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Armatix iP1 (courtesy Anja Popp)

Channel 4 Producer Anja Popp rang TTAG central to tell me I was too qualified to speak about “smart guns” to the UK audience. Do I know of any “average Joe” gun owner whom they could interview? I told her that here at TTAG all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average. And pointed out that her off-hand comment that “the NRA wants more guns in churches” was misinformed, misleading and biased every which way to Sunday. Undaunted, Ms. Popp asked if I’d pass on her message to our Armed Intelligenstia. If she interviews you let us know how it goes . . .

“Channel 4 News, the UK partner of NBC, is doing a piece on smart guns and the differing opinions on them. We have spoken to several people about this, and we’re looking to speak with a gun user who is against the use of smart guns. We would prefer it if the person is not an official representative from the gun industry- just a normal gun owner. It doesn’t matter what your reluctance against smart guns are- it may be because of the New Jersey legislation or worries about failing technology, but we’d love to speak with you. Just to make clear – this is going to be a fair and balanced piece, looking at the pros and cons of this new technology. Please contact me on [email protected] if you would like to have a chat about this further.”

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  1. I want a gun that will go “bang” when I depress the trigger. I do do not want anything to stand in the way of that, no matter how “smart” some people think that it.

    I’m sticking with my Glock-brand Glocks with Glockazines and Glockbullets and GlockBallisgics and GlockEffectiveness.

    I want my Popp to Popp without some sort of stupid “smart” system inteferring with it.

    I’m happy to offer my kind, gentle, loving, respectful, culturally sensitive timid opinions to her.

    In fact, I’m enjoying a fine cigar on a day off and welcome her call.

    She can drop me an email at:
    [email protected]

    I’ll be waiting.

    Yours truly.

    • I’m more of a sig-tactical with Sig-Light, fed by SIG BULLETS in a SIG-SAUER branded Sig with Sig-Tac Grips kind-of-guy.

      I don’t even own a Sig. Sigh.

      • You gotta get one. I was lucky and happened to $350 right when some big police agencies were trading in their 226s (for Glock-brand Glocks maybe?).

        • As a Glock user and my wife being a Nano user, I feel I should be the one to speak out against the Smart Gun because we all no how dangerous our guns are. OMG! No safeties! OMG!

  2. Let people know to keep it civil. Don’t give them ammo. Be polite, calm, reasonable. No Ad hominems.

    • Exactly! I emailed Anja. I have no issue talking to her about it.
      Honeslty I think the Armatix P1 is pretty cool. It is really expensive, not ready for prime time, and should NEVER be bound to any legislation at the state or federal level EVER!
      A nice range toy for some rich guys who want a “Bond” gun. That is about where we are at. And no gun shop will be able to sell it so long as there is legislation in CA, or NJ which mandates the use of this technology by all. Most companies will never implement it, or even try to create it. To many issues with the technology.

      • I emailed her as well. Politely. I would be happy to test an Armatix (spelling?) versus a “conventional” Ruger 22/45.

    • I would be happy to discuss smart guns with folks in the UK, but I’m do not think I would make a fool of myself, so I don’t think I will meet their needs. I would make the following points.

      1) I have no problem with people producing smart guns and letting the market decide how many are sold. But we all know that once smart guns are in production, conventional guns will be banned. Proponents of smart guns are not willing to take their chances in the market because they know that these guns are a niche product, at best.

      2) Smart guns are the answer to a question that nobody asked. The number of people who are disarmed and killed with their own gun is very very small. Most people are shot by the person who brought the gun to the party, rendering this “smart” feature irrelevant. If these guns become commonplace, the small number people disarmed and not shot would be dwarfed by the large number of mechanical failures or instances where the gun is not usable because the owner does not have his bracelet on or does not have time to enter a code.

      3) If it is a question of safe storage, the person who leaves his gun unlocked in his nightstand will leave his gun and his bracelet in his nightstand. On the other hand, the person who would voluntarily spend his own money to buy a smart gun would probably have his gun locked up in a safe.

      4) One of the problems Americans have with smart guns is the possibility that they can be configured to give the government control over whether or not they will fire. To a UK audience, this may seem like a perfectly reasonable and prudent thing. But to American ears, this sounds like the hoofbeats of rapidly approaching tyranny. The purpose of having weapons in the hands of the general population is to distribute the ability to use of force to the lowest possible level. Tyranny comes about when the government has the monopoly on force, and can impose its will on an unwilling population. The Founders sought to make this impossible by giving the power to use force to the people. If the government has the ability to disable smart guns, the people will no longer have this power.

      This last point will be difficult for a UK audience to understand, handicapped as they are by their cultural history of living as subjects rather than free men. The notion that people should be responsible for their own safety and should have the God-given right to challenge authority is completely foreign to them.

      • ” but I’m do not think I would make a fool of myself, so I don’t think I will meet their needs.”

        That’s exactly what I’m thinking.

        They’re simply looking for an interviewee that will help reinforce their stereotypes.

      • If I was forced to use a “smart gun” I would put the bracelet around the grip at night that way it would hopefully work if I needed it in a hurry.

        If possible, I think we should show a picture of a “smart gun” in just that configuration to show one of the many things wrong with these laws.

    • Don’t give them ammo.

      They’d probably go to prison if you did give them ammo. I doubt they have the correct license. It’s for the children.

  3. Oh! A “fair and balanced” piece about guns in the United States by a UK news organization. I think we all know what that means. After they excluded RF from the potential interviewee list, they showed their cards.

    • Yes, pretty much.

      I mean, it’s not like RF is the “purveyor in chief” of the most frequently visited and read gun related blog site on the Interwebz.

      What can he possibly contribute to this conversation?

      Manly hug to RF.

    • Aye. I can’t see much benefit in talking to this person. What she really means is: “We don’t want anyone from your side of the debate that is well informed, communicates effectively, and is practiced in public debate. We want to find one that sounds like our stereotype of an American gun owner.”

    • I was just going to say that. They want someone that will say things that can then be used to imply that the average gun owner is a drooling idiot. They most definitely are not looking for a gun owner who can make intelligent points and logical arguments.

