Brady Campaign Loses Bid to Trigger NJ Smart Gun Law

Smart Gun Error

There’s going to be some Sad Pandas at the Brady Campaign today. The NJ Attorney General has ruled: the Armatix iP1 smart gun just isn’t smart enough:






After careful consideration of the iP1’s design, we have determined that it does not satisfy the statutory definition because, as a matter of design, the pistol may be fired by a person who is not an authorized or recognized user. That is, as long as the pistol is situated within 10 inches of the enabling wristwatch, it may be fired by anyone – the authorized user or any other person who is able to pull the trigger. While the system does incorporate a PIN code or a timer to disable the handgun, when the weapon is enabled, there is nothing in the technology which automatically limits its operational use so that it may only be fired by an authorized or recognized user (so long as the pistol is within a 10-inch proximity to the wristwatch component).

Situations may readily be envisioned in which an unauthorized individual gains access to the pistol in close enough proximity to the wristwatch component (by either maintaining possession of the pistol within 10 inches of the authorized user’s wrist on which he or she is wearing the watch, or by forcibly taking possession of the wristwatch), and therefore would be able to fire the weapon, despite the limiting technology. Accordingly, we are unable to conclude that the iP1 design meets all the elements of New Jersey’s statutory definition of a personalized handgun under N.J.S.2C:39-1(dd), and therefore its availability for retail sales purposes will not trigger the operation of N.J.S.2C:58-2.4 (requiring the promulgation of a list of personalized handguns) and N.J.S.2C:58-2.5 (prohibiting the sale of non-personalized handguns).

Some might smell a rat, and perhaps a rat was intended, but this seriously raises the bar on triggering the NJ smart gun law, and is probably a good thing for gun owners behind enemy lines. Complying with this standard will be exceedingly difficult for those who wish to impose smart guns on us, whether we want them or not.

I’ve always been of the opinion that Smart Gun technology should rise or fail depending on what the market wants, but our opponents would never allow that. As soon as the technology becomes available (In the case of New Jersey, even before!), they will do their level best to mandate it, as the Bradys have attempted here. This ruling doesn’t mean we should stop fighting Armatix. Because the antis have shown their hand, no good can come of allowing this to come to market.

14 thoughts on “Brady Campaign Loses Bid to Trigger NJ Smart Gun Law”

  1. My solution to the “smart gun” mandate concept is to throw it back in their faces. If they believe, truly believe, that “smart guns” will prevent gun violence, increase public safety and lead to accountability then those with “smart guns” should be allowed to carry them in public. After all, by their own admission, they want to make sure only “authorized users” can use them so accidents or random murder cannot happen.

    And I do mean carry them anywhere. Schools, in public, child care centers, police departments, courtrooms, everywhere. There is no possibility of the gun being taken from me and used in a random fashion or stolen and used for nefarious purposes. So I should be trusted to take the gun anywhere since I am the only one who can use it.

    Somehow, I don’t think they’ll go for that. Which reveals the true intentions behind their desire for “smart guns”.

    1. Also, no exemptions for police. If it’s so important for only the authorized user to be able to use an average citizen’s gun that the system is mandated by law, then it’s much more important that a police officer’s gun has the same protection, since their job requires them to interact with people who might want to take their gun to cause mayhem.

  2. I think this is a terrible result. I think that they should trigger the law and let the chips fall where they may. Instead of letting them nickle and dime us, instead of us rewriting their awful laws to make them slightly less awful, we should let their worst laws take effect. Then let them defend those laws in court.

    We are sometimes our own worst enemy. We compromise by watering down their laws instead of recognizing that the worse the law is, the easier it is to defeat. This is how the California OC guys outmaneuvered the State in Peruta.

    1. Remember, though, that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Second Amendment doesn’t exist outside the home, despite Heller being pretty clear such a right exists. To me you take a victory when you can get a victory. The courts are hard to play strategically, because there’s a whole lot of variables you can’t control.

  3. Part of me wishes this had passed. The cluster it would have produced…and the back pedaling by the legislature would have been great to watch. I bet this would have been repeaed.

    The AG sounds like he was looking for a reason not to trigger this.

    1. I would have liked to read the explanations for why police, and politicans’ security details would have to be exempt from the law:

      -because they need to be able to use their guns
      -because the technology is expensive and dangerous failure prone

  4. If the anti-gunners truly believed in the merits of so-called “smart gun” technology, they should first insist on mandating police department use of smart-guns. The fact that anti-gunners don’t try to impose smart-guns on the police, reveals the con the anti-gunners are playing on the public.

  5. It is an interesting result. I can’t tell if the result was from a sincere interpretation of the statute or a recognition that NJ would lose a lawsuit against its enforcement.

    1. On the basis it would reduce legally available handguns to one approved government model. It would be damn difficult in court to argue that this is not a ban for all intents and purposes. We aren’t talking some scary subset of guns here for political or ideological purposes ala Maryland. There is no way even the most liberal court in the land could possibly defend one gun, a .22LR at that, as being Constitutional. It would be like arguing you could only post to the Internet using one particular model of government-approved computers with NSA “phone home” software pre-installed and impossible to remove without being arrested as a terrorist.

  6. If the Brady Bunch won, NJ Legislature would not back away, they would use it to spread as gospel to other states which would adopt it, and courts would refuse to hear and other lawsuits against it. How many times has the ANJRPC went to court and lost? Almost every time, resulting with a ruling that enforced the previous ruling.

  7. Re: imposing smart guns on all of us

    They can’t do it. Unconstitutional. Any gun – ANY gun – that can be “disabled” against the wishes of its user, by government or anyone else, facially violates the guarantee.

  8. This causes me to wonder just what technology is left, that can be considered a “smart” gun. Fingerprint reading, I suppose, or perhaps a requirement that a chip be implanted in your wrist so that the gun would work. I have this funny feeling that requiring a chip implant in order for the gun to work wouldn’t pass Constitutional muster…particularly since, if I recall correctly, it has been generated that it’s possible to have allergic reactions, or at least something akin to organ rejection, to implanted chips. I don’t think that the right to self defense could be denied to such people.

    Regardless, even if the ban were ever to take effect, it will ban large swaths of guns in popular use! Additionally, it will mean that it’s impossible to loan a gun to someone else, even in an emergency situation (your hand cramps, for example, so you have to pass your gun to your wife to defend your lives), again denying self-defense.

Comments are closed.