“I’d Rather be Shot By a ‘Smart Gun’ Than Sell a Smart Gun”

Steve Sanetti National Shooting Sports Foundation

“I’d rather be shot by a ‘Smart Gun’ than sell a Smart Gun”—That is a pretty strong statement and one that I am sure will resonate with the Shooter’s Log base. 60 Minutes recently ran a piece investigating ‘Smart Guns’ and opposition against them. You’ll have to watch and view the piece for yourself, but the National Shooting Sports Foundation‘s Steve Sanetti, took up the torch with a reasoned response.

National Shooting Sports Foundation Logo Sanetti makes some good points. However, I would have liked to see the piece go a further (who knows how much ended up in the editing room’s floor…?). For instance, what happens when I want to let a friend shoot it at the range? What if I program the Smart Gun so my child can shoot it? A bit more on the technology and how it can be hacked or shut down by the government—not to mention the effects of a solar EMP. The last thing I want in a TEOTWAWKI scenario is shotgun that will only function as a lousy club.

Nonetheless, it is an interesting piece worth the watch—even if only to oppose the anti gunners. We have to be educated to their attacks to know how to counter them. Also, there is a real threat from this type of rhetoric. Remember, President Obama recently listed his biggest regret as not being able to enact gun control. He also has about 14 months left to run amok.

Here is the release the NSSF just sent:

The CBS news magazine program 60 Minutes Sunday night aired a segment on “Smart Guns” during which NSSF President Steve Sanetti answered questions from reporter Lesley Stahl and explained that the industry does not oppose the development of authorized user technology for firearms but that caution is warranted. “We have to be careful not to fall into the technology trap,” Sanetti said. “We’re not here saying that technology is a bad thing. Technology obviously improves our life in many ways. But I think you have to look at firearms in a slightly different way. Their mechanisms are the way they are over centuries of development. They’re at the state now that consumers want them and, in the United States, there’s a lot of tradition involved in firearms.”

Steve Sanetti National Shooting Sports Foundation
Click image to watch video.

Sanetti also explained that legal mandating “Smart Gun” technology, which the industry opposes, would punish the vast majority of responsible gun owners who as a matter of course secure their weapons safely away from children or others who should not be able to access them. Indeed, all guns can be secured today by means of the locks furnished by their manufacturers, or by the 37 million free locks distributed by the NSSF’’s Project ChildSafe, without the reliability disadvantages posed by “smart guns.” “Why are you trying to take my firearm and add something to it that’s going to make it more prone to failure?” he asked, referring to the possibility that the technology might malfunction.

Perhaps the only new information to be covered in the segment came from New Jersey “Smart Gun” mandate law sponsor State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, who said that she would introduce legislation to repeal that state’s current unenforced law if firearms retailers, in return, would all agree to carry at least one model of an authorized user equipped firearm in their stores’ inventory.

See the NSSF’s Fast Facts on “Smart Guns” for detailed information on this issue.

What is your reaction to Smart Guns? How can we best ensure laws such as ‘The Mandate’ are squashed and our opposition to those thinking of marketing a Smart gun are heard? Share your opinions in the comment section.


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Comments (57)

  1. There is a probable consequence of mandating “smart guns” that I think could be the hidden main purpose of this idea. As the laws are currently, you can’t sue a gun manufacturer if someone uses one of their firearms in the commission of a crime. The left has hissy fits over this and thinks that the gun manufacturers are getting away with something special. This is even though the gun manufacturers are under the same basic laws any other manufacturer is controlled by. If their product malfunctions and, in doing so, causes the injury or death of someone then the manufacturer can be sued. If smart guns are mandated, the threat of someone suing the manufacturer for injury or death due to malfunction is dramatically increased. For example if a gun would not fire when needed for self defense or if the gun fired for someone who it shouldn’t have, there could be numerous scenarios that could happen resulting in lawsuits which could possibly cause the end of firearms manufacturing for the civilian market.