  4. They should find the lady who was carjacked at gunpoint recently (kidnapping her in the process) and when the guy set the gun down to shift she grabbed it and shot him. Had that been a smart gun keyed to (whatever it is they key these things to the owner) she would not have been able to fire his weapon and free herself.

    • Yes, and of course, all of the carjackers and other various armed felons will immediately run out and upgrade their piece to the nice new smart option.

    • That’s not even a counter point, thats turning around their point for a rare instance that makes it in your favor.

      You wouldn’t go into such a debate talking about how much you love your RFID wristband Hornady gun safe that you trust either.

  5. I considered it for about 10 seconds, and then decided no thanks. Even if I get to say what I wanted to say, the way I wanted to say it, after seeing what happened to George Zimmerman due to malicious editing, I want no part of being interviewed. And to anyone that does pick up the gauntlet, bring your own audio recording equipment to have your own unaltered record of what is said.

  6. Rev they’d say you’re “too qualified” with your Youtube channel & occasional articles on TTAG. They want a redneck OFWG rube. No college or advanced degrees. Drooling is preferred.

  7. This is what I sent.


    My name is Cameron Smith I am a resident of the state of Oklahoma here in the US. I currently work in the IT industry and I saw that you were requesting opinions on smart gun technology.

    I think that often times the idea of smart gun technology has been pushed by Hollywood over the past several years in several science fiction movies. Some of those movies that come to mind are Judge Dredd and the most recent James Bond. What is ironic about both of those two movies is that they come from the UK. Anyways, as you know firearms are very common here in the US especially in the south, with that I have had the opportunity to have a few. I think that one of the biggest concerns here in the US about the technology is that is it going to work when my life depends on it? Common sense says the more complicated you make something the more prone it is to failure. Such as modern pistols are actually more simply designed that some older models for just that reason.

    If you ask an American about what type of rifle scope they want to put on their rifle often times it’s a traditional scope. If you ask them about red dots get ready for a debate. This is often due to informed owners understanding that electronics in items such as firearms have a tendency to not be as reliable. This is why a decent red dot costs upwards of $500 USD when the rifle might only cost $600.

    So I would say I would be hesitant to trust my own life with a smart gun today. But 30 years ago when Glock released a plastic pistol no one is their right mind wanted to trust their life with a pistol made of “plastic”, now Glock is considered one of the most trusted names in the firearms industry and they are used by many police departments and military units all over the world. In fact I trust my life with my Glock every day.

    Very Respectfully,

    Cameron Smith

    • She emailed me back for more info and I said this:

      I am in Atlanta GA.
      The Smart Gun is a solution looking for a problem, if you believe the people pushing this device. I think the truth behind this “technology” is that a small group of people will get rich at the expense of society as a whole. What I mean by that is, this is less about owning a “safe” gun and more about capitalizing on a movement to restrict firearms ownership. I believe free market capitalism is the best economic system we have; however, the implementation of this “regulated” device just like any other top down mandated product. Light bulbs, water saving toilets, Common Core, Obamacare etc. all fail to achieve the stated purpose while certain connected people get compensated richly. That is crony capitalism and it is bad for America.
      I don’t even want to get into the actual workings of the smart gun because I don’t believe it is intended to save lives in the first place. And I don’t believe it would even if the cause was noble. I will say this. Guns do what guns are supposed to do. The only difference is the person using them. Responsible people use them responsibly and irresponsible and evil people use them against the will of the general public.
      I will say this about the workings of the smart gun; guns are simple and anytime you try to “upgrade” a proven system, it is not always for the better. I remember microwave ovens that you put your food in and turn the knob for how ever many minutes you wanted. Now, it takes a GA Tech engineer to make popcorn. No thanks, I will keep my stupid Glock 19.

  8. all you gotta say is police officers and the armed forces are more likely to have someone try to steal their gun then the average person, when they start carrying them, then the people of the gun will TALK about it

    • Yeah, I was thinking that if they wish to know what legitimate objections are, have their Parliament propose to arm their military with only smart guns, smart cannons, smart vehicles, smart tanks, smart Navy ships and guns, and smart aircraft. Then listen to what their military tells them about that idea.

    • I think police/military using the tech is an important milestone to acceptance, but I don’t think it is the key factor.

      Several important things to consider:
      1) As others have stated, if there is a kill-switch for the technology the police/military would control the switch.
      2) Those groups have armorers to maintain their inventory, so additional testing and components needs would be handled and baked into the cost of use.
      3) Those groups (police more than military, I guess re: pistols) refresh their inventory often. So, if they bought a piece of tech today, they would have no problem replacing or retrofitting it in 5 years. This cost is baked into all of their purchasing decisions. As a citizen, I would be stuck with a piece of tech that will be outdated in a few years and it isn’t the kind of things that can be thrown in the trash.,
      3b) How well will this “smart” tech work in 25 years, 50 years, etc. … How will it be re-keyed to a new owner via estate sales or inheritance.

      Smart tech like this would probably better as an addon to a dumb gun than as a primary function. A drop-in trigger pack. A railed-camera. Something that can be swapped for a dumb piece, or upgraded as technology inevitably moves forward.

  9. A smart, responsible gun owner, wouldn’t touch a “smart” gun with a 10 foot pole. The idea that the gun is smarter than the gun owner is a dangerous notion in its own right.

    I fear the notion of a firearm that is designed to reach beyond its natural capabilities to protect me from myself. Why? Because trusting in “gee whiz” technology, engenders complacency, and carelessness.

    What I do trust is the following:

    1. The gun is always loaded
    2. Never point the barrel at anything you are not willing to kill or destroy.
    3, Keep your finger off and away from the trigger until you are ready to fire.
    4. Always be aware of you target, and know what is around and behind it.
    5. Never shoot, or keep company with someone who believes they can rely upon a “smart gun” to keep themselves and others safe from an accidental – or more likely – negligent discharge.

    • Just 2 weeks ago, my son’s car was backed into. The other driver said his Jaguar was “supposed to beep if something was behind it.” Trusting anybody’s artificial protections is idiotic.

      • This is why I’m highly skeptical of the newfangled anti-collision features on some of the newer cars. A car that can warn you of an accident 2 or 3 cars ahead? Back up cameras? Nice if it works, but I still need to rely first and foremost on the safety equipment that came standard when I was born, you know, the thing between my ears.

