When I was in the Navy I had a shipmate whose last name was “Lovely”. His nickname was “Notso”.
At any rate, USA Today reports that smart guns are “finally” coming to the US.
Personalized smart guns, which can be fired only by verified users, may finally become available to U.S. consumers after two decades of questions about reliability and concerns they will usher in a new wave of government regulation.
I think the most weighty word in that entire sentence is “may”.
Basically, I’ll believe it when I see them on the shelves at my local gun store.
I’m also very skeptical that any law enforcement agency will use this technology willingly. I can see some in the more gun-unfriendly regions being forced to use them by edict, but I can’t imagine front line cops jumping for joy at the prospect of a gun with even more complicating features that may lead to failure in a life or death situation.
Which is the reason I’ll never buy one. Semi-autos are complex enough with enough failure points as it is…why add to that voluntarily? Maybe if I had young kids at home I’d be more interested, but I don’t. I want to be able to pick up my gun, point it at the bad guy, pull the trigger and count on it going “bang” regardless of whether I have my finger in exactly the right position or am wearing the magic ring at the time, or take the time to enter a PIN into my (notso)smartphone.
As far as the fingerprint thing…I use fingerprint recognition to log into my phone. I recently remodeled a bathroom which, during the “drywall installation” phase, required extensive use of sandpaper. During that evolution and for about two or three weeks after, my fingerprints would not unlock my phone. I had to use a manual PIN entry because the sandpaper altered my fingerprints to the point that they were not recognized by my phone.
The same thing happens if my hands are wet, or too dirty, or I’ve gotten a scratch or cut on my fingertip.
Hmm. I can’t possibly imagine a situation where I might need to access my defensive firearm quickly while my hands might be wet, or dirty, or bloody, or injured – can you?
Oh…I’m left handed. Is the fingerprint sensor going to be ambidextrous? How does that work? Two sensors, one on either side of the grip? Or will they put the sensor in a location that you have to activate the gun first before attaining a proper firing grip? Because that wouldn’t slow things down at all now would it?
And as an added bonus, we get to pay somewhere between two and five times more for the privilege of owning a gun that may or may not actually work when we most need it. What a bargain.
To be clear, I’m not opposed to this technology. Some people might see it as a great safety measure…especially, as I said, people with children at home. I’m no more opposed to someone owning a (notso)smart gun than I am opposed to someone owning, say, a Jennings .22 lrLong Rifle - One of several categories o... More or .25 ACPAutomatic Colt Pistol - Denotes one of s... More pistol (double whammy of a mouse gun cartridge in an unreliable pistol). I’d never own one (not even if someone gave it to me), but who am I to say you shouldn’t own one?
My only concern is that the push to make them mandatory will begin in earnest as soon as the first model becomes available. We’ll need to keep an eye on this.