I’m not sure why the inventors of the TracFind are targeting gun owners. You could attach their real time GPS tracking tag to, say, the bottom of your wife’s shoe to, you know, to make sure she’s safe when she’s — thinking out loud here — meeting an old friend for lunch. But there’s TracFind on Indiegogo, pimping their “Gun Safety Solution.” Here’s the elevator pitch from company founder and CEO Clark East via Tampa’s tbo.com . . .
Most gun owners won’t use ‘smart gun’ technology due to the possibility that it may interfere with the gun’s function when needed, so we designed TracFind with that in mind . . . TracFind is a device for smart owners of ‘dumb’ guns who want to protect their loved ones and prevent firearm tragedies.
I don’t suppose anyone told Mr. East that gun owners are also kinda hinky about firearms equipped with electronic tracking devices, in a “we don’t trust the government” sort of way. (Long time readers will recall our coverage of Chiappa’s RFID chip debacle.) I’m fairly certain Mr. East hasn’t thought this whole gun chip thing through.
Another exclusive feature of TracFind allows gun owners, at their discretion, to link local police to the tracking data, complete with an item description and photo so police can track and recover the weapon, possibly within minutes of the theft.
While that sounds great, the TracFind app continuously monitors the location of a tagged firearm. The government could, theoretically, surreptitiously monitor a gun owner’s firearms. (It wouldn’t be as hard as data mining billions of phone calls.) Or they could do it legally (though unconstitutionally) by requiring a link from guns to a police database.
In case you think I should take off the Alcoa chapeau, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (And Really Big Fires) is not averse to TracFind.
Kevin Richardson, spokesman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, had not heard about the new technology and was eager to see its impact on gun thefts . . . “I’d be very interested to see about this technology.”
That’s the same agency that tried and failed with its own firearms tracking technology during the failed anti-gun-smuggling-to-Mexico black bag job known as Operation Wide Receiver (which used RFID chips). It’s the same agency that somehow forgot to track some 2000+ firearms in the [ostensibly] anti-gun-smuggling-to-Mexico black bag job known as Operation Fast & Furious (using “I see nothing!” ATF agents), contributing to the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. No wonder they’re up for a private enterprise solution to gun tracking.
How great is that? Almost as great as this:
[TracFind’s president of business development Ron Laker] and East have been talking to gun manufacturers about the possibility of them embedding the device into their own products.
“Every gun manufacturer is concerned about gun safety,” he said. “We’re not involved in the politics of this, or gun control. “This just helps gun owners add another layer of security to a very serious issue.”
While you can’t stop the signal, you can choose not to use it. At least until you’re legally obliged to. Come to think of it, not even then.