New Jersey to Repeal Smart Gun Law Only If NRA Will Strike a Deal

By CTD Suzanne published on in News

New Jersey State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg says she and others will introduce a bill to repeal a 2002 New Jersey law mandating the sale of “smart guns” only if the NRA backs off its opposition to the user-recognition guns and does nothing to stop the free enterprise of the buying and selling of smart guns.

Twelve years ago, New Jersey enacted a ridiculous law called the Childproof Handgun Bill requiring licensed firearms dealers in New Jersey to sell only “smart guns” if even one working model of a user-recognized “smart gun” is made available to sell in New Jersey or any other state. Proponents of the bill believe that “smart guns” will prevent suicides, accidental shootings and stop illegal firearm sales. Bryan Miller, formally of Ceasefire New Jersey, who helped write the bill, says the law will “force the irresponsible gun manufacturers to add safety features,” making guns truly personalized to their owners.

Indeed, the United States government pressured gun manufacturers in the past to research and develop prototypes of personalized handguns. Spanning from 1997 through 2006, the National Institute of Justice gave Colt $500,079, Smith & Wesson $3,673,361 and FN $2,606,146 to develop “smart guns.” All three produced working prototypes, albeit unreliable ones. Since then, all three manufacturers have backed out of any deals.

Picture shows the Armatix iP1 "smart gun."

Recently, the German company Armatix débuted its working .22 Long Rifle smart handgun called the iP1.

Further, New Jersey took $1 million of its Appropriations Act money to devote to development of a smart gun. Lawmakers and those who think the bill is the magical answer to “gun violence” wrongly believe that gun manufacturers such as Smith & Wesson, Colt, Ruger, Mossberg, and Taurus will make “smart guns” so they can sell to New Jersey. Similar gun safety laws, such as California’s microstamping law, show us that new technology is too expensive and unreliable for even the big gun manufacturers to consider. Ruger and Smith & Wesson both will not even consider adding microstamping capabilities to any of its guns.

Once a “smart gun” reaches market, New Jersey gives the gun three years before insisting New Jersey gun dealers sell no other gun but the smart gun.

The hotly contested and debated bill quickly slipped from gun owners minds. Smart gun technology was expensive and nowhere near close to working reliably. Recently though, the German company Armatix débuted its working .22 Long Rifle smart handgun called the iP1. The iP1 will not work without being within 10 inches of a wristwatch-like device that enables the gun to fire.

In the last few months, two gun dealers—one in California and one in Maryland—have come under a lot of scrutiny and shame from gun owners, as they both were planning on selling the iP1, turning New Jersey’s safe gun law into action. Oak Tree Gun Club in California allowed the use of its facilities to demonstrate the iP1 and rumor has it the iP1 sat on the gun shop’s shelves for sale. However, Oak Tree now claims the gun was never actually for sale. The New Jersey law states that every six months, the state’s attorney general must submit a report on the availability of a smart gun for sale, but since the Oak Tree Gun Club debacle, there has been no report.

Currently, Kodiak, a gun manufacturer in Salt Lake City, Utah is taking orders for its yet-to-hit the market “Intelligun” smart gun that uses fingerprint technology.

New Jersey is not the only state pushing for smart gun laws. Currently held in committee since August 2013, California Senator Mark DeSaulnier introduced SB 293, a bill almost identical to New Jersey’s smart gun law that passed California’s Senate. In April 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder requested $2 million to study the technology that would make a smart gun possible. Even at the federal level, we have lawmakers pushing for mandates on smart gun technology. On February 27, 2014, Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey introduced the Handgun Trigger Safety Act of 2014, also mimicking New Jersey’s law. However, Markey wants the federal law to go one-step further. Not only does his bill require all states to sell only smart guns, but requires retrofitting every “old, stupid” gun with user-recognizable technology. Referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the bill is unlikely to go anywhere.

Stephen Teret, a professor at Johns Hopkins says, “Who is going to want to buy an old stupid gun rather than a smart gun?” Well, I don’t know. Rich people I guess. The iP1 retails for $1,399. In addition, you have to buy the watch-type thing separately, which sells for $399. Law enforcement and military are, of course “exempt” from the smart gun law.

