I don’t fundamentally have a problem with the market offering solutions like this one, to allow users to track and disable their gun if it’s stolen, like you would a smart phone. My only concern over the development is that it will soon become mandated, because on my own, I would never buy one.
For one, it’s useless. A firearm is a mechanical device. Any disabling technology could easily be circumvented. The article brings up an example of OnStar, but most cars these days have electronic ignition, and a car can essentially be made into a brick just by the car’s computer refusing to operate the ignition (and there are ways around that, still). Firearms use mechanical ignition. Electronic ignition has been tired, but it was very unreliable. Any “safety” which causes the gun to be disabled electronically could easily be re-enabled by anyone with enough mechanical aptitude to change a car tire. The only way you could successfully disable a gun is by destroying the mechanical parts. If this “smart gun” activated some thermite and seized up the lockwork, maybe it could work. Of course, I’m not sure how safe that would be under ordinary circumstances, and it wouldn’t be too long before Cletus burns the house down because he misplaced his gun and thought it might be stolen. That’s not even considering whether you could hack the device. Even if you could make a gun that had reliable electronic ignition, there would be ways around it. Guns are much simpler than cars. I tend to view that “smart gun” technology, even if it were made to be reliable enough, would only really be useful for reducing the already low number of accidents. We’d be better developing smart plastic buckets and smart bath tubs if it’s really lives that are the main concern here. Smart guns wouldn’t do anything to hinder criminals.
There’s a lot of hand wringing by the folks who dislike gun ownership over the fact that guns are dangerous, and can’t really serve their intended purpose without being dangerous. There are no safe guns, there are only safe users.