New Gun May Trigger Old Law- New Jersey Measure Would Require That Pistols Be Operable Only by Specific Users
From The Wall Street Journal- By Ashby Jones-A law that injects technology into the gun debate has lain dormant for more than 10 years. Now it may be about to wake up. In 2002, New Jersey passed a law saying that once technology is available to prevent a gun from being used by an unauthorized person, only that type of handgun may be sold in the state. Now, a German company, Armatix GmbH, is close to putting the first such "personalized" handgun on U.S. shelves. The model, called the iP1 Pistol, can be set up to fire only when its owner is wearing a special watch that communicates with the gun.
The New Jersey law, the only one of its kind in the U.S., mandates that within three years from the date such a gun becomes available in any state, all handguns sold in New Jersey must include technology to limit their use to specific people.
The Armatix model already is available in Europe and Asia and will "almost certainly" reach U.S. stores by the end of the year, according to Belinda Padilla, the president of Armatix's U.S. arm.
The iP1 Pistol will cost $1,399 and the watch an additional $399, Armatix said. That is a significant premium over a Glock or Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. SWHC +1.13% handgun, which costs in the range of $400 to $500.
To use the Armatix, the gun's owner must enter a five-digit passcode into the watch, which then communicates wirelessly with the weapon to unlock it. The user can set the pistol to be active for one to eight hours.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives approved the weapon for importation into the U.S. in 2011, and earlier this year California, which has some of the nation's strictest gun laws, approved the sale of the gun.
California is the only other state so far to consider a requirement for personalized handguns; a bill has been passed by its state Senate and awaits action in its Assembly.
A federal law similar to New Jersey's was introduced in May, by Rep. John Tierney (D., Mass.). But given the chilly reception Congress gave to a package of gun laws earlier this year, proponents aren't optimistic.
The new technology is being monitored closely by both sides of the gun debate. Gun-rights supporters fear the New Jersey law will limit options for gun purchasers there and in other states that may follow suit. Gun-control backers hope the law spurs further technological advances in weapons across the country, which ultimately could lead to a drop in gun-related injuries and deaths.
For the law to take effect, the state's attorney general must certify that a pistol model for sale in the U.S. includes personalization technology and meets "reliability standards generally used in the industry."
I'm so glad I have all the handguns I need already. Not all I want, that's not possible, but all I need. And you know what? They all work just fine whether I'm wearing a watch or not. I can see hackers busting into the systems and the bad guys disabling the firearms of cops and guards, or the government having the ability to broadcast some kind of master code to disable everybody's guns in the event of s civil disturbance - the potential for corruption with 'smart-ass' guns is almost endless. Every day I thank God Almighty I don't live in a free state, and not in NJ, CA, MD, or some other fascist paradise.