Rank-and-file police officers are already rallying against President Barack Obama’s scheduled push for government purchases of smart guns.
“Police officers in general, federal officers in particular, shouldn’t be asked to be the guinea pigs in evaluating a firearm that nobody’s even seen yet,” said James Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police. “We have some very, very serious questions,” he said, according to Politico.
Obama’s push for smart guns is expected to come as soon as Friday, and it coincides with a Department of Justice National Institute of Justice announcement concerning the formulation of “test methods to provide a basis to determine whether the addition of a smart gun technology does or does not significantly reduce the reliability of the firearm system compared to existing firearms.”
Breitbart News reported that a new push for smart gun development was part of Obama’s executive gun controls in January.
A White House executive gun control fact sheet explained that Obama was directing “the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security to conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology.” The Departments were specifically directed “to review the availability of smart gun technology on a regular basis and to explore potential ways to further its use and development to more broadly improve gun safety.”
With Obama’s pending push for government smart gun purchases, Politico reports that police are now worried they will be the “guinea pigs” for smart gun technology.
From the earliest smart gun pushes during the Clinton presidency until now, biometric readers on smart guns have been problematic and do not inspire confidence when it comes to reading a blood-caked palm print or fingerprints that are smudged with mud or dirt.
So officers under duress could easily find themselves in a situation where the bad guys are firing rounds at them with proven, traditional firearms while the officer’s smart gun is inoperable.
The other common smart gun offering–a pistol linked to a bracelet or watch via a radio transmitter–casts doubt on how “smart” such guns really are to begin with. After all, a criminal assaulting an officer would only have to take the gun, then hold it close to the bracelet in order to fire at the officer.
Or he could just take the gun and the bracelet and use the gun at will, just like a traditional firearm.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.