In a letter dated October 23, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) asked Secretary of the Army John McHugh to refuse to purchase firearms for soldiers from gun manufacturers who are not actively working on “smart guns” or complying with gun controls that Congress hasn’t even passed.
To understand the gravity of what Schumer is doing it must be noted that the Army, at this moment, is seeking a gun company to supply nearly $600 million worth of handguns for soldiers. This is a large procurement–with a large paycheck–which Schumer wants McHugh to dangle in front of gun manufacturers but refuse to award to any save those that comply with Schumer’s gun control agenda.
In explaining the letter, Schumer sets forth a number of things he wants McHugh to require before buying guns for soldiers, including:
1) Require bidders on federal gun contracts to provide substantive answers to government queries about their distribution practices and safety technologies, and begin measuring their performance in these areas. 2) Expand research and development on “smart guns” and other safety technologies and explore the law enforcement and military applications of these technologies.
The focus on “distribution practices” goes back to the Democrats’ “Good Neighbor Gun Dealer Act,” which Breitbart News previously reported was introduced to force gun stores to comply with gun controls Congress has not even passed. The Good Neighbor Gun Dealer Act proposed to hold gun stores accountable for selling firearms to myriad categories of people–some of whom are already prevented by law from buying guns and others of whom are undetectable until they carry out a criminal act. But the chief thrust of the bill was to make Federal Firearm License (FFL) holders more and more accountable for what is less and less under their control; to somehow require FFLs to learn new categories of persons to refuse guns to even though those persons passed a background check.
Now Schumer is attempting to use the Army to reach back to gun manufacturers and refuse to purchase from them if they distribute guns to FFLs who refused to comply with the gun controls that Congress didn’t pass. And Schumer’s focus on “research and development” means he wants the Army to reject gun manufacturers which are not working to make “smart guns” and related technology.
Smart guns have been a staple of the gun control movement since Bill Clinton was president. They are theoretical guns, by which I mean they work on paper but have yet to be demonstrated trustworthy in the real world. They are often guns with biometric readers built into the grips that only allow the gun to be fired by the person who owns it. Others will not work unless activated by being in close proximity with a watch or bracelet that is paired with the gun the way a smart phone can be paired with a wireless speaker. The problem with either of these platforms is that they are unproven in the real world.
There are tremendous fears that a biometric reader will fail if the gun owner’s hands are caked with blood during a struggle for his very life. And there is also the concern that if, in a worst case scenario, the gun owner is killed, his wife, son, or daughter will not be able to use the gun defend her own life because none of them have the palm prints of the gun’s owner.
Regarding “smart guns” that are paired with a watch or bracelet, there is an even greater fear that guns rendered operable via a radio signal can just as easily be rendered inoperable by jamming that signal. Or, in a likely scenario, the thief who steals the gun just steals the bracelet or watch as well.
Nevertheless, Schumer wants the Army to take the nearly $600 million worth of guns our soldiers need and use them as a bargaining chip to force gun makers to adhere to gun controls Congress has bot even passed.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.