January 2005


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Smart guns are coming, can I get smart users?

This story reports that a New Jersey think tank has built the prototype of a smart gun, a weapon that uses biometric identifiers to decide whether or not you can use the weapon.

Since 1999, NJIT has spearheaded efforts to develop a personalized handgun that can instantly and reliably recognize one or more pre-programmed authorized users. To date, the New Jersey legislature has awarded NJIT $1.5 million for the project.

Corzine called the NJIT’s dynamic-grip technology cutting edge and said that it represented a really positive step forward in public safety. “NJIT is involved in important life-saving research,” he added. “There is no question that manufacturing handguns with advanced technology to limit operation can save lives. No child could pick up a gun and pull the trigger. The gun just won’t work, and that’s how it should be.”

This is gun-control I can stand behind 100%, since it effectively makes it impossible for someone to take your weapon and shoot you with it. Mind you, this does not eliminate the most effective means of gun safety, it merely supplements a solid education in gun use. While it’s nice that unrecognized users like your kids cannot use the gun, it is still best to educate them about gun safety and keep the weapon properly stored when not in use.

This will also put a small kink in the works for gun thieves, since they would have to take an additional step of disabling the biometric sensors before being able to use or sell the gun. If designed properly, the manufacturer could make this a time-consuming and expensive operation.

2 replies to “Smart guns are coming, can I get smart users?”

  1. Graumagus Says:

    I refuse to buy, support, or use a “Smart gun”, you want to know why?
    If there is electronics in the gun that can be used for a “fire/no-fire” deternination, it’s one very small step away from being rigged so that the authorities can “shut off” your gun.
    Yes, I’m one of those people the left like to ridicule as a “crazy gun nut” because I think the second amendment exists primarily not to guarantee that arms are available to the people for protection from criminals, but as protection from tyrants in the government.
    What’s next, GPS locators? Screw that.

  2. Da Wolfie Says:

    You make a solid point here, and I hadn’t quite thought it that far through. Obviously, to be workable, the device would have to be designed to prevent anyone from disabling the gun in that manner.

    I was thinking this would be useful for a home-defense weapon that is left within easy reach with rounds in the magazine (say, the shotgun); the circuit would prevent mishaps. For the other guns that are stored less accessibly, however, I would prefer to keep things as simple as possible to prevent Murphy from ruining my day.