        • The above are illustrations of why there are many safeguards in the chain of events that must happen before firing a nuclear weapon, and the most critical of these design features is at least two human beings. No people, no boom. Period.

  10. I don’t want a gun that needs batteries.
    I don’t want a gun that can be made useless by a hacked cell phone jammer.
    I don’t want a gun that I cannot fire in my off hand.

    Mostly, I do not want a gun that can be used to infringe on my right to bear it.

  11. What about an “average joe” gun owner that doesn’t “look” like an average joe gun owner? Minority/Alternative lifestyle/fashion type? Or will that person be “shot down” like Colion Noir has been on Gawker as “the NRA trying to be hip and pandering to minorities?”


  12. Popp’s mind is made up and closed to any opinions contrary to her progressive elitist anti gun views.

    Why would anyone want to engage her to give her another opportunity to further her anti-gun media agi-prop? Unless she’s blind, deaf and dumb (not an impossibility considering her profession), she already knows the issues with these unreliable defensive ‘tools’.

    She can take a hike.

  13. I would honest to god love to have a chat about this. I live in Scotland, so I’m not sure if this counts, but I sure would give it a go (And some antis a run for their money). My stance, by the way, is that smart guns are shit. I’ll mail you my resume. 😉
    In the meantime, try to stay unbiased. (If you don’t know what it means, look it up in a dictionary).
    Great Scot

    • You know, reading your post suddenly made me reconsider my position. I think smart guns are such a good idea that the UK government should issue one to every citizen of any age. Then study the result on their crime stats. Wouldn’t that be great? Maybe lend them to visitors, as well. I bet they could figure out the problems pretty quick when the bill arrived.

      • Hah! Love it. I’ll be sure to tell PM Cammie the next time I see him.
        But… the Children! The Children! In my high school, spree shooting would end up being the least of their worries. At least I’d be able to use one better than them.

  14. Well lets see. It’s a proven fact that if we lay a loaded gun on the table with the safety off, it will not shoot, it will not “just go off” it cannot shoot itself.

    Lets look at “smart” technology. My “smart” phone is just smart, or dumb, enough to mess itself up, and even do weird things on its own.

    So, lets give an inanimate object some autonomy…

    Now, the gun is somewhat “smart,” or just “”dumb” enough to shoot itself.

    Lets give a gun the ability to shoot itself… right. Brilliant idea.

    Lets also look at viruses… the ability for someone to upload a “smartgun” virus that could spread to all these guns and cause them to really “just go off” and start shooting by themselves.

    That is the future of smartgun technology. Its just plain “Stupid.”

    • Regardless of whether smart guns are “good” or “bad”, you’re misunderstanding what they are. The smart part of a smart gun is essentially an electronic safety that won’t let the gun be shot unless the person holding it has the correct fingerprint/blood/etc… This means that even if the electronics malfunctioned or somehow got a virus (might be a legitimate threat if the guns have any type of wireless connectivity) they wouldn’t just start shooting themselves.

  15. As a brit who enjoys shooting (legally), I feel I should warn all you guys not to go there. In the words of a well known military figure,”It’s a trap”.

  16. My computer misfires maybe a 1000 times more often than my least reliable firearm. Why would I want to trust my life to that kind of technology.

    Aside from the fact that .22lr is not the best choice in caliber for self defense, what happens if you are wounded or injured in the hand or arm wearing the watch? Will the gun still function shooting off handed with your weak hand? And if it does, then how does this technology prevent the weapon from being used against you if disarmed, considering it would probably be used within the same range of the watch as if you were shooting weak handed? I see no benefits and a whole lot of room for failure with this.

  17. Obviously, the good Ms. Poop . . . er Popp was just a teeny bit concerned that ‘ole Robert might say something so cogent that it might undermine her intention of making a “normal” gun-owner, i.e., one that she hopes will sound like Cliven Bundy holding forth on race-relations, look like fool. Make no mistake, her producers need a fool and she needs a fool.

  18. The fact that journalists (I use the term loosely) even have a “too qualified” standard says all that ever need be said of news reporting today.

  19. My email to her:

    I saw an article on about a desire to speak with someone who is against the use or requirement of smart guns. While I am not “in the industry,” I try to be a knowledgeable advocate for the human right of self-defense and would love to talk with you about the topic. If you’d like to preview some of my writings, then you should feel free to read a blog of mine:
    I hope to be of some use in your article and look forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you for your time.
    (My name)

  20. As someone who lived in the UK (Northern Ireland) for most of my life I am curious to see how this plays out. Channel 4 does not strike me as particularly pro-gun, but it is a step above Piers Morgan.

    Smart guns are presently an untried and untested piece of equipment that is currently being held up as the ‘holy grail’ of gun control. However one fact is often overlooked; the more complicated the system the greater the likelihood that it will fail when needed most. The overwhelming majority of private gun owners knows how their firearms work, are mechanically savvy enough to maintain them, and follow gun safety.

    Smart guns take what gun owners know and inject the unknown. This can make accidents initially more likely, not less, and can have a huge impact on defensive gun use – if you hear your window breaking in the night you now have to find the activation bracelet and put it on (while your fine motor skills are being affected by adrenaline dump), have it in proximity to your firearm, and make sure that both are synced. These additional steps are going to put lives at risk, and delay the ability for the home owner to defend themselves and dial 911. These are some practical concerns. This is leaving aside technology failures and the low caliber that is presently being offered by smart gun manufacturers.

    The introduction of smart guns into the market as a way of reducing gun violence ignores many realities. Firstly, suicide rates are unlikely to reduce overall. Suicide is something that needs medical/psychological intervention, otherwise the most determined will still succeed regardless of the method used. Second, the introduction of smart guns is unlikely to affect the possession of illegal firearms by criminals. This is a vital point. A criminal possessing a traditional, mechanical firearm is now at a significant advantage over a law abiding citizen who now has extra steps to take before (s)he can defend themselves, as well as the law abiding citizen being tied to a much lower caliber.

    It is my belief based on the current offerings that smart guns are not the solution that they appear to be. They are a fine example of technology being used to make us feel safe rather than having an actual positive, practical impact.

