March 29, 2013

How smart are "smart" guns?

Do you think police officers and gun owners should be implanted with a VeriChip that controls who can use their guns? While it might sound like a dandy idea for safety there are definate problems with "smart guns."

The move towards using this technology in this way can be seen in a recent Federal Register notice of the DOJ collecting input on new “gun safety” policy using biometrics and microelectronics, etc., in response to the current administration's gun safety plans.

The “smart gun” idea is not new, and saw some light in 2004 (and a bit earlier during development trials). The NRA warned about the stupidity and risks of this technology way back in 2002. The same issues they identified then in 2002 still exist today, including:

*”zero room for error here…If you swipe your ATM card and it doesn't read it, do it again. But if you reach for your gun to defend yourself and it doesn't recognize your identification, you don't get a second chance."

*"...such mistakes could only create new legal liabilities for gun makers…”

*“…next up will be requirements that such technology be used on shotguns and rifles, which hunters and target shooters routinely pass among one another.”

*‘NRA officials, too, scoff at the concept, insisting that more regulation is intended mainly to hamper the public's access to weapons.’

* "Tragic victims couldn't have been saved by trigger locks or magazine bans or 'smart-gun' technology, or some new government commission running our firearms companies," NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said. "They could have been saved by something far simpler and more common sense, zero-tolerance enforcement of the mandatory sentencing provisions in the gun laws against violent criminals we've had on the books for a long time."

But the current administration appears to be on the fast track to fine-tune this technology and implement (implant?) it ASAP. The currrent DOJ hunt for information on biometrics, microelectronics and gun safety information is now open for comments from stakeholders, though gun owners are not included on the list.

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