Legislators across the country are proposing bills requiring all new pistols would be sold with identifying technology, rendering the firearms inoperable for anyone but the legal purchaser. Along with this motion, all extant handguns, with the exception of military and a few antique firearms, would need to be retrofitted with this technology within three years.
As with the failed movement to legislate universal background checks for firearm purchases, one of the key goals of these bills is to keep firearms out of “the wrong hands,” by preventing criminal use of firearms, as well as reducing children’s access to guns. Politicians argues that with smart gun technology, in the event that they have been disarmed, officers’ handguns couldn’t be used against them; thieves couldn’t utilize stolen firearms; and, children couldn’t operate a “smart gun,” if they somehow got a hold of one.
There are already some “smart gun” technologies available. Many designs use RFID (radio frequency identification), requiring the firearm operator to wear an identifying ring, wristband, or other RFID-tagged accessory, that corresponds to a RFID sensor on the firearm. One example of this is the Armatix iP1 pistol, currently for sale in California. The .22 LR pistol has a RFID sensor on the rear of the grip, under the slide, and a LED indicator light (green when RFID watch is in close enough proximity to unlock the firing mechanism, and red when the firearm is locked). The gun currently retails at about $1400, and the watch it requires costs an additional $400. Other technologies under development focus on biometric scanning, such as integrating finger or palm-print identification to use specific firearms.
The principal of the smart gun bill is to reduce violent crimes committed with firearms. Let me know what you think, will these “smart guns” reduce violence? Will these technologies make firearms safer?
Featured image courtesy of armatix.us