New Jersey “Smart Gun” Law Gets an F Grade


Armatix Smart Gun
New Jersey “Smart Gun” Law Gets an F Grade

Fairfax, VA – -( After signing six gun control measures into law a year ago, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy warned that “Our work is far from done.” Several new bills are now making the rounds in a state already notorious for its extreme and oppressive firearm laws.

On June 13, 2019, the Assembly Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the new bills, including A1016 (“smart guns”).

The “smart gun” bill is especially interesting given the history of such legislation in the state.

Back in 2002, New Jersey enacted a bill sponsored by Sen. Loretta Weinberg on “personalized handguns” (those with technology allowing use exclusively by an authorized or recognized user). As soon as the attorney general had made a determination that “at least one manufacturer has delivered at least one production model of a personalized handgun to a registered or licensed wholesale or retail dealer” anywhere in the country, the law imposed a prohibition that would ultimately ban retail sales of any handgun in New Jersey that was not a “personalized handgun.” Dealers that violated the law would be guilty of a crime.

While banning the sales of handguns other than “personalized handguns” was apparently justified in the interest of public safety, consumers were misguided if they interpreted this legislative policy as representing the government’s actual endorsement of these products. The law made it clear that nothing in the legislative scheme, including the promulgation of a state-approved list of “personalized handguns” that could be sold, constituted “a representation, warranty or guarantee by any public entity or employee with regard to the safety, use or any other aspect or attribute of a personalized handgun.”

The 2002 law has yet to be implemented, although in 2014, the attorney general reported that a handgun based on an RFID chip did not satisfy the statutory definition of a “personalized handgun” because, “as a matter of design, the pistol may be fired by a person who is not an authorized or recognized user.” Quite apart from design flaws and reliability concerns, gun purchasers have opposed any legislatively-mandated market for smart guns, and remain unwilling to “buy in” to any technology that would trigger a total ban on retail sales of traditional handguns in New Jersey.

In 2015 and 2016, Senator Weinberg introduced new bills on “smart guns.”

The 2016 bill, S816, would repeal the retail sales ban in the 2002 law and replace it with a different constraint on gun sales. A new state commission, the Personalized Handgun Authorization Commission, would decide on and publish a roster of approved “personalized handguns.” Every licensed dealer selling handguns would be required to carry, as part of its inventory, “at least one personalized handgun approved by” the commission. Along with the compulsory inventory, the bill included mandatory presentation and signage requirements. The handgun would have to be “displayed in a conspicuous manner that [made] it easily visible to customers and distinguishable from other traditional handguns,” with “a clear and conspicuous statement disclosing the unique features of the personalized handgun that are not offered by traditional handguns.” A dealer that failed to comply (and had not obtained a financial hardship-based exemption from these requirements) faced fines and license suspension.

The governor at the time, Chris Christie, conditionally vetoed S816, recommending that the bill be pared down to a straightforward repeal. The legislature, he noted, had apparently recognized the mistake of enacting the 2002 law, an “overly burdensome and anti-free-market statute” that had “never been used because the technology imagined by lawmakers did not exist then and still does not exist today.” Despite his “wholehearted support” of the repeal, he declined to approve S816 because it “replaced one unnecessary mandate with another unjustified restriction on firearms sales.” The bill, he concluded, was “reflective of the relentless campaign by the Democratic legislature to make New Jersey as inhospitable as possible to lawful gun ownership” and legitimate firearm sales.

Fast forward to 2019. The most recent “smart gun” bill, A1016, is essentially a duplicate of S816. The bill’s new and complex bureaucracy, as-yet-undetermined “performance standards,” and testing requirements before “personalized handguns” may be approved for retail sale have the same potential to promote the development of reliable “smart gun” technology as did New Jersey’s previous legislation. And – despite these new testing and performance standards –the bill preserves the consumer warning against interpreting the law as a government “representation, warranty or guarantee … with regard to the safety, use or any other aspect or attribute of a personalized handgun.”

Understandably, gun rights advocates, firearm retailers, and everyday gun owners appeared before the Assembly Judiciary Committee to oppose this bill. A1016 simply swaps one unacceptable market constraint for another.

Given the dismal failure of one “smart gun” measure, New Jersey legislators should hesitate when presented with a fresh variant of the same dud law. One failed law is enough.

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit:

  • 14 thoughts on “New Jersey “Smart Gun” Law Gets an F Grade

    1. Asking for “permission” or “authorization” from a so-called smart device in order to defend myself or a loved one?


    2. Murphy should be the first to try the smart-gun, to see if it really works, point it at his foot and pull the trigger to see if it really will go off, they are brain dead so it won’t hurt anything!!!!!!

    3. The smart gun depicted in this article, Armatix IP1, is not very smart. Anyone can use the gun by simply holding a magnet in its proximity, no RFID tag required to pull the trigger. All smart guns to date have been hacked with very simple solutions, so keeping them out of the hands of criminals is a pile of crap along with any other reason they give. If a twelve year old can use a computer, expected life skill now days, they can hack a smart gun. Not one agency to date has purchase nor deployed smart guns in the field because of multiple issues including reliability. So basically this is about very dumb politicians trying control your rights in any manner they can, because they can’t get rid of the Second Amendment. At least not yet, but there trying too if they don’t kill you first with there stupidity.

      1. @Bob…This is about Commie TRAITORS trying to make it safe for them and their ilk to implement the Kalergi Plan. They can’t do that when there are armed free men and women who will oppose them. Loretta WhiningStein, Gill, Murphy. Booker, and the turban headed AG should all be dragged out of bed at 3am and sat down in front of a Military Tribunal assembled on their front lawns. Charges of TREASON and FELONIOUS PERJURY should be leveled at them, and if found guilty, they should be hung on their front porches, so that everyone can see what happens to TRAITORS. And there are many more than just them, so they will just be the beginning.

    4. The Lib’s can really come up with the best, something that isn’t made but is a Great Idea, Smart Guns, the only thing about this is that the gun will be smarter than the people who want them made!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    5. When this passes. And it will eventually. Every FFL should make up a display case with one of these POS firearms and then place a $3,000.00 price tag upon it so that they never sell. The law gets fulfilled at the most minimal level. Let the dust build up on those government mandated turds.

    6. If there was a grade lower than F the Peoples Republic of New Jersey would deserve it. My $3,000 laptop can’t recognize my fingerprint withing 3 tries about half the time and they expect people to risk their lives lives on this crap. No me.

    7. I’m really surprised liberals aren’t buying into the Chicom chip WiFi gun. They bought into gun control. Perhaps if you build an app for them and trade the scary colors for rainbow finish it might help sell them.

    8. Last thing a liberal needs is a gun that thinks for the liberal when the liberal has not proven they can be trusted with guns, children, cars, match’s etc. not that I condone removing guns from liberals when I think they do a great job shooting each other with the guns they currently posses. At the rate they are going we’ll be out of popcorn soon.

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