  21. Didn’t see it mentioned above, so I’ll add (what I thought was) the obvious reluctance: I don’t want the government forcing me to own one of these “smart” guns.

    22 years in software and firmware, I’ll bet at least some of my code is running in some aspect of your life, and I still don’t want it in my gun.

  22. What people aren’t seeing about this technology is the government control aspect of it. If the gun requires a transmitter and a receiver to operate, then all police forces and government agencies will have jammers to turn them off. This is why the government wants smart guns. The technology isn’t for our safety. The technology is designed so our government can turn off our 2nd amendment rights with the flip of a switch. When our government gets so corrupt only armed revolution is the answer, to bad. The government just flips a switch, and all of the smart guns turn into paper weights.

    • And that is exactly the argument that Channel 4 wants to hear. Because the next step is selected questions and editing to show that the person supporting the 2A is a conspiracy theorist who’s opinions can be discounted. Why else ask for a non-PR savvy average Joe? Why do you think MDA is fronted by someone with a background in PR?

      • That is why we should not talk about fighting back against the government with our guns. Obviously, that is the purpose of the Second Amendment, since the Constitution is silent on the matter of ducks, but it makes the speaker sound as if he is eager for such a thing. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.

        Rather we should talk about how the wisdom of the founding of the country was that it distributed power to the lowest possible level, so people could make their own decisions and be responsible for their own safety and security. It is this distribution of power that makes possible the hugely innovative and productive system of Free Enterprise that has produced unimaginable wealth and transformed life in modern times. It is also the distribution of weapons that prevents any government from gaining a monopoly of power, which allows our free society to survive.

  23. “this is going to be a fair and balanced piece” well ok, except what is meant by, “a gun user who is against the use of smart guns?”

    If someone wants to use one, I’m not against them doing so. But the phrasing seems to imply that gun owners are flat out against them for anyone. Which other than in the context of mandates, I’ve never seen any gun owner suggest such a thing, ever.

    Everything you hear arguing against them is personal views as to why individuals don’t want them, and why they’d encourage others to eschew them as well. But never is it that they think others shouldn’t be allowed (except due to the mandates).

  24. I don’t know about you, but it makes me wonder what the “average” pro-smart gun person looks like. Think she contacted Slate or Huffpo and had a similar conversation?

  25. I sent an email asking her to contact me. I know full well this is probably a trap, but momma didn’t raise no dummy. I know how to record phone conversations and keep email trails. If they misrepresent what I say, I am pretty sure RF will publish the truth.

  26. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t the “smart gun” that’s out there for sale a .22LR? it’s my understanding that one should never shoot a large caliber man with a small caliber round.

  27. Revolvers have heavy triggers and are safe for babies. They go bang only when you want them to. “Accidental” discharge is impossible if you follow the safety rules. Plus, as Miculek testified in last night’s wayback video, you can put hundreds of thousands of rounds through them without malfunction so long as you take care of them (maybe replace the hammer spring or hammer from time to time).

    I don’t want to be worried about how many bars my gun has when the back door goes crash. Ever try to swipe your smartphone and its frozen up? Or out of battery?

    I’ll take a 7 shot .357 and a speedloader over a “smart” gun any day and twice on Friday night.

  28. Well, let’s see if they want a gun owner who happens to be a vet and a lawyer…shot off an email.

  29. I submitted my request to be interviewed with the following remarks:

    I would like the chance to give opposing views on the Smart gun technology. I am a middle income blue collar worker who was not a gun owner until just over a year ago. I am 48 years old. I have no affiliation to any gun organization, manufacturer or sales. I have absolutely no agenda. I simply apply common sense to any and all rules and governance. I am not one anyone would call diplomatic. I am what you get. Straight forward and honest. I have no military experience. I have never hunted. I am just an average family man with a license to carry a concealed weapon. I enjoy shooting as a hobby. This includes target shooting, and skeet. I value safe handling of firearms above all. I believe any weapon can be handled safely as long as it is in proper working order and the person uses good habits. Any time a mishap occurs with a firearm, it can be accredited to negligence by the person handling it. In the end, I believe the 2nd Amendment is one of the most important rights to maintain a free and prosperous society. I believe that our rights have been infringed upon and I will fight to restore them every chance I get.

  30. manyks and Sigs have been proven through decades of law enforcement usage. These companies making smart guns are often new to the industry with no track record. They’re expensive, while adding failure points. many of us have experienced electronics on guns in the form of optics. Despite being a simple low complexity light, we’ve all experienced them fail either from the shock and heat, or simply running out of power.

  31. There are far more children under 14 killed by accidentally leaving them in hot cars in America than there are children killed in “firearms Accidents”, and yet I have yet to see angry masses of moral crusaders pushing for cars in which the doors cannot be turned off unless the child seats are empty.

  32. “Fair and Balanced” Is that better than merely “Fair”, or simply “Balanced”? Is it even possible to be “Fair and Unbalanced” or “Unfair, but Balanced”?

    Better to be very cautious around someone who picks up the nonsense and runs with it.

  33. I have emailed Anja at the provided email address, and if I am contacted, and complete an interview I will certainly share.

  34. “Channel 4 Producer Anja Popp rang TTAG central to tell me I was too qualified to speak about “smart guns” to the UK audience”

    That’s a nice way of saying you’re too polished. They probably want some yokel to show up and act like a rube.

