Tuesday, May 6, 2014

NRA “You Can’t Have That Gun”

Armatix iP1
As a teenager, Omer Kiyani was shot in the face with an unsecured firearm. He still struggles with the trauma. But the Detroit engineer now believes he has created a device that would have saved him and may save thousands of others.

He calls it "Identilock," and while it still needs final adjustments to the prototype and further investment, Kiyani expects to launch his smart gun technology in U.S. stores within a year, retailing for around $300. 

The device attaches to the trigger of a handgun, which can then only be unlocked by biometric authentication, preventing any unauthorized user from firing the weapon. Drawing on breakthroughs in mobile technology, the trigger is released by similar fingerprint sensors to those used in Apple's iPhone 5S. Those sensors are approved by the FBI, and widely found in security scanners.

"The key is reliability," says Kiyani. "The sensor has proved itself in different sectors over the past few years and the market is aware of its capability."

The gun is enabled in under a second from first contact, and engineers are chipping away to further reduce the time. Eventually, it is hoped the lock will be integrated and the release will be instant.

Even if all goes to plan, Kiyani's will not be the first smart gun system to hit the U.S. market. In February, German firm Armatix launched its iP1 pistol that uses a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip activated by the owner's watch, and the competition is growing.

Directives from the White House to promote development of safety technology in the wake of school shootings have led to a surge of innovation. There is now an increased appetite and funding for a field that had stalled since the earlier designs in the 1970s. The boldest statement is an open challenge from The Smart Tech Foundation. It was created by Silicon Valley angel investor Ron Conway and serial entrepreneur Jim Pitkow in response to the Sandy Hook shootings and is making $1 million in prizes available for development of the best ideas.

Many gun rights advocates are hostile to the concept, arguing it is a ploy for gun control and is against the Second Amendment. Some gun advocates also argue that the electronics could be hacked by criminals. Opposition to Armatix's launch has reportedly been strong enough that it forced the vendor to withdraw its products. The California store which announced it would be selling Armatix products swiftly distanced itself from them following a severe backlash from gun rights activists.

The major gun manufacturers have also been wary. Sebastian works with major gun manufacturers and believes their reluctance stems partly from fears that once the first smart guns are established, the technology will become mandatory. He sympathizes: "It would be better if the transformation came through market demand rather than regulatory pressure."

Such fears may be justified. In 2002, New Jersey became the first U.S. state to legislate that new guns must be personalized within three years of the technology becoming available. The idea is also gaining currency across Europe.

Should such mandates be enacted, or if the new designs find a strong market, the drip-drip of smart gun innovation may well become a flood.

Recently MSNBC’s Chris Hayes did a series of segments on these issues. They should be must-viewing for anyone concerned with what is destined to become a new battleground over firearm safety.

(Material excerpted from reports by CNN)


  1. Good technology. Now, as for the five council candidates--the worst field of candidates ever?

  2. None of the aboveMay 6, 2014 at 11:49 PM

    bad technology - one cooking burn or finger cut away from not being able to arm this gun.
    bad field of candidates - we need a none of the above option.

    1. I've used that kind of tech on my computer in place of typing passwords for almost three years with no problem.
      Whatever your opinion, though, why shouldn't people be allowed access to this option?

    2. None of the aboveMay 7, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      A legislated market is never a good market. If police or military truly wanted these they would be able to get them. They have equipment that is not allowed to be sold to the public. If they aren't beating down the doors to get them then I guess that would answer your question why no one else should want them.

    3. The police and the military are among those who want them. The only legislated market is New Jersey and they have expressed a willingness to repeal that law. It is those who oppose the technology who are effectively restricting the market through intimidation. So much for any commitment to freedom.

  3. None of the aboveMay 7, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    No police and military is who the manufacture is trying to sell them to.
    See Forbes article on why this isn't a good idea.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/josephsteinberg/2014/05/04/smartguns/- see 10 reasons why you should be concerned about new ‘smart guns’ .
    re police: this reason is listed as #9 as to why the police wouldn't want them and neither should you.
    Sometimes firearms need to be used by others. It is problematic, for example, for a policeman not to be able to fire his partner’s weapon if necessary. This means that the process of configuring smart guns in a law enforcement or military environment may not be simple – with the need for frequent updates to individual weapons creating possibilities of dangerous, if not deadly, errors. Enterprises use robust device management systems for a reason – and they do so even for objects far less dangerous than guns.

