On January 28, the Washington Technology Industry Association held a “smart gun” symposium attended by a pro-gun control state senator from New Jersey and various smart gun makers, only to have the show stolen by King County Sheriff John Urquhart, who told everyone in attendance that smart guns are not smart enough to be trusted.
According to the Homeland Security News Wire, New Jersey state senate majority leader Loretta Weinberg (D) told symposium attendees about “the benefits of a smart handgun.” She then asked, “What gun owner wouldn’t want a gun that, if it got into [the] hands of child, would be rendered inoperable?”
Breitbart News previously reported that the problem with this kind of thinking is that it is theoretical rather than practical. In the real world, a gun that will not fire unless it is within close proximity to a watch or a bracelet ceases to be smart when a child–or a thief–takes the watch or bracelet along with the gun. At that point, anyone can fire the gun just as anyone can fire a traditional revolver or semi-automatic.
And there are other problems. Smart guns that read fingerprints via biometric readers and will only fire when held in the hand of the person who owns them are of little use for self-defense to others once the person that owns them is deceased or otherwise incapacitated. For example, if home invaders made it into the bedroom of a home and killed the father, the mother might retrieve her deceased husband’s gun and pull the trigger in self-defense only to be greeted by the eerie silence of a weapon rendered inoperable by smart gun technology.
For these kinds of reasons King County Sheriff Urquhart told symposium attendees that while he is all for reducing teen suicide and other such tragedies, smart gun technology is not dependable enough to be the solution.
The Homeland Security News Wire quoted Urquhart as saying: “[Smart gun technology] is not ready for my officers yet. If it worked 110 percent of the time, I’d be interested.” But as it stands right now, he is not.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins or reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.