Smart Guns… Dumb Law

Image via New Jersey Globe, Gov. Phil Murphy

Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey signed S101 into law to take effect early next year. S101 will mandate that New Jersey firearm retailers, who already have an onerous burden of regulation to comply with the state laws, must have at least one “Smart Gun” on their store shelves.

What comes next? They must sell so many smart guns per month or year in order to stay licensed?

The bill that Murphy signed states, “[The bill] requires firearm retailers to have available for purchase at least one personalized handgun approved by the commission and listed on the roster as eligible for sale.”

Approved lists for guns. Similar in scope to California’s laws which have effectively stopped all new firearms, at least handguns, from being approved for sale in that state due to their microstamping requirement. Will the board approve any firearms? Can that board, in good conscious, sign off on any current generation smart gun as safe and reliable?

If the board won’t sign off on any smart guns will that force New Jersey FFL’s to cease operating?

If there are two technologies in the firearms space that are the pipedream of pipedreams of sci-fi ignoramus gun controllers they are Smart Guns and Microstamping.

Biometrically or digitally locked “smart” firearms are taking a simple safe firearm and introducing a highly complicated biometric or wireless comm component in order to reduce the likelihood it is used by an unauthorized person. It’s a fantasy out of science fiction that we are nowhere close to having as a viable technology base.

Think about it. It uses exiting pairing and or smart security tech. No device is tested on those more than… our phones. But how many times does your bluetooth fail to pair up or the biolock take several attempts and a reset to enable?

All. The. Time. It happens daily and it slows down the usability process on a device that is needed immediately to save your life. Imagine if a seatbelt required you to biometrically release it in order to get yourself out of car that’s on fire? Imagine if an AED required a bluetooth pairing in order to use? Imagine any other piece of emergency equipment that required a spotty, only works sometimes or under good conditions, unlock to use.

We have a developed, and honestly purposefully encouraged, fundamental disconnect into what a firearm is for. A firearm is an on demand life saving tool and when you need it, it MUST be there. Smart Guns are dumb. Smart safes, vaults, security boxes, and anything that isn’t immediate access required are fine. Smart guns… are dumb.

During the signing ceremony, Murphy said, “Even though there’s more to do, we must take great pride in what we are doing today. These new laws will send the message we take gun safety and the safety of our communities seriously.”

By mandating an unreliable technology? By requiring retailers to spend their own money to carry this proven unreliable tech at their own expense just to stay in business? What happens if they can’t because no company is willing to build an unreliable weapon just to meet a legal requirement? Does every store in NJ just fold?

Low hanging political points to pander to a bunch of smart technology neophytes. These same people are just as ignorant on firearms technology and can’t see the forest for the trees. They stop at how good the tech sounds and not how well it actually works.

The supermajority of all supermajorities of smart tech interactions we have on a daily basis are under non critical conditions. So when my bank app or Spotify won’t open its just annoying. If I needed that phone to open in a split second to save my life I would not carry it.

Smart guns are dumb!

If me having sweat or dirt on my hand can cause a failure in this device it isn’t ready. If being around certain other electronics can cause a failure it isn’t ready. If being inside a building with a certain composition affects connectivity and causes failures it isn’t ready. If being wet can short the system it isn’t ready.

Smart tech is nothing more than the illusion of added safety for the cost of real world loss in reliability. Just like with microstamping, the tech doesn’t exist right now to make this what it needs to be. It will provide no real world benefit. But it sure looks great on an election campaign highlight real…

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.