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Gun Rights Groups Say They Don't Oppose Smart Guns, Just Mandates 584

Posted by timothy
from the force-breeds-resistance dept.
Lucas123 (935744) writes "When two gun stores attempted to sell the nation's first integrated smart gun, the iP1, gun advocacy groups were charged in media reports with organizing protests that lead to the stores pulling the guns from their shelves or reneging on their promise to sell them in the first place. But, the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation say they do not oppose smart gun technology, which they call "authorized user recognition" firearms. "We do oppose any government mandate of this technology, however. The marketplace should decide," Mike Bazinet, a spokesman for the NSSF, wrote in an email reply to Computerworld. However, the argument for others goes that if stores begin selling smart guns, then legislators will draft laws requiring the technology."
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Gun Rights Groups Say They Don't Oppose Smart Guns, Just Mandates

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  • Police (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @10:44AM (#47046805)

    Once the police are happy enough with the technology to use it exclusively, then a mandate is appropriate.

    I'm not holding my breath.

    • of course my mod points are gone but +1 insightful.

    • Re:Police (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anubis IV (1279820) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @11:49AM (#47047591)

      That just means that the technology is practical for everyday use. That doesn't mean a mandate is appropriate, however. Given why the guns are even allowed in the first place, and considering recent cybersecurity issues, requiring government-mandated software be installed on all guns seems like a bad idea to me.

    • Why mandate it though? I'm generally much more pro-gun control than your average slashdotter, but I don't see a point. Most gun deaths are suicide [denverpost.com], which smart guns won't prevent. [slashdot.org]

      According to this webpage (maybe not the best source) [stateofenlightenment.com] most guns possessed by criminals appear to be handguns from friends or family. The fingerprint method, if it can't be reset, might be able to make a dent in those if it couldn't be easily disabled or updated, but that doesn't seem likely. The watch version (where a w
  • by ShaunC (203807) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @10:50AM (#47046881)

    However, the argument for others goes that if stores begin selling smart guns, then legislators will draft laws requiring the technology.

    Let them pass the laws. A few days later, when headlines erupt about stolen "smart" guns being used in murders, or some cop getting killed because his "smart" gun wouldn't fire, the laws will go away soon enough.

    • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @11:08AM (#47047097) Homepage Journal

      However, the argument for others goes that if stores begin selling smart guns, then legislators will draft laws requiring the technology.

      Let them pass the laws. A few days later, when headlines erupt about stolen "smart" guns being used in murders, or some cop getting killed because his "smart" gun wouldn't fire, the laws will go away soon enough.

      Everything I've seen on the topic, legislation included, always says that LEO guns will default to fire rather than safe, whereas civilian weapons would be required to default to safe.

      Which is a big part of the reason why a lot of folks are against the idea of a "smart" gun mandate.

    • by gurps_npc (621217)
      OR let them pass the law and when a gun stolen from a cop does NOT shoot the cop and the laws are upgraded from state law to national law.

      I applaud your honesty and willingness to test your personal beliefs that are founded merely on your real world generic experience rather than actual studies relevant tot he issue.

      But I deplore you arrogance and certainty that you are right.

      More political evil is done by arrogant people 'SURE' they are right than by actually evil people.

      The prime example is that more

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @10:52AM (#47046895)

    Funny how the most virulently anti-gun people tend to be the ones who know the least about 'em.

    The unknown is skeery.

  • by adric22 (413850) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @10:54AM (#47046929) Homepage

    And I have no problem with these smart guns for anyone who wants to buy one. In fact, I could see advantages for these guns under certain circumstances if I was in situations where there was a risk my gun would be taken away from me in a struggle. However, personally I would not want one of these. The main reason being that it is another point of possible failure or breakdown that could keep my gun from firing in the event I need to use it. When people need to use a gun in self-defense they usually have less than a second to make that decision and pull the trigger. THere is no time to be fiddling with some gizmo or something that might prevent the gun from firing.

  • Proposal - (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @10:56AM (#47046957)

    A federal law stating - that the civilian authorities of any given city or state, be subject to the same firearm restrictions, as the civilians themselves. Yes, including the SWAT, and special response teams. Magazine limits, smart guns, etc. After all, if it is OK, for the average citizen to be subject to proposed restrictions, the the police forces should be governed by the same restrictions.

  • by HexaByte (817350) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @10:56AM (#47046965)

    Mandates could be a great thing - to those with a lot of old tech guns!

    Just think of all the money they can make selling them after the sale of new old-tech guns are outlawed!

