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Gun owners should brace for onslaught of 'smart gun' idiocy

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Photo © Oleg Volk. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

With the first so-called "smart gun" (possibly the dumbest misnomer in the history of . . . everything) now on the market in California, the forcible citizen disarmament zealots are already planning to inflict a government mandated requirement for this technology (except for cops--more on that in a minute) everywhere they can. The first place for that may end up being the state of New Jersey.

New Jersey passed such a requirement in 2002--that would be 12 years before the technology was available, in other words. In a rare moment of clarity for New Jersey legislators on the issue of guns, Jersey gun buyers have been permitted to buy conventional guns until three years after the first "smart gun" went on the market, anywhere in the country. As reported in the Washington Post, the author of Jersey's law has no intention of letting the state's attorney general forget that the three-year clock is now running:

Meanwhile, the primary sponsor of the New Jersey law, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D), sent a letter to {NJ Attorney General John Jay] Hoffman after she learned last month that a smart gun in California could be on sale soon. The Democrat reminded Hoffman of his responsibilities under the law.

“I expect your prompt attention to this matter and look forward to your reply,” Weinberg wrote.

About this "smart gun." If it, or it and guns like it, are still the only "smart guns" available when New Jersey's law goes into effect, prospective gun buyers will be limited to a gun that works 90 percent of the time, according to the manufacturer--meaning, as Bob Owens points out in Bearing Arms, that it should be expected to fail at least once through the course of firing every single 10-round magazine.

Oh--about that "Only Ones" exemption. When this technology, and mandates for its use, were first being pushed, much of the rationale was based on the notion that it would protect police officers from having their guns grabbed by a suspect, and being shot with their own guns. Apparently, though, New Jersey police were strangely unappreciative of this concern for their safety, forcing the exemption as a condition for their support for (and lack of active opposition against) the requirement.

The "good" news is that the Armatix "smart gun" will likely soon have some company, using different approaches to the technology. From another Washington Post article:

A variety of approaches are in development. Armatix, the German company behind the iP1, uses RFID chips, which can be found on anti-theft tags attached to expensive clothing. Trigger­Smart, an Irish company, also uses RFID chips, though with a ring instead of a watch. The company also has technology that would render guns inoperable if they approached electronic markers — for instance, near a school.

Yep--a "kill switch" for all (legally owned by non-"Only Ones") guns. Does anyone think there won't soon be a portable version, for every S.W.A.T. goon squad to bring along on no-knock raids? For that matter, does anyone think that criminals unaffiliated with government will not be able to replicate these "electronic markers"?

In May, U.S. Representative John Tierney (D-MA) introduced H.R. 2005, the "Personalized Handgun Safety Act." Seattle Gun Rights Examiner Dave Workman tells us that yesterday, another Massachusetts Democrat congressman, Senator Ed Markey, introduced a Senate version (bill number not yet available).

Neither of these federal bills appears likely to pick up much legislative momentum (and until H.R. 2005 gets its own "Only Ones" exemption, it's going nowhere)--at least at the moment. In the aftermath of another atrocity like Sandy Hook Elementary, whether or not it has any relevance to "smart guns," that story could change dramatically and quickly.

A "smart gun" mandate would require gun buyers to spend an exorbitant premium for technology that makes one's gun less likely to fire when the trigger is pulled. That's what the technology is designed to do, when it works perfectly (something it cannot be expected to do). That's a deal breaker even before one considers the idea of the government having an "Off" switch for the Second Amendment.

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