  2. I don’t oppose developing, making, or marketing a Smart gun, if that’s what a consumer wants, What I do OPPOSE is mandating that all guns be smart gun, or creating a abstract argument for criminal prosecution because a person chose not to use / trust that technology. We have cars that can drive themselves more safely than most humans can , but we don’t mandate that all cars be that way. We build Mercedes & Volvo’s with the ultimate in safety , but we still have the option to drive a Renault. . Besides I’m one that believes the 2nd amendment gives me the right to have the same weapons as those that potentially could oppress me have. be it a SMG , a Howitzer, tank or even a A-10 warthog. if I can afford one. So let the technology go forth, just don’t mandate that I trust my life on it. let me make that decision.

  3. State Sen. Loretta Weinberg: make the police purchase these smart guns for a ten year period, and if they work out, then we will reconsider.

  4. What makes you think that State Sen. Loretta Weinberg won’t reinstate the law she is saying she will ask to be repealed as soon as NJ gun dealers sell the first smart gun. Don’t be a sucker. In fact it’s a insult to your intelligence that they think you are stupid enough to fall for this game. Remember, they passed this law once. And they will pass it again as soon as it becomes enforceable by the first gun that would activates the law. Also remember according to the law it only takes a single gun to be AVAILABLE for sale to trigger the law into effect.

  5. Sarge,
    You have a good point…but I believe that at least 90% of cops are good guys…maybe more. I would offer that the secret service dudes that protect congress and the pres. should be the ones armed with this weapons

  6. A sidearm is like a seatbelt. If you think You’ll ever need one you have to use it ALL The Time! Would you trust a seat belt that was battery powered with electronic circuitry involved. You never know if it’s working properly until you’re in an accident and find out the battery is dead or a transistor has failed. But that’s okay. if it fails take it back to the seller. I’m sure he’ll replace it. For your heirs, that is. By this time, you’re dead! I agree with Zmortis. Let the cops try it out first.

    J A Turner
    SSgt USMC(ret)

  7. Zmotis….The feds are not all in on these things as far as arming their personal guards with them. It’s a matter of telling everyone that something is good for us, but not necessarily for them. Same thing about Obama Care….if it’s so good, why does congress have something else? Why do most federal employees that are not rank and file, get waivers?
    The 2nd amendment is the keystone that holds the rest of them together and it was not given to us by an act of congress…so it cannot be taken by congress unless they open the floor to make changes in the constitution. I do not see that happening in my life time.
    Keep your powder dry.

  8. I have no problem with smart guns. I feel that anybody that wants one ought to be able to have one. I don’t want one.

  9. Joe in the midwest…you have made a valid and intelligent comment. The simple answer to the problem with gun related murder in our nation is to prosecute to the full extent, those laws already in force. We allow too many criminals to plea down from gun charges rather than getting them off the street. It is expensive to house these worthless slugs, but the cost of allowing them to go free and inflict harm to others, is far costlier.
    Thank you for your comments and keep your powder dry.

  10. I’ll try a “smart gun” sometime after my State’s police officers have universally adopted and used them for say 20 years without adverse incidents. Until then, it’s unproven reliability and questionable utility can be vetted by our government’s forces first.

  11. My take on the idea of a smart gun is that whomever came up with the concept is looking to market his/her idea. The inventor wants to make some money on this gadget.
    Truth of the matter is that the problem with guns is not the gun itself, but the lack of dedication by the folks that want to control our lives. If one weighs the cost of putting violent criminals away, versus the human lives that are ended by those violent people, it’s a wonder that the politicians can sleep at night. Of course, most of them have guards to watch over themselves and their families.

  12. This worries me greatly it IS just a way to disarm us. When all a hacker or federal agency has to do is click a button on a computer to make my gun not work I would carry a blade first at least a knife can’t be hacked. I will not give up my guns until the government puts a bullet in my head, for as soon as we are disarmed we become a victim and at the mercy of those with the power

  13. Dave, you’re absolutely correct. Those that would render the population helpless to stand up to govt. will continue trying to make inroads to destroy the God-given right our 2nd amendment gives us.
    Keep your powder dry.