  • by Noishkel (3464121) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @10:57AM (#47046975)

    Don't forget New Jersey passed it's mandate before the technology had even been invented as a functional device. When it was passed it was merely a concept. Beyond that we don't even know how well the technology behind that Armatrex pistol is going to work out. The pistol in question itself is COMPLETELY ill suited for personal defense purposes. Being .22 LR, a round known for piss poor performance and reliably.

    You could easily consider this as just kind of a test bed for future proper defensive arms. And we don't really know just how many ways this equipment might be up having points of failure. I personally imagine that it will be a good decade before any gun maker will consider offering this technology in a significant portion of their wares. We, as people of the gun, prefer things that we know will WORK. Reliability. Is. Critical. Case in point the 1911 is one of the biggest selling handguns on the market. A design invented in... 1911. Over a century old.

  • "However, the argument for others goes that if stores begin selling smart guns, then legislators will draft laws requiring the technology."

    Almost certainly true. Consider contraceptives. First they were illegal, then legal (and properly so in a free country.). Now they are mandatory that companies pay for them.

    The exact same rhetoric used to get them legalized is now used to justify them as mandate.

    So this is not only not a silly conclusion, it is almost a foregone one.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jedidiah (1196)

      They are not "required".

      They are required to be part of a civilized insurance policy.

      That's a subtle difference that you're glossing over there.

      Companies are "forced" to pay for your triple bypass or lung cancer treatment too.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        They are required to be part of a civilized insurance policy.

        Yes, it's mandatory that a single male in the USA is REQUIRED to carry insurance that will pay for contraceptives.

        So, what's "civilized" about requiring people who can't use the Pill to pay for insurance providing subsidized access to the Pill?

  • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @11:13AM (#47047151) Homepage Journal

    Did anyone really think that pro-gun groups would oppose manufacturers giving people the option of buying guns with additional safety devices?

    What's really going on is that pro-gun groups are pretty certain (with good reason!) that these smart guns don't work reliably, and likely never will. Plus there's some concern about backdoors that might allow the guns to be deliberately disabled, which could enable smart gun mandates to easily turn into forcible disarmament.

    But, given a smart gun that actually works, is very, very close to 100% reliable (meaning it almost never fails to recognize its authorized user, mostly), and isn't subject to control by third parties, I'm sure there would be a great market for them. I'd definitely buy one. I train a little from time to time in techniques for protecting my gun from being taken from me, and while I have considerable confidence in my ability to retain control of my gun, I'd love to have an additional technological backstop.

    But it's very unlikely they'll ever be sufficiently reliable. So my response has been from the beginning: Let me know when all of the police forces have adopted them and love them, since cops are at considerable risk of being shot with their own guns. When police are confident that the reliability is high enough they want to carry them, then I'll be interested in looking at the possibility myself.

    Mandates, however, make no sense. Build good enough technology and people will buy them. If that's not possible, then mandates are obviously going to meet with stiff resistance.

  • However, the argument for others goes that if stores begin selling smart guns, then legislators will draft laws requiring the technology."

    You're too late subby, at least in the case of New Jersey it's already law [cnn.com].

    And they've already been sued over NOT enforcing it [heraldtribune.com].

    I don't think that a .22 is going to satisfy the courts, it being too light of a round for common self-defense or other tasks, but it's an actual problem. I personally don't have any problem with smart gun tech as long as it's optional.

    But it's a HUGE expense for not much gain - the vast majority of shootings are either by a user that would be authorized, or by a criminal having ha

  • To have guns insured just like cars are, so that gun owners will always have enough funds to cover any damages that may ensue from mishandling the weapon.

    If gun insurance coverage was mandatory then there'd be the right framework for a proper marketplace dynamics.

    • by mi (197448)

      To have guns insured just like cars are, so that gun owners will always have enough funds to cover any damages that may ensue from mishandling the weapon.

      Do you realize, how dangerous mere speech is? You yell "fire" in a crowd, and people die in the stampede. You say: "It was him!" — and an innocent man gets hung. You say, "Republicans are Nazis!" and an incompetent wannabe gets elected president (with an outright lunatic as vice-president). But nobody is required to carry insurance nor post bond befo

  • In organized events, I shoot historically accurate reproduction revolvers loaded with real black powder. After use they are cleaned with soap and water and then aggressively lubricated to fight corrosion. Please explain how this technology being forced on me is going to help or even be anything but a nightmare.
  • by Loki_1929 (550940) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:17PM (#47048645) Journal

    Let me know when all the major auto manufacturers voluntarily take the sensor technology used in these "smart guns" and puts it in their emergency brakes to prevent unauthorized passengers from pulling it. And as everyone else has said, let me know when the police and military have this technology in all of their guns. At that point, it'd be worth some consideration. Until then, I think anyone buying one of these things for protection is a fool.

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