Is Smart Gun Technology Smart Enough?

Is Smart Gun Technology Smart Enough?

Columbus, Georgia-based Safe Gun Technologies (SGT) is pushing new smart gun technology. But the new looks a lot like the old, and the same basic problems that have haunted the idea of a smart gun for decades haunt this version as well.

Columbus’ WTVM 9 reports that SGT is “working on a finger-print ready security device to be implanted inside guns, enabling the gun owner to be the only one able to fire the weapon.” 

The SGT device reads the thumb print of the person holding the gun as he or she wraps her hand around it to pull the trigger. This is fundamental smart gun technology, in that it will only fire if the security device recognizes the finger print of the gun owner. But for every problem such a device solves, it opens the door to two or three others.

For example, SGT’s device is battery-operated–so what happens if the batteries are low on the night someone breaks into a gun owners’ home? Will low battery power render a gun owner defenseless?

Also, what happens if the registered owner is killed by home invaders and another family member picks up the gun to try to defend the home, only to find it will not fire because their finger prints do not match the device? In that situation, the second family member might as well be holding a hammer.

Another issue is cost. SGT is estimating the cost of their device will be $150. But how much will it cost to install it? Moreover, what happens when Democrats in Congress pass legislation forcing such devices to be retrofitted on all guns throughout the country? At that point, the cost of the device becomes a new fee that our government can place on the backs of every gun owner in America.

WTVM 9 asked some of the questions of SGT and also asked what happens if the actual gun owner picks up the weapon in an emergency but can’t fire it because his or her fingers are dirty or covered in blood? SGT replied: “Keep in mind that nothing is perfect. We have to start somewhere, and if we don’t put in a good effort, then how can we expect to see changes for the better?”

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins