the time. They never will because there are too many variables. I’ll be damned if my own life or my family’s lives are going to depend on whether or not climatic conditions caused condensation inside my pistol, poorly soldered connections were bounced loose while it was holstered on my hip, or if I sanded my finger prints off re-finishing a cabinet the day before. I have far too many bad experiences with electronically controlled triggers when it is just a game to trust my life to one when it matters.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        Short answer = Tech NO!

      2. avatar John Fritz - HMFIC and all around good guy says:

        Thanks for sharing that. I know zip about paintball and had no idea the guns had a fly-by-wire trigger set-up.

  8. avatar ShaunL. says:

    No. That’s no “compromise”. It would only help them reach their goals of disarmament through avenues OTHER than the ones that are currently failing.

    1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      +1000 What you said. There is no compromise with gun-controllers—none at all. Despite all the glib can’t-we-all-just-get-along agitprop even a cursory reading of gun-controller narratives will show their fundamental dogmatism. They have one goal: gun confiscation. Never think otherwise.

  9. avatar Shire-man says:

    No. Would never happen anyway. Every opponent to carry believes “guns on the street carried around by anyone is bad” (‘cept cops) so why would a person with that opinion ever open up carry? Even with “smart” guns their position does not change. Guns would be carried around and that’s what they don’t want (‘cept for cops). Or so they say.

    The people who push for “smart” guns use unauthorized access as the issue which essentially means they want an all-out ban “smart” or otherwise because even the smartest gun can be defeated by some means and unauthorized access granted.

    I’m sure the two camps overlap a lot but one does not necessarily have anything to do with the other.

  10. avatar dave says:

    What would make you think they would not take your idea of accept it now and turn it around later to drop the smart gun requirement… and flip on you to mandate all be ‘smart’…. aka gov’t controllable??

    That would be a fool’s bet at best. Camel’s nose under the tent flap… etc etc etc

  11. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

    No. Though I already have shall-issue where I live. But even if I didn’t, no. Neither the federal government nor PA (where I currently reside) have the legal authority to mandate smart guns under their respective constitutions, as far as I’m concerned.

  12. avatar Sian says:

    Not to Godwin the discussion, but to agree to this would be akin to being okay with Hitler just taking SOME of the Jews.

    It’s only a compromise if both sides give up something.

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      And where, exactly, does shall not be infringed leave room to give anything?

      Here’s a compromise: they respect the second amendment, and we don’t get forced to demonstrate why it was written. That is the “compromise” inherent in shall not be infringed.

  13. avatar Larry says:

    Find a different job and move out of MD to a free state.

    1. avatar Dustin says:

      Agree with moving out of a stupid sate.
      I had a job offer that would have been a lot more money and an eventual move closer to family BUT I had to live in MA for a year. Told them nope, I am not giving up my rights for a job.

    2. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      I find myself torn between the “move to a free state” advice and the “stay and fight to improve your state” advice. Living in a so-called “free” state (NC), I’m not faced with that dilemma. Although NC is a bit schitzo about guns. We are an open carry state with CC permits and you must have a CC permit or a pistol purchase permit from your local sheriff (each permit good for one pistol) to buy a handgun from a store. Further, we have “going armed to the terror of the public” statutes which in reality means we have open carry except when we don’t. And we don’t know when we don’t, if you know what I mean. So there are degrees of freedom….

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        “Further, we have “going armed to the terror of the public” statutes which in reality means we have open carry except when we don’t. “

        While I agree statutes like that are dumb on their collective face, I thought in NC there has to be objective evidence that an OC-ers was doing something, other than the mere act of having the gun, to kick on that statute.

        A holstered handgun is not “doing something to terrorize,” but having it out waving it around certainly could be.

        Any actual cases where mere OC led to arrest and conviction?

      2. avatar Justice06rr says:

        “Moving to a Free State” is almost always easier than “Staying in a restricted State”. A resident of NJ or CA would be very hard-pressed to try and fight the good fight (as the saying goes) to change anti-gun laws, even with the best intentions.

      3. avatar Karl says:

        Here on Long Island it is impossible to get a carry permit. We are only permitted to carry to and from a range. The permits are issued by the police commissioner, a non elected position.
        One Suffolk county commissioner had us locking the unloaded firearm in a lock box in the trunk of the car going to and from the range. Thankfully he was a short lived commissioner.
        This has been the norm for the last 50 years. everyone has given up trying to get change.

  14. avatar Samson says:


    So when Super Storm Sandy II hits NJ, and NJSP/Emperor Christie decide, no one but the cops will have guns, they just shut everyone’s guns off with the Federal Kill Switch. OR: We are broadcasting a Gun Free Zone via WiFi or whatever.

    AND THOSE are just two of the things I could think of in the first, oh 5 seconds after reading this.

    Since spending the first 33 years of my life in NJ but moving to FL in April, I have seen the world in a tremendously new light. Not just a breath of fresh air, a typhoon of fresh air. I mean, I have a CCW License to go with the 3 new handguns I have purchased (over the counter w/o the PPP process etc.) and I have been carrying every day, every where, all day etc. since I got the license nearly 4 months back. I see how people here just cannot understand how NJ gets away with their repression and years after years go by getting worse. IT IS NJ and states like NJ that are in the minority – the so called academics and ruling elite even with their Harvard and Yale degrees, their judge benchships and political positions etc, the rest of country scoffs at them. I cannot see ever going back to my once-beloved home state because while I liked it and dealt with the repression when living there, I have tasted freedom and cannot deny it further.

    They can say whatever they want, KEEP AND BEAR ARMS- SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. Take your smart gun and STFU and GTFO.

    And you better take care if I find you’ve been creepin round my back stairs!

    1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      “. . .Christie decide, no one but the cops will have guns, they just shut everyone’s guns off with the Federal Kill Switch. . .”

      There a lot of truth in this. My local electric utility has been heavily promoting the install of “smart-meters” which ostensibly let me control the thermostat from my smart-phone. Buried in the boilerplate FAQ’s, however, is some rather pointed language about “conservation events” which are—surprise!!!—controlled by electric utility. Oh, and during said “conservation events” smart meter customers are specifically prohibited from overriding the utility’s control of their smart-meter. It’s all for the greater good, don’t you see. Think the gummit wouldn’t just love to do that with guns?

      1. avatar Richard in WA says:


  15. avatar Bunny says:

    I live in LA and I say no. Didn’t even have to think twice. Compromising= Hughes amendment is repealed and we allow $200 tax stamp to stay in effect for machine guns.

  16. avatar Capybara says:

    Hell to the NO! Eff the antis.

  17. avatar Michael Nieto says:

    We will get shall issue everywhere it is only a matter of time

  18. avatar ILSL says:

    OP is crying and losing HOPE

    1. avatar TheYetti says:

      LOL. I don’t think I am 🙂

  19. avatar Jim R says:

    Absolutely not.

  20. Hell no. Besides, may issue will be a thing of the past within five years.

    1. avatar TheYetti says:

      That’s what I’m hoping for!

  21. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    ‘But what if the antis were willing to compromise?’

    You’re joking, right? And what if we could supply all of our energy needs with unicorn farts? Anyway, I rarely come within 1000 miles of New Jersey, so no. If the gullible folks in New Jersey were to make that ‘compromise’ that’s their business, and since they’ve already got a smart gun mandate on the books that might be a decent trade off for them – give them something they’ve already got in exchange for something we don’t have. But in my state we’ve already got ‘shall issue’ and no smart gun mandate, so you’d have to be an idiot to take that deal here.

  22. avatar Clark45 says:

    Having worked in the repair side of the computer industry, as well as a couple other fields where computer chips are in nearly everything, I would never trust my life to a “smart” gun. Chips can go bad at any time for any reason or for no reason at all. Plus all of the reasons listed above.

    So, no. I live in ill-annoy, but I can’t imagine living in NJ or one of the other states you mention would change my mind.

  23. avatar John L. says:

    Not on your life. Or, more relevantly, potentially *my* life, or those I love.

  24. avatar Peter says:

    While I would like to see a practical smart gun on the market, it would only be another option in choosing a gun, like a magazine disconnect safety, manual safety, Stainless Steel, etc…
    The more choices the better but not mandated.

  25. avatar Royal Tony says:

    Wouldn’t be much of a compromise at all. The law would still be in the antis favor, as it would keep the working class peons disarmed, while the rich and connected who can afford to carry a “smart” gun remained armed. Just as the gun grabbing elite like it.

  26. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    I would but only under a very specific condition.

    That smart gun technology while mandated to be installed on a handgun, could be permanently removed, or otherwise disabled by the owner.

    Otherwise…hell to the no

  27. avatar IdahoPete says:

    NO. I would not compromise my constitutional rights. Would the NY Times be willing to allow the TTAG staff to review and edit their writings in exchange for TTAG allowing the Times electronic version (edited) to be carried on this web site?

  28. avatar VaqueroJustice says:

    Not just no, but HELL NO.

    The smart gun concept is flawed from it’s conception.

    It is a gun that may be remotely disabled. If the user can remotely disable it,
    then others can as well. Once someone figures out how to hack the smartgun
    system, possibly in an effort to bring to light holes in the security of the software,
    someone else will wright a script to take exploit the security hole.

    As information yearns to be free, this script will make it’s way to the internet, where anyone
    who wishes may download and utilize it. Those who are most likely to be targeted by legally
    owned and carried pistols will be the most likely to use this script.

    The last thing I need is a pistol that any mugger, rapist, carjacker, knockout game enthusiast,
    or miscreant can shut down at will.

    Also, remember that this tech is being touted as a deterrent to theft, as they won’t be able to be used
    after they are stolen.
    The power to turn something off may, and eventually will, include the power to turn it on.
    Smart guns that can be turned on by a brute force hack running on a cellphone are certainly
    no deterrent to crime.

  29. avatar Paul53 says:

    Give away my rights a little at a time or all at once, Wrong any way I look at it.

  30. avatar Dave357 says:

    What good is a permit to carry when all you can carry is a “smart” gun?

  31. avatar Alpo says:

    Speaking as a subject of the Citizen Disarmament Republic of NJ, with no other hope of ever getting a permission slip to carry, I say:

    No, not ever.

  32. avatar RDSmith says:

    Aw HELL no!

  33. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:


    Look, as a retired EE, I’m here to tell you all that the “smart gun” thing has been discussed and proposed again and again since the mid-90’s. I’ve shredded these proposals since they first appeared, and the new proposals are no different than the old ones. They’re just using SMT chips now. Big whoop.

    The arguments against it then are the same arguments against it now:

    – electronics, even mil-spec electronics, aren’t reliable unless you’re willing to pour money by the truckload into them. Take your $600 cheez-whiz pistol and think about how you’re going to pay $1K to $3K for it.

    – the various powers that be could use your “smart gun” electronics to just shut down your gun in places and “zones” where they don’t want “civilian” guns to work.

    – they could also put tracking into the “smart gun” package, so they know where you are at all times – or have a record of where you’ve been. Your privacy would be stripped in ways not even stupid crap like Facebook would do.

    – they could also tie the function of your gun to mandatory taxation/fees/permits that have to be renewed to allow your gun to function. They don’t receive payment? Your gun becomes a brick.

    Just say “no.” Keep this BS out of firearms technology, because there is no good that will come of this type of “compromise.” Criminals will not be thwarted by “smart” guns any more than they are by modern password schemes on computers. See how many hackers are cracking into major retailers and credit card databases? Yea, think about that talent deciding they want to mess with “smart guns.”

    If you want a compromise that includes “smart gun” technology, you should make the price you demand for accepting “smart gun” mandates to be so high that the gun banners will not bite at the deal:

    – full RKBA in Washington DC for all law abiding citizens of the US, not just residents of DC
    – the abolition of any “no gun zone” anywhere in the US, including post offices, hospitals, courts, legislative assemblies, etc.
    – and here’s the corker: demand strict product liability for guns that either fire when they’re not supposed to, or don’t fire when they are supposed to. This will make the “smart” gun inventors and developers run from the project fast enough to break Mach 1.0.

    After proposing this “compromise,” there will be nothing heard of “smart guns” ever again.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      +1 Herr Mauser says Nien! to der dumkoff gun!

  34. avatar Bigred2989 says:

    You let them take an inch in that department, they will take a mile, including the mile they gave you.

  35. avatar Delmarva Chip says:

    Having lived in Maryland for much of my life, I can understand a possible urge for “compromise.”

    But no. Hell no.

    To an anti-gunner, “compromise” means getting only 50% of what they want, not 100%. The won’t “give” anything. Compromise would be “we will grandfather in old guns, but all new guns must be smart guns after date X. The end.”

    Ian, this just isn’t an option. At all. We will need the courts to fix the problems in Maryland, New Jersey, and other places that believe self-defense is a crime.

    1. avatar Steve in MD says:

      So far the courts don’t seem to be doing their job.

  36. avatar Joe says:

    NO. What is going to stop lawmakers from making a bait and switch so that smartguns are also illegal at a later date? What is to stop .gov from using a off switch? Too many problems with that idea.

  37. avatar Ralph says:

    No. I’d rather get a shave and a haircut by the chief barber for ISIS.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      Are you sure about the “shave” part?

      1. avatar Tomyironmane says:

        At least it would be a quicker, more painless end than allowing the cheese-brains on the left to mandate crap smartgun technology.

  38. avatar Henry Bowman says:

    “but it sure would be nice to have the option to carry when I have to go into Baltimore.”

    You do have the option. Live like you’re a free man… because you are! Keep calm and carry on.

  39. avatar Model 31 says:

    Counter proposal:
    Government enforcement officials honor shall issue laws at all levels.
    Do away with NFA
    Shove the smart guns up the Statist-Anti a$2#!

  40. avatar rob says:

    That would be a stupid trade.

    Now you can carry a gun, but just not one that works.


  41. avatar Pascal says:

    No, never ever. It is s stupid trade. We have compromised enough.

    They could get rid of the Smart Gun Law today and we can see Smart Guns in store tomorrow.

    They are the side they will not compromise.

  42. avatar DanRRZ says:


    Not one for compromise in general when it comes to rights. Some fluffed out background check mandate in return for national reciprocity would get my attention. Moot point really, no way to get a pistol here without one.

    I would never stake my life on a system with that many flaws. Low battery, forget your doofy watch, gov’t deactivation etc.

    Also I’m fairly confident that if they do hit the market you’ll be able to find a DIY on how to override the “smart” technology within a week.

    1. avatar General Zod says:

      You think it’ll take that long?

      1. avatar Tomyironmane says:

        once you include the “find” “download/fabricate” and “Impliment” parts of the plan? Yes.

  43. avatar Illinois Minion says:

    Only when I own the country and government

  44. avatar Andy says:

    Fuh reals?

  45. avatar TheYetti says:

    And this question coming from a person who owns more than a dozen guns.

  46. avatar Jack says:


    If it’s a good idea, the government should go ahead and use it. Start with their DHS, ATF, Etc. SWAT teams and the secret service, then Chicago PD, New Jersey state troopers… Heck, have the Army use them. Then in about 20 years when it’s a real, working technology civilians can decide if they think it’s a good idea and buy one, without EVER being forced to, if they want. If the government is not willing to follow my simple plan, this technology has nothing at all to do with safety and everything to do with control.

  47. avatar jwm says:

    I live in Alameda County CA. Without Federal court and Divine intervention I will never have a ccw. My answer to getting a permit based on having to carry a smart gun? PHUCK NO!!!!!

    I fear the encroach of smart gun technology more than I fear being unable to pack when leaving the house.

  48. avatar John Dennis says:

    People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.

  49. avatar Anonymoose says:


  50. avatar mike says:

    until they make an electronic firing pin there will be no point. There is no way to make an electronic safety on a mechanical machine that can not be easily bypassed. Pull it apart and yank all the electronic crap out and what are you left with, an ordinary gun. Absolutely pointless.

  51. avatar CTsheepdog says:


    Next question?

    No wait, let me revise that. I will says yes to smart guns just as soon as we get societal agreement that we mandate “smart cars” vis-a-vis drunk driving. Alcohol-related fatalities in the USA are greater than unjustified. non-LEO gun homicides each year which makes them quantitatively equally “bad”.

    Thus, just as soon as they mandate Breathalyzers attached to every vehicle ignition (don’t blow clean = don’t drive at all) I will be willing to consider smart guns to save the same number of potential lives.

  52. avatar mirgc says:

    They would probably go for that…. as long as it included:
    Registration (annually)
    GPS tracking
    Remote shut-off
    Remote built in tazer in the grip. Tazer also activates with each shot (you really gotta want to pull the trigger…)
    Gun-free zones with auto-shutoff equipment.
    No caliber over .22. No wait; .12.
    etc etc etc.

  53. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    I didn’t even bother to read the article. Not just no, but hell no.

    What good is a shall-issue permit for a paperweight?

  54. avatar Chris. says:

    “My understanding is that if a smart gun goes on sale in the US, these states may end up requiring smart guns (even if it only applies to handguns) be the only purchasable option. This idea scares me as a massive overreach.”

    The thing is you’re right – this is a massive overreach.

    Which means there’s no way it will survive a Constitutional challenge.

    The only reason it hasn’t been thrown out YET is because New Jersey’s law hasn’t taken effect – which means Nobody has been impacted by the law, which means nobody has Standing to challenge the law. But there’s no way it will survive.

  55. avatar MiniMe says:

    “But what if the antis were willing to compromise?”


    We usually get the short end of the stick in these “negotiations,” so the antis can kiss it.

    1. avatar Marcus Aurelius Payne says:

      The only thing the antis are willing to compromise is our position.

  56. avatar Richard in WA says:

    No. Maybe I’m jaded because I’m already in a shall-issue state, but an easily-defeated, unreliable smart gun is not the gun for me.

  57. avatar Marcus Aurelius Payne says:


  58. avatar Sheepdog6 says:

    When multi-kajillion dollars corporations like Home Depot and Target cannot protect my credit cars information why in the work would I ever trust anyone with this smart gun tech? No no no no no no no.

  59. avatar Marcus Aurelius Payne says:

    Also, being forced to wear the watch-key for the smart gun defeats the idea of concealed carry.

  60. avatar lolinski says:


    Better to carry a gun that works everytime illegally than legally carry a gun that works 60% of the time.

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      Smart guns: the sex panther of firearms.

      1. avatar Lolinski says:

        I got that reference! 😀

  61. avatar Dirt Dog says:

    I live in a may-issue state that is effectively no-issue (Maryland). There’s nothing I’d like more in life than a carry permit from my home state, and I still wouldn’t make this trade.

  62. avatar Parnell says:

    I’m trapped in NJ but absolutely not!

  63. avatar John B says:

    No. Absolutely no because as we have already seen with existing technological leaps in things like telephones, computers and now (with the advent of Progressive’s little gadget) cars, the government finds ways to coerce manufacturers to provide a back door to places where getting in the front door, is legally challenging.

    Do you really want a gun that gives some bureaucratic schmuck the ability to disarm it by sending out a signal?

  64. avatar Grege says:

    No. That is not a compromise.

  65. avatar kyle says:

    If we give an inch on our gun rights theyll take a mile

  66. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    You can take your compromise, go outside and play a nice game of “hide and go f$&@ yourself”

  67. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    Interesting question. And I would answer No.

    First, Rights are not something up for negotiation.

    Second, that isn’t a compromise because the anti-gun side isn’t giving up anything towards reaching a ‘middle ground.’

    Third, and this is the big one so I probably should have started with it, what other rights are you willing to similarly negotiate?

  68. avatar SteveInCO says:

    I already have a smart gun. It’s smart enough to go “bang!” when someone pulls the trigger, and hasn’t failed yet, it not only goes bang! it loads the next round without a hiccup.

    I don’t see the point in requiring people to throw away their jam-o-matics.

    Oh wait, that’s not what a smart gun is?

    1. avatar Tomyironmane says:

      My gun is not smart.
      My gun is pure, distilled, tried, tested, battle proven, true, unmitigated genius. And it has been for the last 103 years. And counting.

      They can take their widget and make a smart sphincter.

  69. avatar Xanthro says:

    What, is their some side bet on how many NOs you can get on one article?
    “would you accept a requirement to carry only a smart handgun in exchange for shall-issue permits? . . .”
    No sane person who supports firearm rights would. Let’s say that somehow this magically “compromise” came to fruition. All that would happen is that later the law would be amended when they could to no issue or may issue, and the Smart Gun law would stay on the books.
    Then the smart gun law would be amended so that it required law enforcement the ability to deactivate the firearm, and have GPS tracking on it so that they “could respond more quickly when you use it” so you’d need to tell law enforcement every time you went to the range, since this would be annoying, the law would be just keep the firearm at the range, because in their mind, “nobody needs a firearm”

  70. avatar Jeremy says:

    “No. No, man. Shit, no, man. I believe you’d get your ass kicked, sayin’ somethin’ like that, man.”

    Wish I could embed that, you you get the idea.

  71. avatar Phil COV says:


    Why do I need to give up rights to keep rights?

  72. avatar styrgwillidar says:

    As I said above, no- I won’t accept a compromise which implies that may issue ever should have been permissible under the constitution. This is like saying I’ll accept smart guns in exchange for being allowed to breathe. Nope.

    Here’s where I will compromise, I will accept a requirement that my carry gun be a smart gun, if and only if all of the following conditions are met-
    * The technology is mandatory first for all LEO organizations, not just for their handguns but for every weapon they carry, and that there is an introductory period for five years prior to smart guns being required for other civilians.
    * Elimination of all other LEO exemptions under the law, they can not buy for personal or duty use and departments can not purchase or provide for duty use any weapon not available to other civilians (except for smart guns they are mandated to use during the 5 year intro period).
    * Testing of the smart gun technology with every available handgun caliber, verifying (what’s appropriate- 5K rounds without a failure?)
    * Technology can not permit deactivation by a third party of any sort
    * The requirement can not be extended to anything other than a carry gun
    * A prohibition on requring smart technology incorporation in anything other than a carry gun. I.e. the same models can continued to be purchased without smart technology, non-smart technology firearms will always be availble for non-LEO personnel. The smart technology will never be required for long guns, other than those owend/used by LEOs.
    * If the smart gun technology requirements for LEOs are ever eased for any weapon, personal or government provided– all smart gun technology requirements for other civilians are immediately revoked.
    * Elimination of all restrictions, if any, on magazine capacities.
    * Elimination of any ‘assault weapon’ bans.

    And it’s an all or nothing proposition. They’ll never compromise with me.

    1. avatar styrgwillidar says:

      – The state is prohibited from research or acquisition of any smart gun jamming/deactivation capability. If they do, all smart gun laws applicable to non-LEO civilians are revoked. LEO applicable laws would remain in affect.
      – If the technology is developed which will allow smart gun jamming/deactiviation by anyone anywhere– all smart gun laws are revoked, including those applicable to LEOs.

  73. avatar DNS Guns says:

    Hell no. I wouldn’t live where I need permission to exercise my rights to begin with but no.

    1. avatar Sean in MT says:

      This right here! NOPE for me, too, for the same reasons.

      I’m bummed at how many people are willing to bargain away their natural, civil and constitutionally protected rights. It’s really sad.

  74. avatar dwb says:

    If the antis were willing to compromise, they would be willing to repeal silly laws like the shell casing requirement in Maryland. They would repeal ineffective laws. Yes, I might bargain with someone reasonable and willing to compromise (not on this issue though), so wake me when they are reasonable and willing to compromise. And, have earned trust by pushing for repeals of silly and ineffective laws.

  75. avatar Paul says:

    Giving GovCo an offswitch to your weapon defeats the purpose of the 2nd Amendment

  76. avatar JD says:

    I’m going to be pragmatic, and so I’ll preface this with the following: living in a discretionary may-issue liberal paradise such as CA, where even court orders are ignored by the powers-that-be when it comes to 2A issues, I would adopt a view a little more nuanced than simply yelling “Molon labe!” simply based on my desire to not become a victim in the time period the state and courts dither on about procedural technicalities.

    To the authors proposal: No, I would not trade a shall-issue system (in CA) for a mandate to only carry a smart gun. I do not trust this state, nor do I want any database pertaining to permit issuance available.

    I would accept Constitutional Carry with the proviso that *concealed* carry required some user-authentication technology, but that any *open* carry (handguns/long guns) requires no such technological adaptation.

    I would add that I would only accept even this proviso if the user-authentication technology were proven to be 100% effective, readily and cheaply available for all handguns in common usage, and was a non-permanent alteration.

    Throw in a legal presumption that insulates the carrier from charges of negligence if the firearm is so equipped, add in a federal-level commerce clause exception that barring concealed carry from any business open to the public is prohibited, and institute national reciprocity with the “shall-issue” states. Then we have a deal.

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      Unless I’m reading this wrong, it makes absolutely no sense to me:

      I would accept Constitutional Carry with the proviso that *concealed* carry required some user-authentication technology, but that any *open* carry (handguns/long guns) requires no such technological adaptation.

      What purpose would it serve? What is accomplished/gained by having user authentication for concealed carry but not for open carry?

      And most importantly: considering that 90%+ of gun crime is committed using a (usually illegally possessed and) concealed handgun, how would such a requirement stop criminals from possessing or using guns, without unduly infringing on the RKBA of law-abiding citizens?

  77. avatar Mark says:

    H3LL to the NO.

  78. avatar Jim says:

    No flippin’ way!

  79. avatar Don1974 says:

    That would be like cutting off your pecker and trading it for a condom.

  80. avatar brentondadams says:

    In a word, no.

    In two words, no no

  81. avatar Flyboy says:

    I want to know when the cops are going to start using smart guns. Seems this is the first place they should be used. Lead by example, you know. And, as a plus, it would be completely useless to anyone else.

  82. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    You guys! I finally figured it out: Somebody just wanted some evidence to cite, to prove that TTAG is an echo chamber.

    1. avatar Pseudo says:

      You guys! I finally figured it out: Somebody just wanted some evidence to cite, to prove that TTAG is an echo chamber.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “…Somebody just wanted some evidence to cite, to prove that TTAG is an echo chamber.”


  83. avatar HotHotHot says:

    Aside from HELL NO, I would see this as a ploy for more control. Everywhere I look I see court cases being won for open carry, states going shall issue, stand your ground laws, and generally a positive environment for gun owners despite the loud clamor from a few pot-stirrers. Basically, they can’t grab our rights so they want us to give them up instead. I don’t think so.

    I’m a software developer so I understand the complexity of systems. How many of you want to FLASH your gun because of an upgrade. I’m happy when I don’t have to cold boot my phone or when my DVR actually records a series of shows.

    Again, HELL NO.

  84. avatar Defens says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing some flames on this comment – so be it.

    1. I’m 100% against any mandate on the use of so-called Smart Guns in lieu of the conventional variety that’s been around for about 200 years in one form or another.

    2. I don’t think that compromising by accepting a Smart Gun Only carry permit is a wise thing – it ascribes some societal value to the notion of smart guns, and I think that’s far from having been established. It would be like mandating that you could carry only four shot revolvers – first, prove that there’s any social benefit in that restriction that trumps Constitutional rights, and second, four shot revolvers are as scare as commercially viable smart guns (none in either category, far as I know).

    3. While I agree that electronic devices are not 100% reliable, I think we can look no further than the exemplary examples of rough use optics by Trijicon, EOTech, Leupold, and others – used in combat every day by US servicemen — to conclude that electronics can indeed be designed and manufactured for ultra reliable, long term rough combat duty. The notion that all Smart Guns are going to be flimsy, Leapers quality junk is a stretch – I’d be willing to bet that if Crimson Trace built a Smart Gun, it would work reliably.

    HOWEVER – if an optical sight craps out on you, you still have BUIS to fall back to – the gun isn’t put out of operation. As many have observed, this is the fatal flaw of Smart Guns in general. This is quite likely a solvable problem, using some sort of redundant system – and of course that would make the system more complex and drive up the cost. But still – for those willing to pay the price, the option should be there as long as it’s not mandated on the rest of us.

    Regarding the tin-foil issues – about the .gov being able to remotely track and/or disable your gat. Just pass a law, saying they can’t do that. Simple enough, eh? 🙂 Or, just remove some of the foil from your hat and construct a Faraday Cage to enclose the gun and prevent errant broadcasts from disabling it. Seriously, this notion has little merit. As soon as the second or third Smart Gun hits the market, some ingenious hacker is going to deconstruct the whole thing and there’ll be YouTube videos on how to hotrod it, disable any nefarious add ons, or add a higher energy power source and a couple of relays so it’ll go full auto. If we can print guns in our basements, surely we can reverse engineer a simple security circuit.

  85. avatar Dex says:

    A Shall-Issue permit doesn’t do you a heck of a lot of good, if all you can carry is a gun that doesn’t bleedin’ work.

  86. avatar Gun_Chris says:

    I would say it seems like a poison pill either way, though honestly it’s so easy to disable the smarts of a smart gun that making that trade-off, in my opinion, does end up a net positive.

  87. avatar Pete says:

    Big ol stinky ball of HELL no!

  88. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:


  89. avatar JohnF says:

    I am tired of people in Communist states trying to come up with some BS and asking the rest of us to swallow it so they can buy guns or carry guns. Why not do what most of the other states in the country have done? Get active in elections and in the courts and get the anti-gunners beat back. When I turned 21, almost no state I knew of had shall-issue. I was an activist for the first attempt in MO, which unfortunately failed, but people carried on after and got it done. Now most states have CC, yours should to.

    Option #2: Rather than getting a smart gun, get a moving truck and get the heck out. Things are fine here in Virginia. Like Bobcat Goldthwait said about people starving in Ethiopia: “Hey, we have stinking deserts in America too. We just don’t live in them! You don’t need a relief effort, you just need a UHaul brochure!” Seriously, dirt poor people have given up everything to cross the ocean to find freedom in this country. You can’t cross the Potomac?

  90. avatar whatever says:

    What do you think my answer is? 🙂

  91. avatar Jus Bill says:

    Ian, as big a pile of steaming manure that SB281 is, I don’t recall seeing a “smart gun poison pill” in it. I believe that it was dropped in the one nanosecond of sanity during the total Circus that was the ASSembly “debate.”

    And no way in Hell I’m going to trust my life to a couple of grams of silicon that may or may not work properly but adds $1k to the price.

  92. avatar Icabod says:

    What about making my CCW valid in all 50 states? Add in “shall issue” in all states and not make qualifing impossible (see DCs plan) then maybe.
    However, all the “dumb guns” are exempt. As with the change to unleaded gas, the new production gets the technology.

  93. avatar DerryM says:

    Answer to your question, “No!”
    Why mess with what we know works and can regularly observe examples of old guns and ammo functioning flawlessly even after decades with a little cleaning and proper oiling. No one will EVER make an “electronic” pistol to match that kind of reliability.

    What would happen is that once gun owners went for this idea and electronic pistols failed and got people killed, or discharged “mysteriously”, the anti’s would then declare “OMG! THOSE things are dangerous! We need to outlaw them!” Then everyone who went for the scheme is screwed and there’s no going back. Better to stand fast for what we know is right and will work. Courageous of you to make the suggestion here at TTAG, and I applaud your bravery, but it kind of reminded me of Pickett’s Charge at the same time.

  94. avatar ValleyForge77 says:


  95. avatar PW in KY says:

    Those of us who actually live in America already have shall issue, so obviously this question is distasteful to us. Liberty or death.

  96. avatar Grindstone says:

    Short answer: No.

    Long answer: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

  97. avatar Mykque says:

    No, but I would accept ‘real’ universal background checks (I can check anyone’s background for any reason) for a repeal of NFA and national constitutional carry. Once I’ve ‘proven’ I’m a person that can have a gun, there should be no reason to limit what i can own and where I can have it.

  98. avatar Amok! says:

    This fails to get a no from me.

    It gets a F*CK NO.

  99. avatar Don says:

    I’ve done nothing wrong. I don’t need to trade anything.

  100. avatar janklow says:

    no. as a resident in MD, i’ll just carry a knife rather than making such a deal.

  101. avatar Richard says:

    “…would you accept a requirement to carry only a smart handgun in exchange for shall-issue permits?”

    This is a rhetorical questions isn’t it. Absolutely, positively a thousand times NO.!

  102. avatar publius2 says:

    TL;DR NO.
    No. never, ever negotiate.

    On smart gun tech, or any other further limitation.
    What we should be DEMANDING is Constitutional Carry, across all states, to start.
    And that day will come, if we keep it up, grass roots county by county, state by state, one SCOTUS lawsuit after another.

    Why, now that the anti-gunners are losing right and left, and on the AWB run, are we seeing this question?
    OK, RF and Dan are clever dogs, and they like the page views, but I wonder at the motivation of the emailer.

    Lets observe here, on Smart Guns, that New Jersey is already breaking its own 2002 law.

    Note that CA DOJ approved the Armatix, “under the radar screen” as it were, on the illegal Roster of Approved Handguns, and it was on sale for awhile- so that triggered the conditions of the NJ law.

    Could it be that NJ Legislators are running scared, now they are being sued by Brady?
    OOOPS!!! Progtards hoisted upon their own petard…nothing I like more than to see a circular-firing-squad amongst Dems and their community organizers…

    No, I think this is another way to try to get the NRA to pay attention, since they ignored the whine of NJ State Senator Loretta Weinberg, to maybe “negotiate”…and trick us POTG into saying, geez, that sounds mighty reasonable of you…( I suppose in a twisted progtards logic a NO! makes it the evillll NRAs fault, not hers, right?)

    Interesting that its Picatinny Arsenal, and New Jersey Institute of Tech that are trying to build the smart tech…

    A little conflict of interest there, hmmm? How about the rich guy in Seattle, Nick Hannauer, and his tech buddy Balmer throwing money at I595, along with Bloomie, to curry favor?

    Wonder which venture capitalists will be lined up when the DOJ/DOE/EPA or whatever US taxpayer funded agency dreams up the multimillion “grant” to start up something…like Solyndra, A123, or another crony-capitalist bailout, for the initial investor to get paid 30X angel round, and the sheep get fleeced on the public offering, only for the taxpayers to pick up whats left of the debt, after the Chinese buy the assets at pennies on the dollar out of bankruptcy…

    Its Potemkin Villages all the way down, in this Administration, as the Immortal Blogfather says…
    Once you get past the too-clever-for-their-own-selves in the Journolista/WH collaborating StateRunMedia…
    $100 bucks says we’ll see something like this in Talking Points Memo, next week…

    TL:DR No Negotiation.

  103. avatar gregory says:

    NO, and anyone that thinks it is a good idea is an assclown with no brains. We give up nothing. Any time you give an inch they take a mile. No, no, no!

  104. avatar Mark Lloyd says:


  105. avatar Bob92 says:

    Even if I could trust the word of a Democrat, even if I thought they would honor any compromise they agreed to, NO, not in a million years. It is about as logical as if the government mandated a “remote control muzzle” be installed in your jaw as a condition of retaining your first amendment right of free speech.

  106. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    With smart guns, government possibilities are endless.

  107. avatar MarkPA says:

    I am inclined to look for “deals” where we get something in exchange for giving something. However, the deal must be good for us on the positive side and not a serious infringement on the negative side.
    I don’t see Shall-Issue for Smart-Gun as “NOT a serious infringement”. It concedes control over a technology issue; and, that could go anywhere; e.g., toward a ban on semi-automatics. I don’t see how its likely to make the Smart-Gun requirement go-away in a subsequent law change.
    I also don’t see the two issues particularly related. That is, the public would be significantly safer if carried guns were “Smart”. If-and-to-the-extent that a CCP holder increases danger to the public, that danger is primarily from the carrier. Smart-Gun technology would reduce danger only to the extent that the carrier might lose control of his gun while carrying it. I think the incidence of a carrier losing control while carrying and a bad-guy gaining control is too rare and too small a related compensating consideration.
    If there were to be some such “deal” I’d rather see trading Shall-Issue for a high level of training. I hasten to acknowledge that every training requirement is akin to a literacy test for voting. (Every CCP fee is akin to a poll tax.) I’m opposed to an arbitrary training requirement based on principle. I’d be less uncomfortable with a testing requirement; e.g., on the rules-of-engagement for self-defense.
    I could envision beginning with a high training requirement and then lowering the training requirement in subsequent law changes. Presently, the voters in DC, NYC, NJ, MD are unaware of civilians carrying guns. In their imaginations, if Shall-Issue passed in their jurisdictions the streets would be filled with gun-fights. This is silly; but, it’s probably their view. If Shall-Issue-with-High-Training-Requirement there would soon be 1000 CCPs followed by 2000 CCPs. After a few years we would be in a good position to argue: ‘See, there are a couple thousand CCP carriers and no gun-fights. Let’s lower the training requirement a little bit.’ I can imagine the voters buying into a gradual introduction of Shall-Issue sooner than they will vote to a flat-out Shall-Issue law.
    Likewise, I can imagine voters buying into Shall-Issue sooner than Constitutional Carry.
    With IL and DC, under Heller and McDonald, we have made the easy move from NO-Issue to Some-Kind-Of-Issue. An absolute ban on carry is pretty clearly UnConstitutional. Now, we face the much harder task of moving from Some-Kind-Of-Issue to Shall-Issue. MD and NJ are still “May-Issue” which really constitutes Won’t-Issue. The 2’nd, 3’rd and 4’th Circuits have upheld Won’t-Issue. DC has announced its intention to go for Won’t-Issue. We need a plan to get NYC, DC, NJ and MD from Won’t-Issue to Shall-Issue. How do we do this?
    I reject as entirely hopeless imagining that these jurisdictions will suddenly agree to Constitutional-Carry. By what magic? The only possibility is getting SCOTUS to impose such an interpretation; they seem reluctant to do so. I think that SCOTUS is much more likely to make a ruling mandating at least a May-Issue right subject to some reasonable standard of training/testing/good-conduct. That is, I would hope that they would rule-out issuing CCPs based on political-party affiliation, campaign donations, net-worth or occupational categories.

  108. avatar former water walker says:

    NOPE. My son lives in Maryland. HE LOVES IT. Ex-military & thinks people who carry guns are red-neck troglodytes. Oh well…

  109. avatar Desert Ranger says:

    No. Forced in a choice like that it is time to change the government.

  110. avatar S.CROCK says:

    Absolutely not! Smart guns, registration, and microstamping. That is my list in order of the things I hate most. I will try to resist those thinks at all cost! Unfortunately I am already subject to two of those restrictions as a ca slave.

  111. avatar New Chris says:

    Would you compromise free speech for restricting dissension?

  112. avatar Excedrine says:


    And just no, but FUCK no.

    Anti-gunners don’t compromise.

    We have been giving and giving and giving for at least 80 straight years. What have we ever gotten in return and what have they given up in return? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is the answer you’re looking for, and that they will never admit to. I’m done, thank-you-very-much. Gun grabbers can go hang themselves for all I care, and I wouldn’t even bat an eyelash if they did.

  113. avatar Jon says:

    I have a better idea: make the gun completely OPTIONAL in addition to regular guns, and anyone who buys one of these “smart guns” waives the requirement to have a concealed carry permit in order to carry concealed. The gun also needs to have a more invisible “bracelet,” with that big watch it’s no longer CCing.
    I would call that a fair compromise. 🙂

  114. avatar Dan A says:

    No. Absolutely not.

  115. avatar John Galt says:

    Absolutely not.

    Never give up. Never surrender.

  116. avatar you be nuts? says:

    Hey Dan Zimmerman,
    would you really trust your life with a “sMARt” gun?
    For some reason reading the answers made me think your question could be equated with Maverick wanting to BUZZ the Tower with a fly-by…..
    Was this your “FLY-BY?

    from Top gun
    “That just about covers the fly-bys………….

    Then you broke another one (rules of engagement)

    with that circus stunt fly-by.

    Top Gun rules of engagement exist

    for your safety and for that of your team.

    They’re not flexible, nor am I. ”

    I BELIEVE the Answer to your question is a resounding NO! ! !
    Next question………

    1. avatar you be nuts? says:

      BE IT authored -From reader Ian K: or Dan Z. doesn’t matter.

      I BELIEVE the Answer to your question is a resounding NO! ! !
      Next question………

  117. avatar rt66paul says:

    The govt already is able to shut your car off rolling down the road. I know they can specifically shut a single car down, it makes sense to beleive they can blanket shut down all motor vehicles in an area that have that type of tech.
    The same would also be true with “smart” guns. If they are able to render your weapon ineffective, what good is having this weapon? They can and do use blockers to keep people from sending or receiving cell phone calls, text or any email messages using any type of airwaves – this would just be cutting your own throat.

  118. avatar Drake_Burrwood says:

    I am in a Shall Issue CCW State, that at the same time is Constitutional carry. I have one.
    That said, No if they decided to back slide and only allow Shall Issue or Constitutional carry for “Smart” Weapons.
    I would not agree.

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