So far the NRA has no official statement in retort to Senator Weinberg’s challenge, however it did say even though they are not against new firearm technology, they oppose any law that mandates it. Even if the NRA were to say, “Fine, Ms. Weinberg, we will do nothing to stop the development and sale of a smart gun,” does not mean her repeal would pass. After all, Senator Weinberg is a sponsor of a recently passed New Jersey law banning magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Nia Gill, a supporter of Weinberg’s bill says, “We are advancing this cause and making sure New Jersey has some of the toughest gun control legislation in the country…”

Many questions arise from the possible implementation of these smart gun laws. Questions such as would it call for a national gun registry; who would pay for the retrofitting of over 300 million guns; how does it solve the problem of illegal guns; as well as many others.

The fight is far from over.

What do you think about smart guns? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section.

SLRule

Introduced to shooting at young age by her older brother, Suzanne Wiley took to the shooting sports and developed a deep love for it over the years. Today, she enjoys plinking with her S&W M&P 15-22, loves revolvers, the 1911, short-barreled AR-15s, and shooting full auto when she gets the chance. Suzanne specializes in writing for the female shooter, beginner shooter, and the modern-day prepper. Suzanne is a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!

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Comments (42)

  • Skycrane

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    And again someone that was voted into office to take care of our needs as the public is now trying to control our lives.
    Hey government folks. Do you REALLY think a smart gun will work. Take a look at the hackers out there. I mean they can defeat our most secure systems in the world (Pentagon).
    Do you think that a smart gun will not ever be hacked and re programmed.
    Not trying to sound rude but no one will ever take my firearm away from me or my family. 2nd Amendment states I can possess firearm. By God I Will.

    Reply

    • DaveP326

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      OK, don’t get upset. The law if it goes into effect says that once smart guns are marketed anywhere in the US, NJ must sell only smart guns within 3 yrs. The dumb guns will always be around. These liberal knuckleheads think smart gun technology will save people from being shot ACCIDENTLY-like a kid playing with daddy’s gun. That may or may not be true but it sure will get people killed who are unable to use the gun of a casualty, for self defense. By the time they get the device and put it on, they are dead. Thank you Rep. Weinberg. We need that law like we need hemorrhoids.

      Reply

  • G-Man

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    This will never be enforceable and handily defeated if taken to the Supreme Court. Just like the states requiring I.D. to vote was ruled unconstitutional because it was biased towards the lower income classes that can’t afford to get on a bus and ride to motor vehicle and pay $6 dollars to get an official I.D. card.

    “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

    So, given the extremely high expense of smart gun technology, of which is far greater than $6, it could reasonably provide legal standing that enforcement of such a law would create a similar hardship bias towards lower income classes just as that found in voter I.D. laws.

    However, I have no doubt liberal politicians would find a way to have taxpayers subsidize the smart gun purchases for lower income individual if it meant a win in court. So, why could they have not introduced subsidies for voter I.D. laws? Well, that’s because no matter how many tax dollars a liberal can throw at a problem, illegals will still never qualify for a legal I.D. to vote. And thus the liberal politicians would lose the illegal vote all together were the I.D. laws to be enforced. So they hid the option to subsidize.

    Reply

    • Dale Casto

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      It is mistake to think that the Supreme Court will rule based on the law ans precedent.
      Yes, that is the “Conservative” view of how the Supreme Court should rule, however the legal professions has been in the control of Libtards for decades, starting with the “prestigious” law schools (Harvard, Yale, etc) and they believe that THEIR role is to act as Philosopher Kings, ignoring the will of the lower classes and elected officials to shape society the way THEY think it should be.

      Since the Libtard philosophy is not based on fact or science, but on the religion of Libtardism (that mankind is basically “good” and thus they can create a perfect society) and their decision are based on what they want to impose on society, totally contradictory decisions are the norm.

      Think about it.

      Most of the big cases are decided on a 5/4 split. So in other words in many many cases, the country is ruled based on the point of view of ONE individual.

      PS:
      I lacked respect for the Supreme Court decades ago, and that lack of respect was heightened when I went to Law School and had to study the idiotic BS.

