“Smart guns” are firearms with some type of electronic or mechanical locking system that prevents unauthorized users from discharging the firearm.
• The Armatix iP1 (pictured above) tested by NRA staff in 2014 wasn’t a particularly compelling firearm. Even beyond problems with its “smart” features, staff members struggled to get the pistol to fire an entire magazine without a stoppage. It also “featured” an incredibly heavy double-action trigger pull that led one staffer to wonder if the trigger pull itself was an attempt to make the gun impossible to fire.
• The NRA doesn’t take positions on the availability of commercial firearm technologies (smart guns included), but is opposed to government mandates that would require the sale of certain technologies.
• A New Jersey law mandates that once a commercially viable “personalized handgun” is certified as being available, all handguns sold within the state must incorporate the technology. This law has probably done more to limit “smart-gun” technology than anything done by even the most ardent opponents of “smart guns.” Firearm manufacturers are understandably reluctant to introduce a technology that would immediately limit the Second Amendment rights of Garden State residents.
• Earlier this year, Smith & Wesson and Ruger rejected attempts by activist shareholders to force the companies to develop “smart-gun” technology. Both companies cited the reliability problems that the technology introduces to otherwise reliable firearms and the lack of any significant consumer demand.