German gun-disabling specialists at Armatix are hoping to capitalize on New Jersey’s unworkable, never-implemented “smart gun” legislation, saying it will introduce a compliant model within 45 days, NorthJersey.com reported Sunday.
“[T]hese so-called smart guns soon could be the only kind sold legally in New Jersey under a state law that has languished on the books for a decade,” the report recalls. “The law … requires the state’s gun dealers to exclusively sell smart guns within three years after the first one hits the market.”
So how smart is a gun that requires a separate and nearby fingerprint sensor/wristwatch to activate a chip, and has built-in lights to tell an aggressor where a defender in the dark is, and whether or not they that gun is enabled to fire?
“Once the authentication procedure has been completed the weapon’s integrated locking electronics and actuators unlock the weapon automatically when it is within a predefined distance of the watch,” Gizmag reported in 2010. “In this way even if the gun is lost in a scuffle, it will be useless if it is not close enough to the watch. Also, if the watch is ripped off or removed, both the watch transponder and weapon are deactivated immediately.”
“Useless” could be considered an understatement. And if the product was ready enough for such glowing reports in 2010, why is it just now coming to market? Not that a product launch hasn’t been expected, as this column reported in June when it warned against it as a threat to gun rights.
There were reportedly kinks to work out. This column also focused on Armatix prepping their wares for the U.S. Market in 2009, and saw nothing it liked about the company or its products, noting some also don’t much care for what they allege are its methods. That report was soon followed with another, asking if the Armatix prototype failed on video, which, for reasons someone at the company must know about, is no longer available for people to see for themselves. That also, unfortunately, precludes validating denials Armatix then raised.
As for the company management, there are writers out there cautioning whomever will listen to look at their connections and political dealings more closely. One such voice belongs to German weapons law researcher, online journalist, and co-owner of a shooting supply firm, Katja Triebel.
Her research on Armatix, which works enthusiastically to curry favor from Geneva’s Small Arms Survey and the notoriously anti-gun International Action Network on Small Arms, is compiled in a report on the company which she completed two years ago, but which is especially relevant now.
Posting the findings on her website, Triebel gives an overview of the company, and presents a background on the regulatory environment, legal conflicts, key players, political contacts, and various company statements and rebuttals to them. Click here to read and share her translated report.
Additional concerns have been raised by individuals presenting detailed allegations about the company’s political influence.
As for the company’s move to terminate ownership of non-disabled guns in New Jersey and then branch outward to the rest of the Republic, Stephen Teret from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the founding director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, who has been working on “smart gun” technology for 30 years, was happy to weigh in.
“Who is going to want to buy an old stupid gun rather than a smart gun?” Teret asked. “I am very optimistic about this.”
The answer, of course, would be anyone who actually understands the first thing about firearms and defensive gun use. But it’s not a surprising question when one considers the “Bloomberg” in the school’s name, and that the would-be universal gungrabber’s latest $350 million endowment was but a fraction of the $1.1 billion given to the school to date, with plenty more where that came from.
Or as Triebel recommends when noting five “smart gun”-praising authors of a Small Arms Survey background paper who “benefit economically or hope that civilian weapons will be so expensive that they cannot be acquired, “follow the money.” One of them is the CMO from Armatix, and another is none other than Bloomberg’s man at Johns Hopkins.
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