Not-So-Smart-Guns ‘Operating Perfectly’

NRA-ILA Smart Gun
So-called ‘Smart Guns’ are anything but. IMG NRA-ILA

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- One of the cornerstones of Joe Biden’s gun control vision for America is to “[p]ut America on the path to ensuring that 100% of firearms sold … are smart guns” because, according to him, “[t]oday, we have the technology to allow only authorized users to fire a gun.”

True to form, on the campaign trail Biden had presented this commitment in a wildly exaggerated way: “If I get elected president of the United States of America with your help, if that happens, guns, we have the capacity now in a James Bond-style to make sure no one can pull a trigger unless their DNA and fingerprint is on it. We have that capacity to do it now. You know it.”

At the time Biden was assuring voters that firearms equipped with personalized DNA recognition were completely feasible, it was obvious that not only was such technology a figment of his fuzzy thinking but that actual “smart gun” technology was (as NRA testers discovered) “disappointing at best, and alarming at worst.”

The NRA conducted real-world testing of the Armatix iP1, a “smart gun” that depended on a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip in a matching, battery-powered wristwatch. Once activated, the watch “unlocked” the gun provided the gun remained within a 10-inch range.

Contrary to the assertion of the gun’s designer that “it’s operating perfectly,” the NRA testers flagged a number of serious problems and design flaws, including a 12-second wait time before the gun would fire, even after set-up. Other issues related to the gun’s “kill switch” functionality, and how easily the RFID connection could be hacked or disabled.

The answer to the latter was provided courtesy of “Plore,” a hacker who demonstrated (video here) that the security features could be circumvented entirely:

[H]e can extend the range of the watch’s radio signal, allowing anyone to fire the gun when it’s more than ten feet away. He can jam the gun’s radio signals to prevent its owner from firing it – even when the watch is inches away and connected. And most disturbingly, he can mechanically disable the gun’s locking mechanism by placing some cheap magnets alongside its barrel, firing the gun at will even when the watch is completely absent.

This year, a different model of “smart gun” made its debut. The LodeStar Works LS9, a 9mm pistol, apparently also uses RFID as its “basic authentication technology” but “will offer several if not all authentication technologies at the option of the consumer.” The manufacturer advises that the gun is “Bluetooth enabled for optional smartphone activation [and] data collection.” In a section on the “downside risk to public safety as a result of Personalized Firearms,” the website claims that, although some in the “gun-owning community worry about the reliability of a personalized gun when it is needed for self-defense,” the “LS9 will be proven to be as – if not more – reliable than its mechanical counterparts.”

A Reuters reporter describing the LS9 indicates that the gun uses “both a fingerprint reader and a near-field communication chip activated by a phone app, plus a PIN pad.” In case the fingerprint scanner on the grip fails (“when wet or in other adverse conditions”), the PIN pad backup would activate the gun “as quickly as users can open the app on their phones.” According to the reporter, in a live-fire demonstration of a third-generation prototype, the gun was fired “in its different settings without issue.” However, a video of the event posted by a different reporter seems to show that the gun failed to fire the second of just two intended shots.

Even if it is possible to overcome fundamental performance and security issues (after all, criminals and spyware hack into computer systems and smartphones), gun owners will continue to have legitimate concerns about firearms that collect data, can be GPS-tracked or deactivated remotely, or that, by legislative mandate, will phase out access to traditional, mechanical firearms.

2016 report on smart guns from the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Defense, touched on “electronic recovery technology,” being “real-time data collection” on the location and use of law enforcement firearms. This relies on an embedded computer chip that doesn’t affect the mechanical functioning of the firearm, but transmits information about location and use (like a lost or stolen gun) or to “collect additional information about the gun’s use.”

Fears over government mandates are hardly unjustified, either. In 2002, New Jersey passed a law, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58–2.5, directing that three years after the state’s Attorney General determined that smart guns (“personalized handguns”) were available for retail purposes anywhere in the country, New Jersey firearm dealers would generally be prohibited from selling (or even possessing with the intent to sell) any handgun, unless it was a “personalized handgun” or an antique. Ultimately, the law was repealed and replaced with a new requirement that compels retail dealers to offer for sale at least one “personalized handgun” approved by the state Personalized Handgun Authorization Commission, with failures to comply punishable by fines and license suspension.

To date, no handguns have been approved by the commission, although last year, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced his commission appointments. In an indication of which way the wind blows, one of his four appointees (the “leaders in their fields”) is the government affairs director at anti-gun group Giffords.

Besides questionable claims on the state of smart gun technology, Biden’s campaign website suggests that what stands in the way of his “build back better” gun program is that “right now the NRA and gun manufacturers are bullying firearms dealers who try to sell these guns.” The NRA has never opposed smart guns, believing that the rules of the marketplace should govern – what the NRA does oppose is high-handed government mandates of expensive, unproven technology.

Rather than point to the NRA and gun manufacturers (who make such guns), simple common sense explains that consumers won’t buy products that don’t work. If anything, “bullying” more appropriately describes government actions and laws to foist a “smart-guns-only” imperative on unwilling dealers and a skeptical public, regardless of well-founded concerns over performance, price, and privacy.


About 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: www.nra.org

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

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Cam

I think all federal law enforcement, except ICE should adopt the smart guns.
ICE should issue every officer on the boarder unlimited ammo and a M134D-H

PMinFl

We should protect our border like the East Germans did.