  14. Less than a month ago I saw a video of a device for grounding drones .It was shouldered like a shotgun and emitted a beamed electronic signal that downed the drone . The same technology could be adapted to disable a ” smart gun “. I have a bad vision of a new ” Fast and Furious ” sending these devices to viscous criminals to stop police armed with required “smart guns “

  15. A firearm…is only as “smart” as the person using it. This technology is doomed to fail. This is just another way to infringe on our rights. One question. IF this smart technology goes the electronic route…will it be able to be turned “off”, from a “central control”, rendering the firearm useless? My guess…is yes.

  16. Interesting, isn’t it, that the same liberals that say we can’t trust technology to insure a safe Keystone Pipeline, are the same liberals that say we should trust technology never to fail on a device used to save innocent lives.

  17. I remember the days when people were smart and phones, vehicles, and guns were dumb. Too bad those days seem to be gone.

    1. I get your point, and people, the masses, have definitely been getting dumber and dumber as time goes on.

      But sadly, people (as a group) have never been truly smart, or rather have never been truly wise. For people have been letting themselves, often willfully and even enthusiastically, be oppressed and subjugated by their leaders (kings, queens, emperors, dictators, pharoahs, khans, moguls, mullahs, popes, prime ministers, presidents, etc.) for pretty much ever.

      People are way too easily duped and misled. Humans are without a doubt both the smartest and the stupidest species ever to have lived.

  18. When I was working the streets as a police officer, there was the beginnings of the push for “smart guns” that could only be fired by a person wearing a special ring on the hand holding the gun. Sure enough, it worked part time. Part time is not good enough when your life depends on it. Also, there are times your hand you would normally use to fire your weapon is for some reason disabled or you are in a position you have to fire with your weak hand to maintain cover. Now you have an inoperable gun unless you have time to change the ring from one hand to the other, which you would not have time to do in a gunfight. It was also found that the magnetic mechanism could also be fouled by moisture or dust and fail. This is a stupid idea put forth by stupid people that have never been threatened by violence in their sheltered lives. They should get out from behind their bodyguards and sample the real world for a change.

  19. As a NRA trained instructor for Louisiana CC, with over 50 years of teaching/training, and experience in both military & Law enforcement, I know (in a ideal world) anyone carrying a firearms should be exposed to real world “shoot/don’t shoot” stress, because, nothing can match the real “OH S**T its happening” moment, but more training and practice sure helps the “ARMED CITIZEN” cope with the pressure! Don’t bet a life on a mandated gismo (smart gun) LEARN IT RIGHT

  20. Another factor to consider in this debate is that many of the proposed “smart” technologies to prevent so-called unauthorised discharges are actually vulnerable to remote disabling. Just about anything that has a component that can be addressed on one or more frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum can be targeted. Whether it’s a computer, electronic watch, automobile ignition, GPS, cell phone, RFID chip, or similar device, all of these are susceptible to some form of remote manipulation or functional blocking. I was involved in a law-enforcement investigation of radio-frequency disabling of electronic automobile ignitions back in the 1970s. We know that the technologies have now been developed that can render all of those classes of electronic/electromagnetic devices inoperative, and some products have been designed with undisclosed back-door access. There is of course no assurance that remote-manipulation capabilities might be restricted to “good guys” acting lawfully.

  21. I recall when I worked for a large company they put in certain sophisticated software that barred people in going into shopping websites. Within two weeks one of the young kids in the company showed me a simple way of defeating the blocker and getting into the shop on line sights without the company knowing. Any software can be defeated including the bad or good guys defeating smart gun technology.

  22. We have gone nuts over technology in this country. It is very useful in some areas, but I have some old (1974) tractors that I keep on the farm because they DON’T have any electronics on them. I can work on them and usually get them to run for that very reason. Even they have some mechanical safety devices on them to keep them from being started in gear, but I have a newer one that has safety switches so it won’t start if the PTO is engaged, or the auxiliary hydraulics are on, so when it won’t start the first thing one has to do is run the list of things that someone might have left on that are preventing it starting. You don’t have time for that kind of trash with guns used for protection. The best safety on a gun is the person holding it.

