New Jersey lawmakers are offering to repeal their smart gun law if “the NRA agrees to stop standing in the way of smart gun technology.” John Richardson notes they misunderstand the nature of this movement, and I think he’s correct, but the fact is that opposition to this technology has only become fierce because lawmakers have chosen to mandate it. Lawmakers in New Jersey should repeal the law because it’s the right thing to do, not because we agree to any “deal.”
Now that we know lawmakers are eager to mandate the technology, they have forever soiled the idea. How do we know as soon as the technology becomes “available,” and the community doesn’t pound them, that New Jersey, California, or any of the other states with legislatures innately hostile to Second Amendment rights, won’t just re-manadate them with new legislation?
Forbes’s cyber-security writer ran a very good article over the weekend describing the inherent problems with Smart Gun technology. I am an electrical engineer by training, and I can confidently say that with current technology, it would be impossible to make a smart gun that would be even close to the reliability of a mechanical firearm. Armatix’s solution, or similar solution, is probably the most reliable, but it requires a watch, ring, or implant or some sort, and would also be very susceptible to jamming. There’s also the political problem, brought up in the Forbes article:
As I described in another previous article, smartguns may be susceptible to government tracking or jamming. How hard would it be for the government to require manufacturers to surreptitiously include in computer-enhanced weapons some circuitry that would allow law enforcement to track – or even to disable – the weapons? Before dismissing such a fear as silly paranoia, consider that the US government is alleged to have secretly installed malware onto thousands of networks and placed spy chips into computers, it has admitted to spying on its own citizens, is believed to have prohibited technology companies from divulging its spying on US citizens, and is known to have lost track of weapons whose locations it intended to monitor. Should private citizens really be confident that such a government will not want to keep tabs on their guns?
How long before Smart Gun technology is introduced, will it not only be mandated, but the next “common sense gun safety law” is to allow a means for government or law enforcement to disable them at a whim? How long before the smart technology mandates that it broadcast its presence so police know when approaching someone whether they are armed? This is all just “common sense.”
Sorry, but the subject has been ruined because we know what the end game is. It would be smart of us to keep fighting smart gun technology, now that they’ve revealed they have a desire to mandate it. Regardless of what kind of deal New Jersey legislators think they can cut now, they’ve forever ruined whatever trust might have existed within the firearm community. Smart guns are now viewed as a bad thing, and nothing will be able to undo the damage done by anti-gun activists and legislators who gave us a reason to kill this technology in its infancy.
19 Responses to “NJ Smart Gun Law of Unintended Consequences”
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