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Obama Controlling Gun Rights With Smart Technology



  • Smart gun technology, which utilizes fingerprints and wireless signals, will be launching soon from the White House.
  • The Obama Administration is hoping that the technology will “childproof weaponry” and only allow the owner of the gun to use it.
  • In 2016 alone there have been 77, resulting in 36 deaths and 41 injuries.
  • Including a two-year-old who shot and killed his 26-year-old mother and a three-year-old, then shot and killed himself.

The White House hopes it can finally launch smart gun technology — childproof weaponry aimed at stopping accidental shootings and increasing gun safety.

The administration is, for the first time, trying to put in place the requirements needed so law enforcement could eventually use smart guns. It's using findings in a new report from the Defense, Homeland Security and Justice Departments — agencies that were directed in January to look into the matter as Obama advocated gun reforms.

So-called “smart guns” utilize fingerprints or wireless signals to ensure they can only be used by their owners.

“There is no problem that America's innovators cannot solve and we are confident that by focusing the private sector's attention on smart gun technology we will unlock life-saving innovations,” White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett said in a blog post on Friday.

The report establishes criteria for procuring smart guns with a due date in the fall and the Department of Defense has agreed to test the technology at the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center in Maryland. The White House will also ramp up grants to fund smart gun technology.


The White House also plans to boost funding for mental health services and engagement with state and local leaders to continue the push for gun safety.

“If we can set it up so you can't unlock your phone unless you've got the right fingerprint,” Obama said in January as he unveiled executive actions on gun control, “why can't we do the same thing for our guns?”

Gun safety advocates say the technology is promising but needs more research to ensure it actually works. However, federal agencies stepping up and committing to research and to test-driving the technology to make sure it works is a big step forward, gun control advocates say.

“Moms are grateful to learn more about the administration's commitment to developing smart gun technology and to working with federal agencies and law enforcement to find solutions that will help keep our families safe,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Details were presented by Jarrett to stakeholders in a call on Thursday evening.

But the push worries some in law enforcement who want to make sure officers won't be used as guinea pigs for this new technology.

Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police said he's never seen a prototype for a smart gun and does not oppose using proven technology. However,there could be problems when “introducing an unproven technology in a world where seconds matter”.

Advocates point to a string of horrific accidental shootings involving children, something they say the smart gun technology could address.

This week a two-year-old shot and killed his 26-year-old mother in Milwaukee when he picked up a gun he found in the borrowed car she was driving. And a three-year-old accidentally shot and killed himself in Georgia after he found a loaded gun.

According to the Everytown's #NotAnAccident index: there have been at least 77 incidents so far in 2016, resulting in 36 deaths and 41 injuries.

Mark Barden, the founder of Sandy Hook Promise, lost his son Daniel in the Newtown shooting. His group has been working with a consortium of Silicon Valley investors since the spring of 2013.

“This certainly represents a significant step forward in the right direction,” Barden said prior to the White House announcement.

Barden says the technology is already out there. It's crucial to get the technology tested on a firearm, he said. He hopes through testing, people will develop a comfort level with the new technology.

“We have the opportunity to save lives,” Barden said.

According to a study by the by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 59 percent of people who responded to the a Web-based survey of nearly 4,000 said they were interested in “smart guns”.

Such guns exist, says Stephen Teret, founding the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research and an expert on “personalized gun” technology. The difficulty has been bringing them to market.

“Smart guns,” also known as personalized guns, use various technologies — including RFID chips, fingerprint recognition, magnetic rings or mechanical locks — to prevent anyone other than an authorized user from firing the weapon.

While such weapons could reduce the number of deaths from children playing with guns, two issues have kept them from reaching consumers, said Teret.

The first is the lack of thorough field test to demonstrate their efficacy.

“The Holy Grail … is to get them tested and the best way to do that is to get a law enforcement agency to do a field test,” Teret told NBC News in February.

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Obama Controlling Gun Rights With Smart Technology (Image: QZ)

He said that only one company — Armatix of Germany — has smart guns ready for sale, “But there are quite a few potential manufacturers that are on the verge of producing the guns. All they have been waiting for is a substantial purchase order,” he said.

“There are manufacturers who are poised to start making these guns, but in order to warrant the investment in doing so, they need a large order,” he said,

Another issue that has kept the technology off gun store shelves is a New Jersey law passed 13 years ago. It mandated that once the smart gun technology was certified as reliable, gun dealers would be required to stop selling traditional firearms after three years.

That “government mandate” enraged some gun owners and gun rights groups, who saw it as an infringement of their Second Amendment right to bear arms. As a result, when gun dealers in California and Maryland attempted to sell such smart weapons in 2014, they “had their lives threatened and had their businesses threatened,” and were forced to back down, Teret said.

The New Jersey Legislature revisited the law last year, changing it to require only that dealers must offer at least one model of a personalized gun along with traditional firearms three years after certification. But Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the bill in January.

Lawrence Keane, senior vice president, assistant secretary and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry's trade association, told NBC News in December that the organization is “only opposed to the mandate,” not the technology itself.

“The market should decide,” he said. “If it's reliable and there is consumer demand, we are not opposed.”

Source: NBC News

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1 Comment

  • Bush Whacker says:

    It is not Obama’s — or any other dingaling bureacrats job to regulate what people do with their firearms. This is a PERSONAL responsibility granted by the Constitution. If someone is killed because of lack of training or knowledge of handling firearms, it’s no different than a vehicle accident. We are human and we all make mistakes. I’ve yet to see the bleeding hearts blame manufacturors of anything other than firearms for deaths caused by the operator of a product. Otherwise, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Stihl, Homelite, Husqvarna, Echo, HarleyDavidson, Toyota, etc, would all be out of business. When a firearm is taken in hand, he/she (the operator) takes the responsibility for what happens with that firearm — just like the operator of an auto, truck, motorcycle, or any other piece of equipment that is made to do a specific job. The liberal wingnut lefties, like Obama, Clinton, Schumer, Blagasio, Durbin, Reid, Biden, Holder, Mitchel, Jarret, Pelosi, etc., want more control over firearms because the majority of their voting base can’t buy a gun due to criminal records or because they can’t afford one. And as long as the rest of us can defend ourselves their constituents can’t aquire their “reparations” from us through robbery and thuggery. This political situation infuriates the left in their quest for the overriding power of socialistic control of the masses. This is why they are also continually pursueing an increasing influx of illegal immigrants. The majority of people just don’t understand that these leaders of the left wingnut political faction will do anything — and do mean ANYTHING — to gain control of the vote and our country. And, the imperialists listed above don’t really care about the welfare of the masses because they will never have to suffer under the stupid rules and regulations they put into play thay make criminals out of otherwise law abiding citizens, because they always will be in a political class above it all. Ain’t it peculiar how all of these stuffed shirt jerk politicians who live in guarded mansions, play golf at guarded exclusive clubs, ride to work in guarded limo’s, and work in guarded offices don’t think that the rest of us deserve the right to protect ourselves, our families, and our possessions from those who would love to do us in. This is why Ted Cruz had to explain to Nancy Pelosi — much to her chagrin — how the constitution works while attending orientation when he first became a U.S. Senator. Sorry to take you around the barn to explain, but it’s all connected.

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