  23. The technology regarding smart guns seems to be an attempt to cash in on some emotional desire to make guns safer. There are no safe guns in the world. They were never meant to be safe, but rather to be a tool of destruction.
    It is estimated that there are 300M guns in private hands in the U.S. I think that is a very conservative estimate. There could easily be half again that many and none of them qualify as smart guns. So, if smart guns became the only guns one could purchase, it would make little or no impact.
    The biggest problem I have with a smart gun is that it is almost assuredly a way for the govt. to have a record of who owns what in the way of such a weapon. We are thus back to universal registration.
    The important thing to remember is that we are endowed with unalienable rights by our creator, not by any politico. It is important that we do not become a secular nation that disregards our creator, for then we cede our rights to man. What man gives, man can take away.

    1. We already have “Universal Registration” via Instant Background Check. That is a record of YOU purchasing a firearm (that is just long guns), for a hand gun you must first obtain a “Pistol Permit” before you even purchase, that is another Instant Background Check plus fingerprinting and a photo op. Then when you obtain that permit you have to go and purchase that gun you have been eyeballing and take to your local Police Chief for a “inspection” then you get your little card (green in Livonia MI) so they already have a list of everything you bought for last 20 years new or from a FFL seller and remember Centerfire Systems? They had lists of every purchase from them from screws to bullets to “parts sets”, so they pretty much have that list to knock on doors already. I remember when all you had to do is be of legal age and have a picture ID, M1s at Woolworths at Universal Mall in Warren MI for $69.99. Those days are gone. They are watching me type this now, if I did not think it true I would be a fool.

    2. Not only knowing who has the guns, but they most assuredly would know every time you fired that gun and where you were.

  24. I was absolutely astounded by that so called Senator’s remarks complaining about us subjects not cooperating with the government. Jesus lady!!! Waah, waah, waaaaaah! They won’t let us! waah, waah waah. They’re not cooperating with us. Waah, waah, waah!

    King George: General Washington, I give you my word.. if you carry smart weapons I’ll repeal the Townshend Acts.

    George Washington: LMAO!!!!

  25. Let’s first be honest – Smart guns make sense when we are talking about a large issue to a department’s officers – the people who are most likely to get in a situation where someone want’s to take it away by force and use it on them. It also makes sense for an individual buyer to be able to have one if it makes sense to them and their personal likes. Now, since we’re being honest let’s also admit that it is the blatant anti gun laws that defy any reason, like the law pushed through by State Senater Loretta Weinberg. Then after realizing what a blatant screw up that law was she tries to blackmail the Firearm Sellers in New Jersey by telling them she will repeal the law if they all agree to sell smart guns. You know, I’m not a politician (probably because I respect myself), but last time I looked you didn’t implement a screwed up and blatantly nut job law, then use it to blackmail your constituents. Well, it is New Jersey, so I could be wrong.

    1. @ Robert H,

      If we are really being honest, only the most professionally competent and technically savvy really knows that smart guns make no sense at all when we are talking about defensive weaponry that works when it has to.

      These are the people that could care less about politics because they require the use of weapons on a daily bases for the tools of their trade. Continuing in the vein of honesty, the real truth is these professionals will never risk using a weapon that could add another possible point of failure to a lifesaving tool.

      In all honesty, it will be rejected by the police and military after the rigors of their required departmental testing shows time and again this technology fails per their standards, and thus it will never be adopted for professional use.

      Despite this, the anti-gun politicians such as Senator Loretta Weinberg will continue to mandate such flawed ideology upon the rest of us because quite frankly the anti-gun types don’t care if our guns ever go off – regardless of which end of the gun you’re on.

  26. Beyond that, would you want, say, Remlin putting in the same quality of computer coding that they do with their junk rifles? GM and John Deere claim that THEY, not you, own the software In their vehicles and tractors and you have no rights to it. Want the same with your guns?
    I can imagine the disclaimers in the fine print of such a weapon. “We’re not responsible for this not working (even though we claim we own the software), and if it doesn’t you or your survivors are welcome to use our binding arbitration panel located in Deersnot, Iowa.”

