New Jersey Democrats Look To Force Gun Shops To Carry Smart Guns

Nothing says “free market” like government forcing privately owned businesses to sell a specific product

(NJ.com) More than a dozen years after passing a “smart gun” law that is now blamed for stopping them from being sold across the country, state Senate Democrats on Thursday said they want to revamp the law and force gun dealers in New Jersey to carry the high-tech weapons.

State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) said she is introducing a bill Thursday to roll back the state’s 13-year old smart gun law that she said Second Amendment advocates have blocked from taking effect.

That law required New Jersey firearms dealers to sell only smart guns — which can only be fired by their owners — three years after they are available on the market.

But the 2002 law, aimed at preventing accidental shootings by children, had the unintended consequence of holding up its proliferation.

Smart guns would be a great alternative for some gun owners, if they actually worked correctly and did not have so many associated problems

The new bill would replace the mandate that only smart guns be sold with a requirement that dealers carry at least one smart gun in their inventory.

The state law boosted investment in developing smart gun technology, but the guns still are not available anywhere in the country.

“What gun owner wouldn’t want a gun that only they could shoot? A gun that if it somehow got into the hand of a child would be rendered inoperable?” Weinberg said.

Well, gun owners who have one for protection might not want it

Alexander Roubian, president of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, called Weinberg’s repeal and replace effort “another desperate attempt to replace failed policy with more failed policy.”

The gun are expensive, unreliable and the demand that Weinberg is convinced of doesn’t exist, he said. The bill itself, he added, invades the free market and Second Amendment.

“No one in their right mind would want to spend over $2,000 on a pistol that also has a massive failure rate,” he said. “When you’re in a self-defense situation and you pull the trigger and the firearm goes click instead of bang… who’s going to be liable for that?

Some research shows a failure rate of as high as 20%. Most seem to see a failure rate of 1 in 10. The idea of a smart gun is worthwhile, but they aren’t even close to being ready for market. There are just too many problems. What if the batteries die? What if the computer chip controller needs to be rebooted? What if the required watch doesn’t communicate correctly or you have to re-enter the PIN number? What if the fingerprint doesn’t work or work in a timely manner? Let me tell you, as someone who uses a KeyTrack system with a fingerprint reader on a daily basis, the thing is glitchy, and doesn’t like when your finger is moist or cold. For those who use fingerprint unlock on their smartphone, how often do you have to reswipe?

(Endgadget) While the idea of a gun that can’t be turned on its owner seems like an obvious win for everyone involved, there are a number of problems with the concept. Chief among those worries: the safety mechanism will fail when it’s needed most. If you’re relying on a weapon for defense, the last thing you want is another point of failure. Electronics aren’t perfect. Sometimes cameras can’t autofocus. Cable boxes freeze up when browsing the channel guide. The equivalent, seemingly small glitch in a smart gun could be the difference between life and death.

How often do you restart your smartphone, tablet, and computer?

…Many of these systems claim they can read a fingerprint or other biometric and properly unlock the firearm 99.9 percent of the time — but when it comes to matters of life and death, even 0.1 percent chance of failure is considered too high. And then there’s always the worry that these weapons could be hacked or jammed remotely. Which is terrifying.

New Jersey’s initial law impeded the implementation of smart gun technology, as no one wanted to sell them. Could this latest attempt be a bait and switch? Well, first, the bill would have to pass the General Assembly then be signed into law by Governor Christie. If he vetoes it, you can bet they’ll try again when NJ next has a Democrat governor.

Would you want a balky, unreliable “smart” fire extinguisher? Anyhow, Republicans should add a rider to the bill requiring all government security to be required to carry only these types of guns, especially the security for the General Assembly. And tell the Democrats who vote for it to prove that they only have a smart gun, if they are a gun owner. See how the Dems like that.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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