So-called “smart” guns will be mandated as the only kind of firearm Californians can “sell, loan or give” if State Sen. Jerry Hill gets his way. SB 678 defines these as “a firearm that will only fire when activated by an authorized user.” Never mind that the technology is presently available only in .22. Never mind that it’s slow, difficult and battery-dependent. And never mind that it’s really expensive: $1800, including the RFID talisman that is the linchpin of the system. Incidentally, the RFID technology means strangers can disable your pistol from a distance. How nice.
When it comes to the primary example of this—the Armatix iP1—America’s 1st Freedom staffers have been there, done that. We shot this finicky, difficult pistol (when it would actually fire), and discovered it might actually be less safe: Owners could think the technology will protect them from traditional handling mistakes with disastrous consequences. That’s not so “smart” after all.