Friday, January 29, 2010

SMRT guns

Fun fact: A ways back, New Jersey passed a law requiring all handguns sold in the state to have "smart gun" technology, which prevents the gun from being fired by anyone but its owner.

There was only one problem (okay, one problem _apart_ from the fact that it's a horrible idea once you start thinking about it). Smart guns don't exist. The NJ law goes into effect "three years after the Attorney General determines that the user recognition technology is commercially available."

See, people tend to get irregular grips when firing under stress, which rules out biometric systems. But _all_ systems face a pair of fundamental problem. A gun is a very hostile place for electronics, and those electronics need to work correctly and instantly every single time. Existing projects are nowhere near solving these problems, they show no sigh of making significant progress in the forseeable future, and most have been abandoned completely. Most reasonable people recognize that it's a good intentioned idea that doesn't realistically work out in real life.

Except, evidently, the Germans. Teutonic death-merchants at Armatix have just unveiled a $10,000 .22 pistol that doesn't shoot unless you're wearing an ugly watch. Or at least, it _usually_ doesn't.

And at any point, the NJ AG can start a three-year clock on this overpriced, unreliable, anemic abomination becoming the only handgun you can legally buy in Jersey.

Oy, whatta state.


  1. Then it will be Federally banned from import, since it won't have any *sporting purposes*.

  2. Heh. "Well, we passed this perfectly reasonable child-safety law. It's the _federal_ laws that're getting in your way, and that isn't _our_ problem..."

    Yup--that's the Jersey Way.

    I don't actually expect the AG to move on this, and even if she does, it would never hold up in court post-Heller. It's just one more spiteful legal headache our state gov's given us over the years.

    [Don't you get sporting purpose "points" for being a rimfire in a non-compact size?]

  3. Well, I really have to wonder how much that "sporting purpose" language holds up post-Heller...

    (WV: gebbead - what you do with the sights when drunk?)