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Federal “Smart Gun” Standards Set a High Bar

Friday, November 18, 2016

Federal “Smart Gun” Standards Set a High Bar

This week, the National Institute of Justice, a component of the U.S. Department of Justice, released a document entitled, “Baseline Specifications for Law Enforcement Service Pistols with Security Technology.” 

Translated from Bureaucratese, the title might read, “Toward a ‘Smart Gun’ that Cops Could Tolerate.”

The effort was part of the Obama Administration’s initiative, launched at the beginning of the year, to “[s]hape the future of gun safety technology.” This, in turn, was part of a series of executive actions the White House purportedly undertook to “reduce gun violence.” Really, though, most were just empty gestures meant to placate a gun control constituency that was disappointed Congress had spurned efforts to restrict Second Amendment rights.

With respect to “smart guns,” the president issued a memorandum on Jan. 4, 2016, directing the Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security and the Attorney General to “consult with other agencies that acquire firearms and take appropriate steps to consider whether including such technology in specifications for acquisition of firearms would be consistent with operational needs.”

That led to an effort by these agencies to develop a list of features that any “smart gun” would have to meet in order to be considered acceptable for use by law enforcement officers. 

Importantly, neither the president nor the agencies actually mandated the adoption of the technology nor even committed themselves to giving the technology consideration for actual adoption, should a compliant version of it actually come to fruition.

In fact, just what the effort accomplished, or what it meant to accomplish, is not clear. 

But it appears the president hopes to portray the publication of the document as a “win” during his waning days in office. 

And his surrogates on Capitol Hill were desperate to portray it that way as well. Connecticut senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal – both staunch gun control advocates – issued a statement praising the move. “In a world where thumbprints unlock smartphones, I refuse to believe that we can’t develop the technology to ensure guns can only be fired only by their owners,” Murphy stated, echoing a talking point used by the president himself.  

Had the Connecticut senators actually read the published specifications, however, they would have realized that any system based on a user’s fingerprints likely would not pass muster. Among other things, the specifications state that the user has to be able to fire the gun the same way, with or without the “security device” and with or without gloves. 

Indeed, the specifications would appear to preclude most existing approaches to “personalized” handguns, including grip recognition, fingerprints, and the inputting of codes. RFID would theoretically be possible, but the gun would still have to meet stringent requirements for reliability, durability, and versatility taken from actual handgun solicitations issued by the federal government.

At the end of the day, though, two required specifications seemingly would render the whole exercise moot. The first requires the system to “default to a state to allow the pistol to fire” in the event the “security device” malfunctions. The second requires the operator to be able to “quickly reset or disengage” the security device if a malfunction occurs. 

And that, of course, says it all when it comes to the supposed “wisdom” of “smart guns.” Any firearm that won’t fire when it’s needed just isn’t “smart.” And any “security” system that defaults to turning itself off during a problem just isn’t secure.

A lot of busy people with important duties thus spent their valuable time (to say nothing of taxpayer resources) running around in circles, so President Obama could pretend he was being proactive on “gun safety.”

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Ohio: Contact your State Legislators Today in Support of Important Self-Defense Bill!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ohio: Contact your State Legislators Today in Support of Important Self-Defense Bill!

Today, Sub. Senate Bill 199 is expected to receive its final votes; however, anti-gun groups are actively trying to defeat this bill! It is important that you contact your state legislators TODAY and tell them that an ...

California: Bullet Button Guns Must be Purchased and Received by Dec 31st

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

California: Bullet Button Guns Must be Purchased and Received by Dec 31st

Recently the California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms sent out a notice to California firearms dealers with information regarding the recently passed “assault weapon” legislation, SB880 and AB 1135.

Gun Control Supporters Race to Embarrass Themselves Following OSU Stabbing Attack

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Gun Control Supporters Race to Embarrass Themselves Following OSU Stabbing Attack

Guinness World Records may refuse to acknowledge feats pertaining to the lawful exercise of right to keep and bear arms, but how about a world record for most shameless attempt to politicize tragedy? The competition would ...

Ohio: Important Self-Defense Bill Heads to Governor Kasich!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Ohio: Important Self-Defense Bill Heads to Governor Kasich!

Early this morning, Sub. Senate Bill 199, now including original language from Sub. House Bill 48, overwhelmingly passed the House and final concurrence in the Senate, despite the efforts of misguided anti-gun groups.  The bill will ...

Ohio: Pro-Gun Bills Expected for Floor Votes Tomorrow

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Ohio: Pro-Gun Bills Expected for Floor Votes Tomorrow

Today, both Senate Bill 199 and Sub. House Bill 48 had their final hearings.  Both bills are expected for consideration on the House and Senate floors as early as tomorrow.  Anti-gun groups are pushing misguided ...

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Friday, July 1, 2016

California Governor Signs Draconian Gun Control Package into Law

Fairfax, Va.— California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Friday a package of gun bills that were rushed through the state legislature with no regard for proper process. The National Rifle Association Institute for ...

Hawaii: Firearms Permit Application Fee Increases Due to Implementation of the “Rap Back” System

Monday, December 5, 2016

Hawaii: Firearms Permit Application Fee Increases Due to Implementation of the “Rap Back” System

Today, December 5, 2016, the Honolulu Police Department announced that the firearm permit application fee has increased to $42.00.  This fee increase is one of the first effects of the provisions in Senate Bill 2954 which was signed into ...

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.

Home Defense - Mastering Bushes vs. Bushmasters

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Home Defense - Mastering Bushes vs. Bushmasters

A while back, we wrote about an inane NBC Today Show segment that recommended homeowners rely on car keys and wasp spray to defend themselves against burglars and other home invaders. A former New York ...

DNC Chair Frontrunner Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) is an Anti-Second Amendment Radical

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

DNC Chair Frontrunner Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) is an Anti-Second Amendment Radical

It appears that those gun rights supporters hoping that the leaders of the Democratic Party would engage in a moment of self-reflection following their historic defeat in the 2016 election may be left wanting. Despite ...

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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.