Poll Finds Americans Skeptical of So-called Smart Guns

Posted on November 15, 2013

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"Smart Guns" is a made-up term for a conceptual firearm that incorporates technology that theoretically permits the gun to be fired only by the authorized user.  Failed attempts to develop and market "smart guns" have been going on for years.

NRA does not oppose new technological developments in firearms; however, we are opposed to government mandates that require the use of expensive, unreliable features, such as grips that would read your fingerprints before the gun will fire.  And NRA recognizes that the "smart guns" issue clearly has the potential to mesh with the anti-gunner's agenda, opening the door to a ban on all guns that do not possess the government-required technology.

This week, the National Shooting Sports Foundation released the results of a poll, which showed, by a wide majority, that Americans are skeptical of the reliability of "smart gun" technology.  The poll also revealed that Americans overwhelmingly say that they would not be likely to buy a so-called smart gun and would oppose any government mandate requiring the use of this technology should it become available.

NSSF reports that, when asked "How familiar are you with efforts to develop a firearm that will only fire for a specific authorized person(s)?", only 20 percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat familiar with the concept of "smart gun" technology.  When told that such firearms would incorporate biometric or radio frequency identification (RFID) with an activation system that would rely on battery power, 74 percent of respondents said that these firearms would not be reliable at all, or not very reliable. An overwhelming percentage of gun owners (84%) believed a "smart gun" would not be reliable, while a majority (60%) of non-gun owners also believed a "smart gun" would not be reliable.

The survey further showed that, when asked the question, "How likely would you be to purchase a gun with smart gun technology that prevented it from firing except for specific authorized users?" a whopping 74 percent of respondents overall said that they would not buy, or would not very likely buy, such a firearm.

A strong majority (70%) of the survey sample also said they did not believe that government should mandate that all firearms produced incorporate "smart gun" technology, even if it were to become commercially available.

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