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
Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

On Monday, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) – joined by co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Rand Paul (R-KY) – introduced S. 59, the Hearing Protection Act of 2017 (HPA). Similar legislation was introduced in the ...

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

Inspired, perhaps, by Oscar Wilde (“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess”), Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced two new sweeping gun control bills, with Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle) and Rep. ...

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

On January 3rd, Congressman Richard Hudson (R-N.C.8th) introduced H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which simply allows lawful firearm carriers from any state to carry a concealed firearm in any other state. The bill ...

Supreme Court Asked to Review California’s Restrictive Carry Regime

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Supreme Court Asked to Review California’s Restrictive Carry Regime

On Thursday, the NRA-supported case Peruta v. California took an important step towards restoring the right to bear arms in California.  The plaintiffs in the case, California gun owners and the California Rifle and Pistol ...

Virginia: Senate Committee to Hear Numerous Gun Bills Tomorrow

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Virginia: Senate Committee to Hear Numerous Gun Bills Tomorrow

Tomorrow, January 18, the Senate Courts of Justice is expected to hear and possibly vote on several firearm-related bills.

Increase in Violent Crime: National Trend Driven by Local Politics?

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Increase in Violent Crime: National Trend Driven by Local Politics?

The FBI released its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report earlier this week and the bad news is that violent crime increased for the second consecutive year.

Kansas: Bill Introduced Attempting to Repeal Pro-Self-Defense Law

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Kansas: Bill Introduced Attempting to Repeal Pro-Self-Defense Law

In 2013, the Kansas Legislature passed the Public Building Security Act, pro-gun legislation that amended the Personal and Family Protection Act. 

NRA Statement on Nomination of Ryan Zinke to Secretary of the Interior

News  

Friday, December 16, 2016

NRA Statement on Nomination of Ryan Zinke to Secretary of the Interior

Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, issued the following statement on the nomination of Congressman Ryan Zinke to be the Secretary of the Interior

Indiana: Legislative Session Begins with Numerous Pro-Gun Bills Filed

Friday, January 13, 2017

Indiana: Legislative Session Begins with Numerous Pro-Gun Bills Filed

With the 2017 Indiana legislative session underway, we are happy to report that a number of pro-gun bills have been filed.

The NRA Bids Farewell to Roy Innis, Civil Rights Champion: June 6, 1934 – Jan. 8, 2017

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

The NRA Bids Farewell to Roy Innis, Civil Rights Champion: June 6, 1934 – Jan. 8, 2017

America lost a civil rights icon and a true free thinker with the death of Roy Innis on Jan. 8. For the NRA, his departure was personal. Mr. Innis served on the NRA’s Board of ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
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.