Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

"Smart Guns" by Dave Kopel

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

New Jersey`s new "smart gun" law proves that a gun ban
by any other name still has the same devastating results.
By Dave Kopel

"Smart Guns" is a slang term for a hypothetical firearm that incorporates computer technology so that the gun can be fired only by the authorized user. When used by the gun prohibition groups and their political allies, the term is a euphemism for "gun prohibition." And, as recently enacted by the New Jersey legislature, it is premised on the idea that using a firearm for protection is immoral, unless you are a government employee.

In December 2002, New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey signed bill S. 573/890, a ban on the retail sale of currently existing models of handguns. The law makes the ban go into effect three years after "at least one manufacturer has delivered at least one production model of a personalized handgun to a registered or licensed wholesale or retail dealer in New Jersey or any other state."

In other words, the availability of one model of "personalized handgun" for sale, anywhere in the United States, sets in motion a ban on the retail sale of any of the thousands of handgun models that are currently legal. (There are some exceptions for antiques and competition models.)

Banning the sale of every handgun except one or a few models isn`t quite as complete a form of prohibition as banning the sale of all handguns. But it`s pretty close.

The pretext for this new form of handgun prohibition is, supposedly, "for the children." In truth, fatal gun accidents involving children are at an all-time recorded low. In New Jersey, the Department of Health reported zero children in New Jersey killed in firearms accidents in 1998 and 1999, the last years for which detailed statistics are available.

Many legislators, however, are misled by claims from gun prohibition groups claiming that, "12 children a day are killed by guns." This factoid is manufactured only by counting an 18-year-old gangbanger shot while trying to rob a liquor store as "a child killed by a gun."

New Jersey Gov. McGreevey called the gun prohibition law "common sense," but rather significantly, McGreevey`s "common sense" will be imposed only on the taxpayers of New Jersey, not on his taxpayer-paid bodyguards.

When the personalized gun bill was moving through the New Jersey Assembly, it was amended to ensure that its provisions would apply to police as well as the public. The state and local police absolutely refused to be forced to use unproven technology. They did not want their lives to depend on a gun that is as reliable as their computer; a less than 100 percent rate of proper functioning just isn`t good enough when one`s life is in danger.

Indeed, the New Jersey ban goes into effect regardless of whether the first personalized handgun functions properly at a 99.998 percent rate or an 80 percent rate. In October 2001, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, a university that is using government grants to promote personalized gun technology, admitted that the best fingerprint recognition system currently worked only 80 percent of the time.

New Jersey`s personalized gun law states: "The provisions of this section shall not apply to handguns to be sold, transferred, assigned and delivered for official use to: (1) State and local law enforcement officers of this State; (2) federal law enforcement officers and any other federal officers and employees required to carry firearms in the performance of their official duties; and (3) members of the Armed Forces of the United States or of the National Guard."

TRENDING NOW
Washington: Another Year – Another Extreme Gun Ban!

Friday, January 14, 2022

Washington: Another Year – Another Extreme Gun Ban!

The legislature only just gaveled in this week and anti-gun legislators and gun control groups couldn’t wait to reintroduce their extreme gun ban legislation - an "assault weapons" ban, Senate Bill 5217.

Biden Administration Finalizes “New” Firearm Storage Rule

News  

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Biden Administration Finalizes “New” Firearm Storage Rule

On January 3, the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it would be finalizing a new rule on firearm storage for Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs). The DOJ additionally announced an update to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, ...

Washington:  The Hits Keep on Coming as Magazine Ban Pulled to the Senate Floor

Friday, January 14, 2022

Washington: The Hits Keep on Coming as Magazine Ban Pulled to the Senate Floor

On Friday, the Washington Senate pulled magazine ban legislation, Senate Bill 5078 to the Senate Floor where it is eligible for a vote for passage.

Growing the Gun Community in Unlikely Places

News  

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Growing the Gun Community in Unlikely Places

We mentioned a Beverly Hills gun shop last week in an article about the continued increase in background checks and gun sales. We spoke with the proprietor of that shop, and he offered a very humanized ...

Chicago Politicians, Whistling Past the Graveyard

News  

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Chicago Politicians, Whistling Past the Graveyard

It’s no secret that crime in Chicago has reached levels not seen in decades. Crime statistics released by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) for October 2021 show significant increases in incidents of serious crime compared to the ...

Anti-gunners Ignore the Obvious, Lamely Try to Blame Gun Sales for Rise in Homicide Rates

News  

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Anti-gunners Ignore the Obvious, Lamely Try to Blame Gun Sales for Rise in Homicide Rates

Last week, two gun control advocates – who described themselves as a “crime analyst” and a “data scientist” -- published an article in the anti-gun publication The Atlantic blaming the 2020 spike in homicide rates on that ...

Alabama: Sheriff’s Association Working With Anti-Gun Group Opposing Constitutional Carry

Monday, January 17, 2022

Alabama: Sheriff’s Association Working With Anti-Gun Group Opposing Constitutional Carry

Bobby Timmons, director of the Alabama Sheriff’s Association (ASA), is so opposed to acknowledging your inherent right-to-carry, and wants so badly to protect the revenue stream from permit fees, that he openly opposes the Second ...

What You Need to Know about ATF’s New eForms System

News  

Monday, January 10, 2022

What You Need to Know about ATF’s New eForms System

On December 23, ATF launched a new system for applicants to complete various forms that ATF is responsible for administrating. For most gun owners, this change will primarily impact how applications for firearms regulated under ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Indiana: House Passes Lawful Carry, Sends To Senate

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Indiana: House Passes Lawful Carry, Sends To Senate

Yesterday, the House voted 64-29 to pass House Bill 1077, the lawful carry bill. It will now go to the Senate for further consideration.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.