  35. I got a response! She asked for my location and what I feel about smart guns. Buckle up guys, I let her have it.

    You’re most welcome, and thank you for for your fast response.
    I have lived in the same small town in Tennessee (in the Southeast United States and the region sometimes called the Bible Belt) since I was a year old. To me, smart guns have only one upside while presenting several downsides. We’ll start with the good.
    If a currently produced smart gun works as intended and functions flawlessly, it will send (up to) eleven rounds of .22-caliber ammunition downrange. Now let’s address the problems.
    Problem 1: Caliber. While it is true that “stopping power” is largely nonexistent in most handgun cartridges, one can do much better in 9mm or .45 ACP (as only two examples) than .22 Long Rifle.
    Problem 2: Capacity. A major selling point of my favorite handgun, the Springfield XDm, is its high capacity of 19 rounds of 9mm ammunition in each standard-capacity magazine (meaning the magazine that shipped with the handgun from the manufacturer). Most states in this country do not place any arbitrary limits on how many rounds any type of magazine or tube can accept. In order for the “smart gun” to enjoy any kind of success, it must be a desirable purchase. As it stands now, it’s not even marginally marketable. Which leads me to the next issue.
    Problem 3: Price. Currently set upwards of $1000 US just for the handgun without the watch included, it becomes cost-prohibitive to, say, a single mother in Detroit who just needs a home defense gun. For her, a Hi Point Carbine may be (and, earlier this year, was) perfect for the job at a quarter of the price. Perhaps if an aftermarket attachment could be had for under $500 US, it may enjoy partial success.
    Problem 4: The watch. Not only is it cost-prohibitive, it also possesses very limited features. Perhaps smartphone compatibility would be a good idea, as using the firearm at 3:00 a.m. would likely require a call to emergency services. Currently, the watch must be within a set (short) distance from the firearm in order for the firearm to function. This presents a problem with anyone who finds a need to shoot one-handed with the arm that does not have the watch attached. This can be anything from covering fire to an injury in the dominant hand. In addition, the watch is a crucial weak point that can be exploited by anyone with a radio frequency emitter in a backpack (or, true to the Founding Fathers’ fears, a government agency).
    Problem 5: Mandating the technology. We Americans are notoriously spiteful creatures when it comes to being told what to do. We are sensitive about our freedom of choice, and that extends to firearms for about 90 million of us. If it is left as an option for even the most fearful of firearm owners, then the “sleeping giant” of the 90-million-strong gun lobby will not feel prodded. Poke that giant, though, and we will all flex our collective voting muscles to put the offending parties out of office. See Colorado’s recalls just last year.
    Thank you for contacting me again, and I hope this gave some insight into the topic from the viewpoint of someone who isn’t paid to talk about guns. Heck, I get paid to sell cell phones.
    (my name)

  36. Duh, Me like smart gunz. I believes that a smart gun teknalogy would make me a smarter, more responzible gun owner. Plus common sense says that these gunz will obviously be better for the chilldrens. And prolly the environment to.


  37. They are looking for a patsy to ambush. Someone who is so stupid they think that they are going to outsmart a group of well-prepared gun control advocates who use rhetoric professionally on their own turf. If you think you’re going to get in there and show ’em what’s what, you’re exactly what they are looking for.

  38. Smart guns are a solution in search of a problem. Some argue that introducing smart gun technology introduces a variable that may make a firearm unreliable at the worst moment possible, but that is a distraction from a more fundamental concern. Despite specious arguments that completely ignore years of empirical statistics, the fundamental intent of smart gun technology, and those who champion it, is about control over who is and who is not allowed to legally possess and use a firearm. That debate creates a considerable amount of unease among a large number of Americans, and not just the owners of firearms.

    Smart gun technology could provide a new opportunity for those who oppose the right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms to restrict the sale of firearms by prohibiting the sale of firearms not equipped with the technology, as well as conceivably disabling those same firearms in the future at the whim of a judge or an act of law. Certainly enforcement of large scale firearms bans such as those in New York or Connecticut would be easy if all you needed to do was to “flip a switch” and turn tens of thousands of firearms into expensive paper weights. After all you can log into a website and disable your smart phone if it’s stolen, is it a stretch to think that a government couldn’t do the same thing on a wider scale. But the opponents of the individual right to keep and bear arms wouldn’t see that as a bug in the technology. For them it would be a feature.

    Opponents of the 2nd Amendment’s protection of American’s right to keep and bear arms have gone a long way over the last several decades to earn the distrust and even open hostility of supporters of the 2nd Amendment. Is it really that surprising that among those who support the 2nd Amendment, and have thought deeply about what those 27 words actually mean, are deeply skeptical about this technology.

  39. Heh. I may have to email her. Average Jane here, middle class mom, pretty much the kind of person the Demanding Moms are trying to target. Except that I like things that go bang. And I like them to go bang every time I pull the trigger.

  40. What problem is it exactly smart guns are trying to solve? I am afraid it’s trying to push technology nobody who uses the product cares about. I’m willing to bet I can buy a couple reliable safes for the price differential between a smart gun and a quality standard firearm. The safe will likely do a better job of keeping weapons safe, and the gun will probably do a better job doing gun things.

    If folks are trying to say there is a need for this so weapons used to commit crimes wouldn’t be able to use guns, they said the same thing about stolen iPhone5S’s and they had a hack out in the first couple days to defeat the thumbprint device.

    Bottom line, I’d be skeptical we’re solving any problems with this tech.

  41. Hunter, shooter, former LEO who has also traveled throughout Europe and worked in England, Scotland and Ireland for many months. if we can get an honest review I’d be happy in sharing a review of smart firearms.
    In a nutshell though if Microsoft made a pistol would you buy it? Software and radio transmissions on vehicles are creating more problems than they fix. Finally I really don’t want dependence on a battery made by some Chinese.

  42. So she admitted that they want someone who is relatively uninformed to represent the anti smart-gun side and falsely counted TTAG staff as “official” gun industry reps in order to justify that? Gal’s got balls, I’ll give her that.

    That’s what I took away from this anyway.


    At about 46sec is an example of the problem with mandating “smart guns”. A safe has a lot more room for the electronics and takes much less abuse. If you won’t tell a cop, who by the way is one of the people advocates of smart guns say could benefit from this tech that they have to be ok with a posible lag when drawing or picking up the weapon don’t say I have to be ok with it. I’m not saying not to work on the idea but don’t mandate it, especially before it is ready.

  44. RFID transmissions can be spoofed, hacked, and jammed, anything requiring batteries can fail, firearms are needed at the most dramatic and tense events in life and simply cannot fail or be compromised. This isn’t even addressing the cost issues. The technology isn’t there, and the idea of making these guns mandatory is simply illegal. Additionally it’s police officers who need to worry about someone using their issued firearms way more than civilians, if they have such confidence in these weapons THEY can use them first and can be required to since a job description isn’t a natural right. Every Federal Agency and Law Enforcement division should be required to use smart guns *exclusively* for their duties; since we’re paying for all their shit anyway, and they buy things they don’t need, the extra cost isn’t really a concern. Once they’ve all switched over to smart guns to carry out their official duties, the public can be encouraged to follow suit. If LEOs don’t want to use them, whatever excuses they have for it apply to the general public as well but every time I hear about a LEO losing or having their SELECT FIRE WEAPON stolen from their car or out of the department these guns really do need to have “smart tech”, if not just a GPS tracker since they are illegal for the public to own (thank you hughes amendment) and dangerous department hardware that always needs to be accounted for. The technology of biometrics systems powered by body heat with manual overrides would be interesting development, but all this crap to “make guns safer for kids” is bogus and additionally, forcing them upon the people should never ever happen at all.

