Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed legislation Tuesday that will force every New Jersey firearm retailer to carry at least one so-called smart gun for sale in their stores.
Smart guns are a theoretical technology that began to be pushed while Bill Clinton was in office, but they have never made it mainstream because they can malfunction easily; be jammed, as one jams a cell phone; or be defeated with about $15 worth of magnets.
Smart guns typically work one of two ways: First, they are paired with a watch or bracelet, the wearer of which activates the gun by having the watch or bracelet in close proximity to the firearm. This can be problematic as a robber, mugger, or sexual assaulter needs only to take the watch or bracelet along with the gun, and he can then fire the gun as if it were his own.
The second common way for smart guns to operate is via a biometric reader. Anyone who has a smart phone with such a reader knows that the smart phone biometric reader will not work if the finger it reads is wet. (Dip your finger in a glass of tea or water and then try to use that finger to unlock your smart phone.)
Now, what happens when the gun owner is bloody from a fight and is reaching for his gun as a last ditch effort to save his life? Will a bloody finger unlock a biometric reader if one covered in water or tea cannot?
There are other problems with smart guns; the two listed above are simply among the most glaring. Yet NJ.com reports that Murphy signed legislation requiring retailers to carry at least one smart gun for sale. The text of the legislation refers to smart guns as “personalized guns,” saying, “[The bill] requires firearm retailers to have available for purchase at least one personalized handgun approved by the commission and listed on the roster as eligible for sale.”
Moreover, the new bill also creates a commission, which will create a roster stipulating which smart guns retailers can sell. California has a similar roster for traditional firearms, and it has slowly proven to be a way to deny citizens of that state access to many of the newest, and best, firearms.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.