Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Fanciful "Smart Gun" Bill Seeks to Make Law Out of Wishful Thinking

Friday, June 5, 2015

Fanciful "Smart Gun" Bill Seeks to Make Law Out of Wishful Thinking

We all have our hopes for the future. In that regard, we're not so different from Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren (both D-Mass.). Where we're just a little bit different, however, is that while we recognize some people might wish to replace travel by automobiles with on-demand flight via pollution-free unicorns, we're not sure a law to that affect is really necessary. Similarly, while some people might want guns to be designed like "Kitt," the taking car in the David Hasselhoff series "Knight Rider," it takes a special kind of dreamer to turn that dream into federal legislation. Enter the senators from Massachusetts.

On June 3, in conjunction with what they were calling "National Gun Violence Awareness Day," Markey and Warren introduced "the Handgun Trigger Safety Act." Filled with more aspirational, non-existent technology than the North Korean space program, it imagines a future in which guns not only recognize their owners, they apparently deactivate themselves when handled by a legally prohibited person.

In brief, the bill would federally fund development of so-called "personalized handguns" and prohibit the manufacture of any other type of handgun five years after the bill's enactment date. Not only would the technology have to recognize "lawful owners" and others who they authorize to use their handguns, it would have to be able further to distinguish who is "authorized, under the law of the State where the firearm is being used, to own, carry, or use a firearm in the State."

By ten years after the bill's enactment date, the only handguns that could be lawfully distributed commercially would be personalized handguns or handguns retrofitted with personalizing technology.Of course, the Consumer Product Safety Commission would have jurisdiction to enforce these standards and to penalize those who fail to abide by them. State attorneys general, in addition to other state officials, would also have authority to pursue civil suits against violators.

But what about all the "old-fashioned" guns that were made before the bill's design standards became law? Not to worry, Senators Markey and Warren thought of that, too. The bill would simply force gun manufacturers to retrofit them with personalizing technology at the owner's request – for free! (The manufacturer could then apply for reimbursement from a Department of Justice Fund that collects revenue from asset forfeitures.)

Under the bill, law enforcement officers would share in the vision and be forced to use the new technology.  Somewhat strangely, however, America's military forces would be exempt. Why, you ask?

Perhaps it's because no commercially-viable, field-tested version of this technology exists, if indeed any version of it exists at all. And while Senators Warren and Markey would gamble with your lives and even the lives of America's law enforcement officers by making imaginary technology mandatory for all new guns, they are at least willing to draw the line at crippling national defense with their fanciful scheme.

As we have said many times before, the NRA does not oppose attempts by inventors or manufacturers to develop new firearm technology, including technology that is claimed to personalize firearms to specific users. If such technology would help increase the potential pool of responsible, law-abiding gun owners, so be it.

What we do oppose, however, are government design mandates that effectively shrink the supply of available firearms, drive up the prices of whatever firearms remain available, prevent people from selling or transferring legally-acquired property, force bureaucratically-conceived features on consumers they do not want, and compel Americans to risk their lives and safety with unproven, untested technology. This bill would do all of those things.

It's telling that gun control advocates want to ban America's most popular firearms and magazines (AR-15s and other semi-autos, as well as the standard-capacity magazines that feed them), while forcing design mandates on firearms in which the gun-buying public at large has shown little or no interest. Americans seem to love every sort of firearm except the ones the proponents of this bill imagine.

But let's "get real" for a second. This bill has nothing to do with gun safety. It's simply a messaging tactic by its authors to let their supporters know they would gladly ban guns if they could. That's not a joking matter, and it could be a very real and dark future for America's gun owners if we don't stay focused and pro-active heading into the 2016 elections.

TRENDING NOW
President Donald J. Trump to Address NRA Members at the 2022 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, Texas

News  

Thursday, May 12, 2022

President Donald J. Trump to Address NRA Members at the 2022 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, Texas

Former President Donald J. Trump will headline the 2022 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum on May 27, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

“[A]ll We Need You to Do is Give us the Gun”: U.K. Launches National Firearm Surrender Campaign

News  

Monday, May 23, 2022

“[A]ll We Need You to Do is Give us the Gun”: U.K. Launches National Firearm Surrender Campaign

On March 12, a two-week campaign was launched in the United Kingdom to encourage subjects of Her Majesty the Queen to surrender firearms, ammunition, weapons, and any other object even vaguely reminiscent of a gun ...

NRA Statement Ahead of 2022 NRAAM

News  

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

NRA Statement Ahead of 2022 NRAAM

The National Rifle Association released the following statement on Wednesday, May 25

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

News  

Friday, April 1, 2022

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

Half the country will now enjoy the freedom to carry a handgun for self-defense without a permit from the state thanks to the tireless efforts of men and women of the National Rifle Association. 

ATF Partners with Anti-gun Researchers to Expand Agency’s Power

News  

Monday, May 23, 2022

ATF Partners with Anti-gun Researchers to Expand Agency’s Power

On May 17, the Department of Justice announced the release of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives publication titled the National Firearms in Commerce and Trafficking Assessment (NFCTA). The report is the result of the ...

Choke Point “Lite”

News  

Monday, May 23, 2022

Choke Point “Lite”

Ten years ago, the Obama Administration introduced “Operation Choke Point,” a program to weaponize the banking industry and financial service providers against certain lawful businesses and merchants. Implemented by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice and ...

Hunter Biden Incident Shows that Gun Laws are for the Little People

News  

Monday, April 5, 2021

Hunter Biden Incident Shows that Gun Laws are for the Little People

There is a central hypocrisy at the heart of the gun control effort.

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.

News  

Friday, February 15, 2013

Semi-Automatic Firearms and the “Assault Weapon” Issue Overview

Semi-automatic firearms were introduced more than a century ago. The first semi-automatic rifle was introduced in 1885, the first semi-automatic pistol in 1892, and the first semi-automatic shotgun in 1902. Semi-automatics account for about 20 ...

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Signs Constitutional Carry

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Signs Constitutional Carry

Today, Governor Brian Kemp signed Senate Bill 319, constitutional carry, into law. Georgia is now the 25th constitutional carry state, and the fourth to join that group in 2022. Half of the country now recognizes the right ...

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.