  45. The answer is simple. As soon as ALL LEO’s (including the Secret Service protecting the “king”) have been using them reliably for 10 years, I will consider “smart” guns.

    Until then, they can pound sand.

  46. Why is there a presumption that technology can solve all problems? By and large, this kind of stuff just moves problems around or creates new ones. Issues from the top o’ the head:

    – replace personal responsibility and authority with technology – WHY?
    – increase the complexity of life-protecting equipment with questionable increases in reliability and availability
    – increase in maintenance (good Lord…. _another_ set of batteries to replace?)
    – presumes a fixed number of “authorized users” – an authorized user is whoever I hand the firearm to
    – target nature of the audience – LEO/Military excluded which is odd because their training, etc. doesn’t end when they leave their respective employment
    – problems have already been solved by training and adherence to training which will always be more effective than being lax due to over-reliance on nanny technology (this includes the safe handling rules)
    – at what point does this “technological solution” stop
    – what guarantee is there that there actually will be any sort of meaningful decrease in accidents relative to gun ownership (to include QC issues) [BTW-I’m not convinced accidents (ND/AD, whatever) constitutes a significant problem compared to other things like auto accidents, falls down stairs, accidental drownings, etc.)]

    In short, I believe they are pointless and do not solve any particular problem. They are a feel good measure and put off the individual responsibility of gun ownership onto a forever-moving target of “technology”. I’d rather be responsible for myself and what I do rather than be forced to delegate an authorization for using life saving/protecting equipment to a circuit that relies on batteries.

  47. Let’s not forget that the history of arms control in England goes back hundreds of years and was initially designed to prevent the peasants from mounting a credible armed challenge to the ruling authority. There’s a cultural acceptance of disarmament as a legitimate prerogative of government.

  48. To put it in perspective, I wonder how many of these smart gun proponents would feel comfortable driving a car with Smart Seatbelts, Smart Airbags, Smart Brakes, etc, that only worked if their Smart Watch was within range? How about firemen only use Smart Fire Hoses and Smart Fire Extinguishers when their house is on fire? How many people are willing to trust their lives to some electronic doodad they have to carry around to make their stuff work as intended.

    But better than all that, why don’t the police and military only use Smart Guns, since there is supposedly no downside and only upside? But no, the politicians pushing this stuff don’t want to force the very people they actually have some real control over to buy this stuff. They want to jam it down our throats. Because it’s crap technology and it’ll cost lives. Oh, and that it relies on radio technology that can be trivially jammed, or biometrics that are unreliable and of course don’t work in winter (think: gloves) is just the icing on the cake. But really, tell me why I’m a knuckle-dragging moron for not being forced to buy these things.

  49. So let me see…firearms with an electronic lock that requires biometric data or a coded RF signal to operate?  Hmmm…
    Let me see…an electronic lock susceptible to jamming, interference or power loss.   An electronic lock susceptible to outside influence by someone with access to cellular or satellite broadcasting capability. 
    Hmmm…So hypothetically speaking, because under “common sense gun laws” nothing like this would ever take place….so purely hypothetically speaking, that legally registered firearm registered to a particular law abiding citizen at a known address with unique access coding known only to him, the manufacturer and whomever else has access to the data, could have his or her firearm selectively or as part of a larger group rendered inoperative.  So, again hypothetically speaking,  say post Katrina 2.0 or LA riots version 6 or 7..I’ve lost count, or NYC blackout,  or a declaration of martial law or just at the whim of the governing agency, a law abiding firearm owner could have his right to keep and bear arms remotely suspended…for their own safety during this time of crisis of course.  Because no one under “common sense gun laws” would oppose the creation of this “golden key”…you know for the children. 

    Not to insult or badger the nice English lady, but it was her forefathers that started this chain of mistrust.

    • She (or a staffer) responded, and I replied back:


      Respectfully, that’s a poor excuse in these days of modern communication and two-way satellite TV networks.

      Sikorsky Thunder

      On Sat, 5/17/14, Popp, Anja wrote:

      Subject: RE: Smart guns – via TTAG
      To: “PavePusher”
      Date: Saturday, May 17, 2014, 6:41 PM

      Hi PavePusher,

      Thanks so much for your response. Unfortunately as we’re
      based in DC we are trying to find someone a bit closer.
      Please let me know if you know anyone or if you plan to be
      in the area in the next week or two.​

      Thanks again for your time



      , CHANNEL 4 NEWS


      SUITE 850


      WASHINGTON DC 20001


      T +1 202 429 9080


      E [email protected]


      Please consider the environment. Do you really need to print
      this email?


      From: PavePusher

      Sent: 16 May 2014 20:08

      To: Popp, Anja

      Subject: Smart guns – via TTAG

      I’d be happy to discuss ‘smart guns’ with



      Tucson, Arizona


      Sikorsky Thunder

      Please Note:

      Any views or opinions are solely those of the author and do
      not necessarily represent those of Independent Television
      News Limited unless specifically stated. This email and any
      files attached are confidential and intended solely for the
      use of the individual or entity to which they are addressed.
      If you have received this email in error, please notify
      [email protected]

      Please note that to ensure regulatory compliance and for the
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      read messages sent to and from our systems.

        • Then why not come out and say they are only considering people in the DC area? I got the same “thanks but no thanks” reply and it was for the same reason. I am not in DC.

        • It could be because she’s deciding based on the tone of the letter, and the DC excuse is just an excuse she uses instead of “don’t want you because I can’t use you to further my agenda.”

