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The Truth About “Smart Guns”

The Truth About “Smart Guns”

“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.

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