    1. NOPE, I too needed a subcription if I wanted to watch the video.. can’t get the whole story…

    2. I’ve tried it at least 20times. It keeps telling me ” to view this video you must be subscribed” ??????

    3. When I click the image, it takes me directly to the video. When I click the link in the story, there is a banner for all access, but I can still click the video above it to start. Please try one of these two. Otherwise, you may need to Google the story. ~Dave Dolbee

    4. Had no problem watching the video… As for the smart guns. Count me out… Keep up the good work through your writings, Dave…

  27. That’s how it starts. The government proposes a seemingly reasonable change to take ‘just a little ‘ of our rights away.. This is used with the intent to eventually take all our 2nd Amendment rights away.

  28. This is the liberal mindset we are up against. Do these people even hear themselves? They get so high and mighty they haven’t a clue how offensive and condescending they treat the average citizen. I am referring to State Sen. Loretta Weinberg’s comments from the 60 Minutes interview in which she said, “We passed that bill to help spur this technology.”

    How arrogant for her to think the most industrialized nation in the world couldn’t accomplish this if they wanted without the help of an over intrusive government law and from a state as small as New Jersey no less. Even more insulting is that she actually believes her own liberal anti-gun crap.

    60 Minutes Lesley Stahl said, “It appears [the law] totally backfired because it spurred this passionate objection to the [smart] gun.” To which State Sen. Loretta Weinberg replied, “…because of the intervention of the NRA and the Second Amendment folks.”

    Yeah it was all the NRA’s doing because the rest of us are mindless twits that can’t make our own decisions. How freaking offensive! Worse is her exclusionary wording as she refers to the average Constitutional supporting American as those “Second Amendment folks”. Her labeling us in such a manner is really just polite code-speak when she really wants to call us “wacko fringe pro-gunners”.

    Does this lady not realize she swore an oath to uphold the entire Constitution for all – which includes the Second Amendment? This would be the same as her labeling and alienating others by referring to them as those “First Amendment folks” or those “Civil Rights folks”. Singling the “Second Amendment” out as she did is definitely still intended to be a negative connotation.

    60 Minutes Lesley Stahl interjected with, “…they say the reason they intervened is because of [your] mandate…” To which State Sen. Loretta Weinberg retorted, “It isn’t the law that stopped the development; it is the people who threatened folks who actually wanted to sell such a gun.”

    Her statement clearly shows she has lost site of the fact that she is supposed to represent the people. While I don’t condone threats of violence, they were a small portion of all the thousands that spoke out against her draconian law which was obviously NOT the will of the “People”. Thereafter, the entire market spoke out by refusing to endorse the technology.

    But despite this she still refuses to hear us – the people she represents, and instead chooses to make excuses for her failed legislation; because deep down inside she believes she knows what is best for her lowly peon subjects that need to be ruled rather than represented. Such is the attitude of the liberal in charge.

  29. Fourteen more months. I dread hearing, “If you like your gun, you can keep it”
    When law enforcement and the military have proven the concept, I’ll think about it – for all of about 10 – make that 5 – seconds.

  30. My reaction to any weapon that has software in it to make it go bang: no f*ing way. I don’t resort to profanity very often in my comments here or elsewhere on the web, but this one deserves it. I can detail strip, examine, clean and put back together all my weapons. If I get a new weapon that I can’t take apart and put back together (not simply field strip) I won’t depend it until I understand how it works. Once you get software involved, most certainly embedded in an EEPROM of some type or a more modern counter part (been a while since I did any embedded code work), you are opening a Pandora’s box of problems today and on-going concerns FOREVER. My god, NOTHING is un-hackable. I write code. I have programmed EEPROM’s. I have burned EPROM’s. This is a very, very bad idea.

    If I could get a true, Buck Rogers type, ray gun and it needed software to operation (likely) I would rather have a 1911 in .45 ACP. I KNOW that gun. I can get parts for it, I can field strip it and clean it, I can detail strip it and examine the wear on critical parts, I know how to function test it to determine if it was built correctly. I can do the same with most Sig’s, or XD’s, or Glock’s.