        • And an additional response:


          Dear Madam (or staffer), your excuses continue. I lived in the U.K. for 7 1/2 years. I know how big Channel 4 is. (And if I didn’t, I DO have the internet to investigate these things.) I’m quite certain they have the budget to do a remote interview (generally much cheaper than flying around the world with a crew and equipment), otherwise, going by their current content, they’d be off the air. ($1000 for 2 minutes of camera transmission time? Pull the other one, it’s got bells on, lassie.)

          Alternatively, flying a single person such as myself to DC is not particularly expensive. You wouldn’t even have to provide lodging, as I’d combine the trip with some well-earned vacation time.

          Regardless, I think you are actually trying to find a way to slant your article by cherry-picking people who represent a view you want to encourage. Shocking behavior for so-called ‘journalists’, I know, but all too common these days; don’t follow where the story leads, push it where you want it to go.

          Well, have fun with that, I’ll be fascinated to see where this goes.

          Sikorsky Thunder

          On Sat, 5/17/14, Popp, Anja wrote:

          Subject: RE: Smart guns – via TTAG
          To: PavePusher
          Date: Saturday, May 17, 2014, 7:26 PM

          British networks have
          very small budgets – we simply can’t afford to pay the
          $1000 it costs to hire a studio and pay for lines when we
          could find someone nearer. Also, we wanted a more
          personalised interview in person with our reporter, and to
          fly out to you in Arizona would cost even more.

          I hope you understand – it’s not an excuse but


          From: PavePusher

          Sent: 18 May 2014 02:00

          To: Popp, Anja

          Subject: RE: Smart guns – via TTAG

  50. Play Metal Gear Solid 4. That game will give you a pretty good look at why you don’t want smart guns.

  51. I submitted this:

    Hello, I am a homosexual male that has a very big interest in electronic devices, firearms and firearm ownership, competition shooting along with pretty much anything electrical and mechanical that a human being can create. I’ve attended school for numerous years in order to attain a degree in electrical engineering (I decided that I did not want to commit to my hobby being my career and since left the field for happier pastures) and I actually have a bit of an interest in Smart Gun technology, though not in the way many would think.

    Such as it is, I am very much against the implementation of electronic equipment in the operation of a simple mechanical device as a firearm. It has been and continues to be a hobby of mine to find ways to break into, get around, go under and over and through any forms of security at any level, as I find ‘Secure’ technology and electronics fascinating. My fascination, however, comes from breaking through this security puzzle and disabling said technology, and then finding a way to fabricate a way to automate and replicate said break in security in a very rapid and cheap fashion to make it widely available. What I do is not illegal at all, as I am merely doing such a thing in the name of science and research as all curious individuals do, and I do not ever condone illegal activity be done with some of the schematics and systems that I have put together on my own (And never distributed). It is with this background in mind that I bring forward my stance against ‘Smart’ technology being implemented into a life saving device.. There are people out there like me that will find ways to defeat technology. Plain and simple. There is and there will never, ever be a secure enough technology that cannot be defeated by a person such as me.. A person that absolutely loves to solve puzzles and riddles. And unfortunately, there are people like me that would very well do this for profit and malicious intent. Worse yet, there is no law that can be introduced to stop such a thing.. How could such a law even be enforced were this person to do this in the privacy of his own home? It cannot. It’s impossible.

    Introducing Smart Gun technology will not improve or make firearms safer. They will, in fact, make them far more prone to tampering in a situation and it introduces far too many variables in the equation of self defense. It also introduces limitation of function into a mechanical device that did not previously have this limitation, or disadvantage before. It is far too dangerous, and this is why there have been no military or police forces in the world that have adopted this technology, and it has indeed been around since the 1970s.

    As you might know, self defense and protection is very important to many Americans across the country. The latest Smart Gun uses RFID technology to secure itself, yet a quick google search will reveal just how unsecure and readily defeatable RFID technology is, either through multiple scanners that can pick up codes and data transmitted through RFID.. Or incredibly cheap and very, very effective radio frequency jammers with schematics that are widely available, with parts that can be bought at any local electrical store. The same can be said for many other types of scanners.. Most secure systems that rely on interface contact often have many different layers and levels of security along with the scanning interface to overcome the deficiencies.. However, you can only put so many layers of security on a firearm before it comes far too burdensome to actually use it in case a situation were to arise.

    As it is, I’ve probably elaborated far too much on the subject matter. I will be happy to get more into it if the interest is there, as I fully enjoy the technical aspect of such technology to a very large degree. Politically speaking, being a competitive shootist I would think this could go without saying how I feel about firearm ownership, but I am not against some forms of training.. As long as there is some incentive to actually complete it, free of Government oversight at that. Feel free to contact me at any time, I am available nearly any time of the day. Thank you and have a wonderful day.

  52. Here’s my screed. 😉

    On the subject of so-called “smart” guns, Ms. Popp,

    Please allow me to preface this by saying that I am not a Federal Firearm Licensee and I am not in the business of selling guns, accessories, or ammunition. I hail from Fayetteville, North Carolina, and I was skimming over the articles on the TTAG blog and I read that you are searching for interviewees for your segment on Channel 4. I would be more than happy to discuss the issue with you, being one of the “average Joes” you are looking for.

    I will be the first to say that, as Americans, we are highly skeptical of any new technology that promises as much to make our lives better, safer, and can reduce the likelihood of [insert whatever unthinkable tragedy here]. It is the same advertising meme seen in every single ‘As Seen On TV’ wonder-gadget commercial ever.

    While the prospect of the supposed increased safety that could plausibly be ushered in by such a product, its proponents and their sympathetic “representatives” in their legislatures are entirely too quick to clamber for the forcible adoption of what is otherwise an unknown, unproven, and unreliable technology. It is an especially hard sell when the MSRP is a whopping $1,899.99 for the complete system, a’ la the Armatix P1, and only available in a diminutive caliber (.22LR in this case) not any good for very much else than putting rabbits and squirrels in the stew pot or plinking tin cans and soda bottles on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

    Needless to say, it is decidedly not an attractive prospect for any standpoint whether that be technological, tactical, or economical.