Oldman

Didn’t the E Germans try to stop people from getting out? I think we should let anybody leave that wants to, and make all that try to get in illegally, run the Gauntlet.

2A Gun Guy

Buck Fiden!

PMinFl

Let the secret service protection detail be the test group for the next three years.

DIYinSTL

Followed, sequentially, by all federal agencies and then municipal police forces. But no mandate – Covid vaccines should be the lesson there.

Finnky

I have a smart personalized handgun and technology to prevent unauthorized use.

Personalized with aftermarket trigger which dramatically improved my control and accuracy, night sights and a mounted light. There are almost certainly others just like it, but this one is mine.

Primary smart security is provided by what is called a holster. Firearm is available for instant use by me and me alone. No waiting 12 seconds (likely the rest of your life!). I can authorize another without a complicated programming process.

See it a simple and (relatively) inexpensive solution to whatever issue they are discussing. Smart.

musicman44mag

I have written on this topic before. Rather than repeat the long version of what I said, I will say this. Make all government agencies use it for ten years and when you can prove that it didn’t delay response time by three seconds and new laws are imposed, I might consider buying one, but it won’t matter because I will have purchased all the guns and ammo I want and need beforehand. Ammo lasts 75 years if stored properly.

OreGONE

CinciJim

“…prove that it didn’t delay response time by three seconds…”

I understand what you’re saying, but 2.999 seconds is a long time to delay a response to any violent criminal attack. At my age (and I don’t think any of us are getting any younger), I don’t want – or need – any additional delay added to my personal response to a threat.

Wild Bill

Nor do we need unreliability introduced into the equation.

musicman44mag

That’s why cops and government agencies like ATF get it first. After a few of them get shot because of malfunction the requirement for them will be dropped and then we can argue that if they don’t have to have them, neither should we and maybe this issue will go the way of the dough dough. Or if we have an ass for president like we do now and we did with obummer, we will be told all about how we should be required to use what the government is using in order to be fair and as soon as… Read more »

musicman44mag

I know what you are saying. The other day I read on here about how much time it takes to draw your weapon and hit the target on an average. I think it was 3 seconds and that is why I chose that number. From the second you grab the gun until you pull the trigger it should be armed when ready to fire. If you are faster, then you should be able to adjust the timing, after all it is all computer driven and we all know how well those work. Hope it’s not on the new windows 11… Read more »

Knute Knute

Yeah. Instead of windows it’ll be based on Vista. Thus assuring that it will NEVER work, but just show “error” every time its touched. Exactly as the power mad morons in DC desire!

Larry

“[p]ut America on the path to ensuring that 100% of firearms sold … are smart guns”

How many guns do we sell every day?
As a country, we can’t even manage that with presidents once every four years!

Green Mtn. Boy

How do I put this succinctly as possible,The Left/Globalists can shove their smart guns up their HooHa’s.

swmft

no it should be only type allowed for them and their security

Finnky

Start with capital police and secret service. Once they are set up and fine with it roll out to the rest of LEO, from DC and working out. Can you imagine how many officers would be carrying unauthorized “backup” tools? Backup is quoted because most would consider them primary.

musicman44mag

Yes, especially since they have a habit of losing them.

Glypto Dropem

LT Michael Leroy Byrd of the US Capitol Police and the murderer of Ashli Babbitt, left his pistol in the pooper.

Wild Bill

Is he the guy that shot through the closed door and hit that unarmed girl. Put his name on the list.

Glypto Dropem

Because as David Codrea always points out;

“They are the only ones…”

Last edited 10 months ago by Glypto Dropem
Wildman

I do not have a “smartphone”… I cannot use “smartphone” apps…

KO

Smart Guns Dumb Biden

KK

Murphy’s Law – If ever the day comes when an imminent threat to your life and the lives of your loved ones arises, when you pull your slick SmartGun and take aim . . . the LOW BATTERY MALFUNCTION LIGHT WILL OUTSHINE YOUR TRITIUM SIGHTS!

john

Never met a smart gun I have met some stupid people though who should never have a firearm. Training Gun Safety Practice Treat every guns as if it is loaded. Never point a guns at anything you do not intend to shoot. Firearm safety. Safeguard your firearms at all times. Please buy a guns safe they are affordable Please supervise your children.

Hazcat

Is it NRA day at Ammoland? Stop pushing their press releases.

loveaduck

It’s a good article. Ammoland is, apparently, more open than you’d like.

vepr

Ammoland is a shill for the nra.

F Riehl, Editor in Chief

h/t @loveduck.. you made me laugh kek kek.

Knute Knute

Then why do they let me say stuff like; “NRA sucks”,; or “the NRA board and executives should be brought up on charges because of their long term embezzlement”, or just off the cuff ridicule like; “NRA members continue to donate to WLP’s retirement fund”?
Why would NRA shills let me continue to ridicule the NRA’s long time criminal activities? Wouldn’t they censor me at every opportunity?
Yes, a shill would. That is how we can know that you just made that all up!Next, try the one about the moon being made of green cheese! 🙂

vepr

This is rich, nra complaining about government bullying while they continue to circle the wagons around the skunk, li’l Wayne LA pU and justify his theft of members foolishly contributed funds.

Clean your own house you filthy nra vermin, be fore you complain about ANYTHING else.