Is Technology the Answer to Gun Control?

Posted on: June 6th, 2014
Whether you are a gun owner or not you have to be living in a cave if you haven’t been hearing about all the ongoing discussions over gun control in our country. And both sides of the discussion feel they have the answer. I’m not going to discuss the pros and cons, I will leave that up to you, but I did want to share an interesting idea that is out there and how it might impact the discussion of gun control and gun laws.

There is a German arms company called Armatix GmbH who makes a “smart gun” that has people talking. We all know what “smartphones” are these days and the majority of you probably have one already and love its many features. This is similar but different. There is a good summary article on this new technology, “New Technology Could Allow Government to ‘Turn Off’ Your Gun.”

In a nutshell, there are two aspects to this gun that make it interesting. First, like your smartphone, it has a “kill switch” built into it where it can be disabled remotely by someone, making it unable to fire. This has all kinds of implications…such as who would be in control to shut it down? Would this be the gun owner or some other governmental organization? Lots of discussion on these issues with much more to come in the future.

Second, it is set up to only activate when the owner is wearing an “intelligent watch” which sends out an identification signal to activate the chip in the gun. This means that if you aren’t wearing the watch, the gun won’t fire. Good part of this is that if someone stole your gun or your kids accidentally got the gun, it wouldn’t fire because you have the watch and it wouldn’t activate. Again, lots of discussions on this topic that are worth reading more about before you make your own decision if this is a good thing or not.

There are also lots of implications from the legal aspect of what a gun like this would mean to you, the gun owner. A simple one would be selling it or transferring ownership to others. How would this occur with the registration process of something that is so personalized? If there was an incident where the gun was used because they had the “intelligent watch” what would that mean to the liability of the owner? How would this impact the gun registration and ownership process today, would it be even more delayed than it is today for certain class weapons? Would this have its own class of weapon? These are just a few of the many questions that will need to be answered.

One interesting part in the article was the discussion of New Jersey. Some believe this could trigger (no pun intended) a current law in New Jersey that would require all handguns sold in the state to be “smart guns.” What would be the impact if this happened? Would other states follow? Interesting discussion topic and one we are sure to hear more about in the future. And when we do, I will share some more of the legal implications this might have for you and other gun owners.
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