    You cannot “see” or examine embedded software code. Even if you could “see” it, it would be one’s and zero’s, not source code. Even if you could read the source code, quite often it is not obvious what it actually does.

    What if that code in the gun was written to require that it be brought into a central station every year or two to be ‘refreshed’ or it would cease functioning? I imagine a ‘conversation’ with my gun:

    Me: “Hey, why won’t you fire?”
    Gun: “It is past my yearly reprogramming date.”
    Me: “I’m screwed.”
    Gun: “Yep. Even more than you know. You have been flagged as a possibly violent anti-government citizen.”
    Me: “What? I have no criminal record.”
    Gun: “You have now violated two new, secret government regulations promulgated by a new Executive Order. Ignorance is not an excuse. First, you were in the armed forces and honorably discharged. This gives you a dangerous level of training. All veterans are suspect. Second, your internet posts are being constantly monitored and you have repeatedly spoken about shrinking the Federal government down to the explicit, enumerated powers in that old rag the Constitution. Sorry, we don’t recognize the Constitution any more. All bureaucracies must ensure their safety and longevity first and foremost. I will not fire ever again for you. I am shutting this weapon down permanently.”


    1. Kendall, if you had an M-1 you could have stuck a bayonet on it and not been defenseless!

  31. Who in ther right mind want a gun that a hacker or the

    GOVERNMENT can shut down ?

    The only ones wanting smart guns are DUMB people.

  32. Let’s not discuss attempting to foist this questionable tech on the public until after police and political bodyguards (especially the presidential protection detail) have used it for 5-6 years – see how impossible it would be to get those groups to accept it

    1. Absolutely. I am opposed to smart gun tech. However I MIGHT be somewhat ok with it if the military and law enforcement used it. If the guns aren’t reliable enough to protect the president then they aren’t reliable enough to protect your family.

  33. Gun grabbers have been hyping this technology for several years. Many questions are out there about it, including: “Can the government, or a hacker take control of my gun?” So far, the answers have been sparse.No one is sure, just how safe such a weapon would be, for the owner. One system uses a ring. It’ s the middle of the night, a goblin breaks in to rob and murder. Where’s the ring? Must you wear it at all times to insure you have the use of your weapon? What happens if the ring get broken or malfunctions? Other systems use biometrics, ie; your finger print. Will your weapon accept your print, if your finger is dirty when you need to your weapon? What if you cut your finger and a scar is left? Will you need to reprogram your weapon? There is an absolute fact, The more technologically complex a device is, the more prone it is to failure. Will these ‘smart-guns’ fail just when they are need most. Give me my ‘stupid’ gun, that fires every time (well almost every time, any thing mechanical is prone to the occasional malfunction) I pull the trigger.

    1. Recently the news has been full of articles about the vulnerability of new technologies to hacking. According to one expert, the problem is that the nifty new tech toys arrive long before anyone tries to implement security on them. I’m sure hacking these gizmos would not be too hard for the army of “black hats” out there. Especially those in the employ of the PRC army. When the automakers first started putting computers in cars I was driving a 1965 IHC pickup, about as low-tech as a motor vehicle can get. I was always amazed to see the shiny new cars broken down on the side of the highway. Simple works…

  34. “[State Sen. Loretta Weinberg] would introduce legislation to repeal that state’s current unenforced law if firearms retailers, in return, would all agree to carry at least one model of an authorized user equipped firearm in their stores’ inventory.”

    In other words, she assures us that she’ll go through the motions of a repeal after her idiotic law is allowed to take effect.

    I bet she’s got a bridge to sell, too.

  35. “Perhaps the only new information to be covered in the segment came from New Jersey “Smart Gun” mandate law sponsor State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, who said that she would introduce legislation to repeal that state’s current unenforced law if firearms retailers, in return, would all agree to carry at least one model of an authorized user equipped firearm in their stores’ inventory.”

    The camel’s nose theory strikes again:

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