    Then one must consider the long-term durability of the system itself. That it is only offered in a low-pressure, low-impulse cartridge like the .22 Long Rifle only highlights its relative fragility. With that being said, there arises the question of whether or not it can be shock-hardened enough for more common, practical cartridges like 9MM, .40 Smith & Wesson, and the venerable .45 ACP. If so, will it survive a practical pistol course? In these classes, students are expected to expend upwards of 2,000 rounds or more over a period of two or three days, and in rapid and intense cadences that require multiple reloads. If so, will it survive multiple practical courses over the life of the pistol? Often times, a handgun purchase is for life, and even if it isn’t it may be many years before the buyer decides to sell it or trade-up. Guns are durable items that, even without proper care, can take a few decades to decay into uselessness. (With the proper care, they can last multiple generations and museum examples can be many hundreds of years old.)

    Over the practical life of the pistol, and for argument’s sake we’ll arbitrarily set the bar at 50 years, will the circuitry and batteries and connections hold up to corrosion? This is especially of concern to those who carry their sidearms, whether openly or concealed, on a daily basis – and there are many millions of us who do. Will it all hold up to the humidity it will be subjected to when in close proximity to the human body for extended periods of time? Will it all hold up to the humidity of being on or near the coast, in particular the salty oceans? Will it also stand up to the solvents that will be used to clean the gun? When batteries get cold, they not only produce less power but also take a serious hit to their total rated capacity. What about rapid temperature changes? How often will the batteries need to be replaced? What kind of battery indicators will there be if any? Will the batteries be proprietary or something more commonly available like a watch battery? Can I replace the batteries myself or will I need to take it to a brand specialist?

    Then there’s the raw accuracy of biometric systems to contend with. Ever heard of fact-access biometric safes? Surely you’ve heard of laptops with finger print readers at least. Will such miniaturized technology be 100% accurate, and on the first time, every time? This most certainly isn’t the case with current finger print, vascular, or retinal-scanning biometric systems in use today in much larger form factors. Will it still reliably read biometric data during the “Fight-Flight-Freeze” response, known colloquially here as “The Mother of All Adrenaline Dumps”, when fine motor skills go out the window? I have no doubt that users will be able to train themselves to control their body’s response to such an event and be able to rapidly enter a code or manipulate a simplified control scheme, but will the technology being able accept the input as it would be entered by a person in such a state? Given that current “smart” gun systems use some kind of wearable bracelet, will the user still be able to use the gun with their “off” hand should they be forced to? Current logic and system limitations say, unequivocally, no. Will the system be able to reliably store and read the signatures of multiple users? As it stands now, the vast majority of gun owners live in a family setting where they teach the whole family to safely handle and use guns. Hence why methinks it would be prudent that any marketable biometric system should be able to do that. Given that current “smart” gun systems like the Armatix P1 use a wireless signal to communicate between the gun and the wearable bracelet, there is also the concern over the integrity of the signal. Can a hacked cell phone jammer render the pistol useless in anticipation of an attack? Current technology says yes, with devices that can in fact clone RFID signals like remote car door openers/starters and even garage door openers. Can ordinary cell phone signals somehow interfere with the signal even if by accident? What about other signal generators such as wireless routers, printers, cable/satellite set-top boxes, or cordless house phones?

    In conclusion, “smart” guns have a very tall order to fill. There is absolutely no guarantee at all that it will even reduce negligent discharges or accidental shootings to any significant degree, especially given how rare they have been in recent years having fallen quite significantly since 1990 without the introduction of unreliable electronics (and thus even more points of failure).

    I, like many Americans, are not out-right opposed to the introduction of so-called “smart” gun technology. Many of us think it may one day grow into something truly wonderful, something that can truly put a damper on tragic accidents which seem to be the major drive behind it. But it will only do that with time, and also not without some serious endorsements from say, the police, the military, and private security. I have no problem with letting the market decide which way “smart” guns will go, and I am not opposed to their sale. What I could very well say that most Americans are nigh universally opposed to is the mandating of such technology, seen only to be in its infancy, to be applied universally to such a common and otherwise effective tool. That was a grave mistake made the New Jersey legislature which can only be seen as a snub to law-abiding citizens being deliberately punished for the actions of a few. A few criminals, that is, who will never bother to invest in such technology unless it is only to investigate how to defeat it, and gain a leg-up on their prey – that prey being US.

  53. Hey there Robert,

    I don’t need an interview to give my views on the subject.

    While i understand some people’s want for an effective “smart gun”, it is my personal opinion that the technology is not what it should be at this time. Until the government can guarantee (which they never will) that they have no way to block the gun from working, I will NEVER own one.

  54. After seeing the well thought out responses here I am truly interested in who they pick to represent the “average gun owner”. If they pick some stereotypical male gun owner or somebody that can’t form a coherent sentence over the quality representatives avalable here it will go a long way stores showing the true bias.

  55. the idea of smart guns is actually ignorant,if you needed to use your gun and did not shoot them before they shot you all they have to do is take your gun and bracelet and go shoot more people,so whats the difference smart gun or not you still have to survive.what we need to do is teach more people how to use a weapon to protect themselves and there would be alot less crime. knockout game might not be so much fun if you might get your ass shot.SEMPER FI SEMPER PERADAS

  56. “A fair and balanced piece.”

    Funny joke channel 4, we all know it will be more biased and one sided then an article about the NRA in the Guardian.

  57. Being a lifetime gun user and certifiable tech but, I love the idea of mixing tech with guns. I just do not agree in any way with government mandate’s in them being the only option. I think the tech is not quite ready for prime time, just like the first couple of years for the smart phones (buggy and un reliable). At some point the tech will be good enough, but should never be mandated. I, as a consumer, should have the choice and the current mandates in CA and NJ are hampering that free market by scaring the vary users who may want one to go with their other guns.

    I believe the authors or those asinine bills are actually doing more to stop the development of smart guns than helping.

  58. As any good computer nerd will tell you, the reason we back things up, have multiple versions of the same software and sometimes do things manually instead of relying on a program to do it is simple.

    Any program is only as smart as the person who wrote it. People are not infallible. And without software, electronic hardware is simply metal, plastic and silicon.

    That’s why cars built without electronics 50 years ago can still run if properly cared for, same with guns.

  59. Whoever ends up talking to them, be careful what you say… A Liberal who wants to “hear your side” most likely just wants to twist your words and either make you seem pro gun-control or paint all gun owners as terrorists!


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