The New Jersey Senate is preparing to take up legislation which not only requires every gun store to stock at least one smart gun but also to display said smart gun “in the dealer’s salesroom” too.
In other words, New Jersey Democrats not only want to mandate what gun stores must sell but also what products they advertise to patrons.
According to PolitickderNJ, the bill is sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37). She is the same senator who sponsored the “Childproof Handgun Law” in 2002–a law which mandated that once a viable smart gun was on the market, then only smart guns could be sold in the state of New Jersey. Weinberg has since decided that the mandate in the Childproof Handgun Law was hindering the introduction of a viable smart gun, so now she wants to change the law to simply mandate that each gun store stock and display a smart gun.
Missing in all this is the fact that smart guns are still unreliable for self-defense, and many of them are still far from childproof.
For example, one of the most popular configurations for a smart gun is to have the gun paired with a bracelet or a watch which transmits a radio signal that activates the gun when in close proximity with one another. The idea behind such a gun is that the owner wears the bracelet or watch, thus the gun will theoretically only fire in the owner’s hand. The key is the difference between theory and reality. In theory that gun sounds childproof and unusable by thieves, but in reality, that gun will fire in the hand of any child lucid enough to observe that mom or dad slips on a certain watch any time they want to shoot the gun. When the child wants to shoot, he or she will just grab the watch–or bracelet–along with the gun and shoot away.
For the thief the same is true. The thief who dares break into a house to steal guns will just make sure to steal the matching watch or bracelet too.
Besides not being childproof or inoperable for thieves, smart guns are also cost prohibitive. For example, the smart gun that had the left so excited last year was the Armatix iP1, which cost $1,800. The pistol was paired with a watch–as previously described–and was only chambered in .22 lr. Needless to say, demand for the gun was not tremendous. In fact, the company that makes the Armatix iP1 filed for “chapter 11-style restructuring” earlier this year.
Honestly, why would anyone pay $1,800 for a .22 when you can buy a brand new Glock .45 for $500, a Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm for $400, or a Kimber Micro Carry .380 for $520?
But Democrats do not live in the real world. They live in the the world they want to create. And in that world theoretical guns that cost three or four times as much as real guns seem pretty swell.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.