      Even the professors often admitted there is NO logic in their decisions.

      Reply

    • G-Man

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      You are correct. I should have prefaced my entire comment with ,”In and idealistic world…”

      Reply

  • Hide Behind

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    I am not the smartest man on the short bus to Gun Confiscatoon day but from my petspective it sure as hell is sad.that a non Second Amendment foundation, NRA, is the only fn organization that most gun owners look for giidance from.
    Hire one of its lawyers and it will set you back $50-75K deposit, with NRA skimming from the top.
    It is sad that while gun owners talk of Constitutional Nation they run to hide behind
    States Rights issues . Because they have mo national representatoon within our political system.
    Smart guns will mandated in future and laws upon firearm and ammunitipn use will be so
    restrictive that only the wealthy and priveledged will be able posess them.
    I live in a nation where equality is preached and yet I see inequality being accepted into laws, such as legislators granting members of authority special rights above the majority of public.
    Sorry bit cops military and elected have no more Rights than what a man or woman that spends lives living within our laws and is employed flipping burgers or works at any other occupation within US.
    NO ONE CAN BE GRANTED EXCEPTIONS THAT VIOLATE THE 2ND AMENDMENTS PROVISiONS.
    A veteran is just a fn veteran , that may carry a certain amount of gratitude for their contributions by individuals, but under law, they carry no super citizen status.
    Thrir voice is no more of value and n any more weight than that of a man or woman who mrver served, in military.
    As to our police we and they are civilisns not th as super citizen over and above we the peoples.
    In this age of political crimes bordering and beyond treason to be granting select groups because of some unknown title of trust through srrvice to orders and legal political officrs, that is no more than bribes to aid criminal enterprises of our Government.
    The test of Honor is in proving they were true to their oaths of service to nation, and the Honor of Respect is the payment not some petty bribes.

    Reply

  • Bob

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    I have no problem with the free-market selling of “smart” guns. If someone wants to buy one and depend on it to protect them, that is their business. What I have a problem with is mandating that ONLY “smart” guns be sold or mandating that we are FORCED to buy ONLY “smart” guns.

    Reply

  • Secundius

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    I don’t know why the NRA needs to be getting involved in this! Shouldn’t the gun purchaser choice on the NRA’s. If I had a smart gun, and some reason someone took it away from me, is the NRA saying the assailant has the right too shoot me with my gun. That sounds pretty stupid and idiotic to me.

    Reply

    • Dale

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      Apparently you have been living under a rock.
      Yes, IF you could trust the government(s) NOT to mandate everyone buy a so called smart gun, then the NRA or no one else would have an issue with this.
      Then again, IF a frog had wings it wouldn’t bump is (behind) every time it jumped.
      One Liberal-controlled government has already passed a law that ONLY, repeat ONLY smart guns can be sold as soon as ANY smart gun meets the criteria — set by THEM.
      The issue is in the news because ONE virtually unheard of company (who known, maybe even owned by Bloomberg) had a .22 auto for sale, thus, if this law were enforced ONLY this one gun could be sold in the state.
      You cannot trust a Libtard controlled government. If you don’t believe me, ask any Native American how often the U.S. Gov’t honored it’s treaties.

      Reply

  • DaveP326

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    Smart guns are not a good idea on several levels. If someone in your family had a smart gun and there was a home invasion, if the gun owner was put out of action, nobody else could use that gun to defend themselves without first removing the transmitter from the owner’s wrist, and putting it on their own. That would take a minute or more given the extreme stress. By that time everyone in the house could be dead. MILLISECONDS count. Fortunately that doesn’t happen too often but it does happen. Do YOU want to be the guy fumbling around for a transmitter when you should be shooting or moving? Not me. Safe storage is the answer to kids getting shot with daddy’s gun. Smart guns are the politicians’ way of removing responsibility for negligent practices. Maybe you noticed the liberal trend to shift responsibility in this country?

    Reply

  • Ric

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    We should be developing “smart politicians” rather than smart guns! That means canning 90+% of those currently in office. Get out and vote!

    Reply

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