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
Muzzleloaders Now Targeted by “Giffords” Gun Prohibition Lobby

News  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Muzzleloaders Now Targeted by “Giffords” Gun Prohibition Lobby

It didn’t take long after the events in Las Vegas, Nevada for gun control advocates to resort to their usual tactic of blaming hardware for the acts of an evil man. Numerous anti-gun bills were ...

Joe Biden: Hero Who Ended Texas Rampage Shouldn’t Have Had His Gun

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Joe Biden: Hero Who Ended Texas Rampage Shouldn’t Have Had His Gun

Most Americans consider Stephen Willeford a hero for bravely ending the rampage of a crazed murderer at a Texas church … but not former Vice President Joe Biden. During a national television appearance on Monday, ...

With ‘Firearm’ Offenses up 27-percent, UK Holds National Gun Surrender

News  

Friday, November 17, 2017

With ‘Firearm’ Offenses up 27-percent, UK Holds National Gun Surrender

Anti-gun advocates like Gun Control Network Chair Gillian Marshall-Andrews tout the United Kingdom’s longstanding firearms restrictions, which include a near total ban on handguns, as the “gold standard” of gun control. In recent years, UK ...

Terry McAuliffe’s Halfway Heroism

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Terry McAuliffe’s Halfway Heroism

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has recently been distinguished by Governing magazine as one of its “Public Officials of the Year.” According to the magazine, Gov. McAuliffe claims his “proudest single achievement” in office has been restoring ...

Gun Controllers Choose to Ignore Cases of Good Guys with Guns

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Gun Controllers Choose to Ignore Cases of Good Guys with Guns

Less than three hours after the tragedy at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) was looking to score political points. As is his custom, Murphy fired off a tweet admonishing his ...

When Gun Control Fails

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, July 21, 2017

When Gun Control Fails

Gun control is pushed as a strategy to keep Americans safe in their homes, schools and workplaces. It is presented as the key component in safer streets, neighborhoods and families. But what happens when gun ...

News  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Who Qualifies for the LEOSA Privilege?

Within my first week as an attorney at the National Rifle Association of America's Institute for Legislative Action I took a call on the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA). I admittedly knew nothing about ...

Dianne Feinstein Wants to Ban Commonly Owned Semi-Autos, Again!

News  

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Dianne Feinstein Wants to Ban Commonly Owned Semi-Autos, Again!

Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced S. 2095, which she is calling the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017. The 125-page firearm prohibition fever dream is perhaps the most far-reaching gun ban ever introduced in Congress.

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.

CMP Sales of 1911s One Step Closer With House Passage of 2018 NDAA

Friday, July 14, 2017

CMP Sales of 1911s One Step Closer With House Passage of 2018 NDAA

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. Included in the bill is a provision that would make U.S. Army surplus 1911 .45 ACP ...

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.