NJ Smart Gun Law of Unintended Consequences

Ammo and Gun

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.

22 thoughts on “NJ Smart Gun Law of Unintended Consequences”

  1. I look at any electronics in a gun as a very bad idea. Until they can make a battery that never dies anything electronic will fail sooner or later, “smart guns” rank right up there with Remington’s stupid electric ignition rifle the tried to sell a few years ago.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid!

    1. I think the basic principle of electronics in a gun, putting other considerations aside, would actually be less of an issue for hard core users, because we’d keep on top of it. It’s a much bigger issue for people who casually own firearms for self-defense, who aren’t going to be thinking about it until someone breaks down a door. It’s a bad time to make sure your batteries are charged.

  2. Nip it in the bud while we can. This thing could grow into a dangerous monster. Kill it now. Make no deals.

  3. Smart gun technology is inherently a bad idea for all reasons stated but premise itself is wrong. No knowledgeable gun owners see any need for electronic controls on guns. None of this technology has any advantage over just a $5 cable or trigger lock. A few guns have built in key locks but most owners never use them. There is nothing stopping a manufacturer from building a combination lock into a firearm that would be purely mechanical so would be no need for a battery. There is no demand. There are holsters that already are in use by some police that don’t let gun be removed unless user knows where a hidden release is located. What would be the advantage of an electrically activated safety over that?

  4. Who but government would consider adding an additional failure path to a working product to be progress?

  5. My favorite argument is the author’s last one, that police don’t want them.

    A very large minority of shooting deaths of officers consists of officers shot with their own weapons. Police officers therefore have a much greater need for “smartguns” than your average gun owner. Yet police don’t want them, and the NJ law specifically exempts them. That tells you all you need to know about the technology.

    1. ^^ THIS ^^

      It is the police who need smart guns, if anyone does. The most dangerous gun to a cop (statistically) is his gun or his partner’s gun in teh hands of a Bad Guy they’ve been wrestling.

      Unless and until smart gun technology is good enough that cops (not politically appointed police chiefs, but actual street cops) demand it for their service weapons (both on and off duty).

      When most major police departments are striking in order to get smart guns in their holsters, that’s when we private owners might consider getting it on our new guns.

  6. Another aspect of watch-wearing: I have stopped wearing a watch because I get a rash whenever I try. I have added incentive for avoiding not just watches, but jewelry in general, because a class in machining has taught me that watches and rings can be dangerous things, that can snag and cause you to lose a finger, or even your life.

    Should I be forced to wear a watch or ring at all times, just to make sure that my gun can work when I need it to?

  7. Here are a couple of things about Armatix, the 100% government dependent company that is pushing their ~60% reliable “smart gun” technology. (Hmm. John Moses Browning never settled for a 60% solution, but I digress.

    Here’s CEO Belinda Padilla struggling to read a turgid prepared statement in support of a UN global registration/tracking/confiscation scheme. (Is she an empty-headed figurehead, a dyslexic, or a non-native English speaker?)


    A few pull quotes:
    2:20 “Our goal is to eliminate accidental discharges…” (how does their crapnology do that?)

    2:25 “…and prevent their use in …schools, hospitals … and other public spaces…” (In other words, from their point of view, remote disabling of the firearm is a feature, not a bug).

    3:05 “…microchips, GPS Tracking, and Smart Locks…”

    3:30 “Everything we believe in resonates and is in synch with your efforts through the Program of Action

    We could also have some fun with Armatix’s German roots and their experiences there. (One of their board members is the last guy in charge of the East German Nationale Volksarmee (NVA), a really high recommendation in civil liberties circles, no?)

    In the oughts, they tried to get German authorities to force the uptake of an earlier barrel-locking system. The thing fit in the chamber and gripped the barrel, and they swore it was foolproof and couldn’t be removed without damaging the barrel. There’s a video demonstrating how wrong they were, but it’s in German, and I don’t want to add another link and wind up in moderation limbo….

  8. Here’s that UN Programme of Action that Boorish Belinda and the Assclowns of Armatix are all-in for:


    Suuuure, that’ll help. It’s mostly typical UN autoerotic posturing, but it does have some aspirations towards global registration and licensing, and calls strongly and in several places for the destruction rather than resale of all surplus weapons of all governments worldwide.

    Is there anyone in the world that ever faced a social, political or security problem, and thought, “We’re at a loss for a solution. Quick, call the UN!”? It’s nothing but the best-connected nepots, cadet branch embarrassments, layabouts and bums of the nomenklatures of 200 countries, each with a license to double-park in Manhattan.

  9. I generally don’t like guns with safeties because I don’t want useless crap that can break. “Smart guns” with electronic whirligigs? Yeah, no thanks.

    But hey, if they’re so great, then shouldn’t the police and government be first to use them? We wouldn’t want their guns getting into the wrong hands or being used against them. It’s only Common Sense. Surely NJ politicians can advance a bill arming their state troopers with this superior technology, if it was really about improving safety (or whatever BS they’re pushing).

  10. The anti-gunners give away their game when they compel us to use ‘smart-guns’ but exempt the police. It obvious to all but the most ignorant that the real goal is to impede and eventually strangle the publics right to keep and bear arms. Those NJ politicians aren’t fooling anyone.

    If those politicians were true advocates for ‘smart gun’ technology for the reasons they claim, then there are many avenues they could pursue rather than the absurd NJ law they are stuck on. They could compel police departments to use the technology, for example. Making government agencies first adapters of technology is an old method used to promote many other kinds of technology.

    1. Yup, if it was about safety and teh technology actually worked, they’d be beating each other over the head with sticks to be the bill writers and initial sponsors of bills mandating the use of taxpayer funds to buy the smart guns for cops.

  11. There’s another issue about requiring all guns to be retrofitted with “smart” technology, and it has two faces:

    First, having looked into gun mechanics a bit myself, I don’t see enough room in a typical revolver or semi-automatic pistol to stick not only electronics, but a mechanical bit as well, to make a gun “smart”–and certainly, it would be very easy to restore that gun to its natural state. Sure, it may be easy for a handful of models, but all of them?!?

    Second, guns are a mature technology; it’s not going to be all that difficult for a determined hobbyist or criminal to make a “dumb” gun, despite any attempts to ban them…and depending on how a “smart” gun is designed, it’s likely not be all that difficult to convert it to a “dumb” gun…

    1. And, if “dumb guns” are something that are outlawed, well the penalty is likely to be the same as for NFA violations.

      And machineguns are even easier to make than legal semiautos.

  12. It’s worth noting that the NJ legislator who is “willing to cut a deal with the NRA” is the same one who was caught on camera saying that they needed to pass laws to “confiscate, confiscate, confiscate.”

  13. As a retired LE Officer of 30 years 19 as a firearms instructor and occasional competition shooter, I will say that I don’t care if they make it a mandatory law or not, I will never own one or part with my self defense handguns I have. My most trustworthy one is a S&W revolver that I will never part with. It has never misfired and its been fired thousands of times. Not risking my life to some electronic gadget that has not even been tested thoroughly. Let me test one. It better still function after being dropped 6 times (as is part of the Ma. Compliance test), getting wet, subject to outside electronic interference like high tension lines, extreme cold or heat and humidity and wet hands.
    Also some moron has a electronic gun lock for big bucks when a cable lock or a trigger lock will be “compliant” with laws for a lot less money.
    There is nothing smart about “Smart Guns” for self defense. There is nothing smart about lawmakers like Ed Markey who thinks its a good idea. It because he wouldn’t know a gun from a hair dryer.

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