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Posted: 12/19/2005 9:57:05 AM EDT
Popular Mechanics

At first blush it seems like a great idea. A gun that can determine if the person holding it is an authorized user. A smart gun that will fire only if it recognizes the shooter's thumbprint. Pretty neat. Homeowners would want it because it eliminates the danger of their kids or anyone else using it. The cops surely would want it, as it eliminates the danger of a bad guy getting ahold of their weapon and turning the tables. Then there's the problem of teenage suicides--most prevalent where there is easy access to guns, such as the homes of law officers. What's not to like?

New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey seems to like the idea. He signed bill S.573/890, which will ban the sale of dumb handguns--namely, all handguns that are currently available. The law goes into effect three years after "at least one manufacturer has delivered at least one production model of a personalized handgun to a registered or licensed wholesale or retail dealer in New Jersey or any other state." Exceptions to this sweeping legislation would be for antique and competition models. The law doesn't make for a total ban on handgun sales, but it comes pretty close. The law has a good chance of being a model for similar restrictions in other states.

Well, at least the police would benefit from the new law. Or would they? The cops, as it turns out, want no part of the smart-gun law, and they raised such a fuss that the law was amended to exclude the guns used for official use by federal, state and local law enforcement officers and members of the armed forces and the National Guard serving in New Jersey. The reason was simple. The law enforcement folks didn't want to put their lives on the line for new, unproven technology. It seems that when you marry a firearm and a computer, the result is something that's less than 100 percent reliable. A handgun, with its shocks, vibrations and corrosive emissions, is not the best environment for a piece of sophisticated electronic hardware. In a life-or-death confrontation with a bad guy, a cop doesn't have the option of saying, "Timeout, I have to reboot." It's interesting that the group that smart guns were targeted for--law enforcement officers--is the one rejecting the concept.
   Just how reliable is current smart-gun technology? According to research conducted by Sandia National Laboratories, user identification has to be accomplished within a quarter-second to be effective in a life-threatening situation. Sandia says there are no known available technologies that police would find acceptable.

During the Clinton administration, the U.S. Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice figured to spur smart-gun development by subsidizing a major firearms manufacturer tasked with inventing a workable system. Colt's Manufacturing Co. took on the project, which was sweetened by hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Justice Department. A workable system has yet to be found.

According to the New Jersey Institute of Technology, which used government grants to study personalized handgun technology, fingerprint recognition systems work only 80 percent of the time. But the New Jersey law goes into effect regardless of whether the guns are 100 percent--or 80 percent--reliable.

Cops protecting the New Jersey governor won't accept an 80 percent reliability factor. But the governor, by supporting this law, is saying that 80 percent is good enough for the homeowner trying to protect his family from an armed intruder. What's wrong with this picture?
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 10:01:34 AM EDT

Guns that don't work after an EMP.

Link Posted: 12/19/2005 10:04:02 AM EDT
It's one more thing that can go wrong.

Link Posted: 12/19/2005 10:15:04 AM EDT
Personally, I think this would be a ideal for LE people.  Many officers have had their gun snatched from them by the bad guy/girl(BGs) and used against them.  True, LE training will minimize this problme, but not completely eliminate the it, this would 100% eliminate the problem.  If a BGs gets a hold of the officers gun, it would be just a hunk of metal, rather than a deadly weapon.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 10:24:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ED_P:
It's one more thing that can go wrong.

+1 All it is doing is complicating a possible dangerouse confrontation which is already dicey enough. Computers/Electronics/powersupplies malfunction to much IMO for this to be viable, or even a safer alternative. I dont want nor will I ever want any kind of an "Electronic" gun
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 11:04:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2005 11:08:35 AM EDT by edb66]
If you carried (I know it's NJ!) your "smart gun" in one of those "smart holsters" that Michaels came up with, I bet the combination would "smarter" than a lot of people I know.

Seriously though,  just imagine drawing down on a BG,  UH-OH! blue screen of death!  What now?  Reboot?  Call "Richie Cunningham" in Mumbai?  Fuck That!
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 11:18:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:
Guns that don't work after an EMP.


Hey!  As long as they work in the HIGHEST ZIP CODE!!!!  
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 11:21:16 AM EDT
The couple of sh1tballs behind "MetalStorm" think that "smart guns" are a great idea too.
And by strange coincidence, their useless gun concept is electronically-fired.
Imagine that.
They're like the Music Man of shooting: trying to sell a useless propellant/projectile system, surrounded by a useless control system....
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 11:29:37 AM EDT
When will it finally be time for the 2nd Amendment to override a ridiculous state or city law???

But as far as any manufacturer of "smart guns", I would think there would be quite a liability issue if their firearm were less than 100% reliable, and failed to function for Mrs. Susie Soccermom when her home security alarm has gone off and the police are 30 minutes away, and someone is kicking in the door.  Won't we all be safer because Mrs. Soccermom's pistol failed... but that is a small price to pay to keep all those kiddies safe and guns out of the wrong hands, right?

Sorry, Susie, but your safety will be sacrificed on the alter of political correctness.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 11:30:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By markm:

Originally Posted By mjohn3006:
Guns that don't work after an EMP.


Hey!  As long as they work in the HIGHEST ZIP CODE!!!!  

Or thru bread.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 11:32:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2005 11:33:05 AM EDT by NewbHunter]
I hear the smart-gun OS is made by Microsoft...

I'd get one, but only if it can download I-tunes. It would be sweet to shoot someone while listending to the theme song to The Good the Bad and the Ugly!
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 11:50:44 AM EDT
People are fucking stupid.
I hope people do start carrying smart guns - it'll weed out the dumbasses.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 11:54:44 AM EDT
Does a "Smart Gun" make the retard holding it "smarter".  If not, then whats the point?  Some people have absolutley no clue.
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