    1. I read the Forbes article before I posted this. Virtually all of the "shortcomings" are speculative, a list of "what might go wrong". Clearly the police or military are not going to adopt new or unproven technologies. But why prohibit it from the consumer market where demands are far less stringent or critical? Why prevent the occasional gun user from having a weapon with improved safety features that will foster further technological progress? The effort here is to stymie development of the technology before it can be refined or tested. Was his done with improvements in automotive safety? Who do you think Forbes is a mouthpiece for?

    2. None of the aboveMay 7, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      I have never known a proper reason for Self Defense to be less stringent or critical.

    3. The bottom line is that you are trying to restrict people's freedom to choose in the open capitalistic marketplace.You and the rest of the NRA hard core are fighting the very same freedom you constantly proclaim that you are defending. If the technology is as flawed as you claim, let the manufacturer's go bust.

      Your hypocrisy is staggering.

    4. None of the aboveMay 8, 2014 at 12:53 AM

      Restrict people's freedom to chose - please point out what words I used that made you leap to that inaccurate conclusion. I have only said repeatedly that this isn't a smart technology option worth pursuing for anyone. A counter argument to your pro technology one. We don't have to agree on this but don't put words in my mouth and that I didn't say and then call it staggering hypocrisy.

    5. Perhaps it was these:
      “we need a none of the above option”; and
      “If police or military truly wanted these they would be able to get them. They have equipment that is not allowed to be sold to the public.”

    6. None of the aboveMay 8, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      stretching is good for you reaching can be dangerous.
      the military and police do research before making purchasing decisions. Currently they have not purchased these smart guns because of the knowledge learned about them. The military has tried to replace the M9 several times but 20 years later nothing tested on the market has been found to be as reliable.
      Thank you for providing this forum to educate others on why these smart guns are really dumb. Also to highlight should one ever be sold that the NJ law would restrict people's freedom to choose in the open capitalistic marketplace. That sir hypocrisy!

    7. In case you missed it, the sponsor of the NJ law has said she would sponsor its repeal if the intimidation of those who want to sell the gun would stop. It's in the above videos. And I would support that repeal. I, unlike you, have not contradicted myself, And I, unlike you, am therefore not a hypocrite.

    8. None of the aboveMay 8, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      Verbal is nice written is legal - until this bold sponsor follows through with her repeal the peoples freedom to choose in an open capitalistic marketplace is restricted.
      Whats in play right now is currently the infamous phrase - " Just Words" willingness disguised as cover for hypocrisy.for those who believe her.

    9. I'll take her word before I trust in people who intimidate those who plan to carry this weapon in their stores to the point of making death threats. Your effort at moral equivalency is as faulty as the consistency of your reasoning.

    10. None of the aboveMay 8, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      Neither the Forbes article I mentioned or anything I wrote was intimidating. However, The NJ law is intimidating as is speaking out here on our blog with a blog master who makes circle arguments and then only insults those that offer a differing opinion rather than presenting opposing facts to this crappy technology. Stay classy Ozone.

    11. Now you're just wasting my time. If you don't know what intimidation I'm referring to you clearly didn't watch the above videos.
      There's no point in my even attempting to carry on a discussion with someone who hasn't reviewed the material being discussed.

  4. spotted a common aquatic birdMay 9, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Oh my the defender of smart guns technology is a bit testy. Perhaps he needs to attend to his smart diaper?
    Like smart guns , smart diaper technology is sure to have a lot of crappy days ahead, The device is expected to come to market as soon as its power efficiency has been improved and we bet it can't wait either. What would we ever do without technology like this? (sarcasm)

  5. Clever. I bet you have a good hearty chuckle every time a youngster shoots themselves or a sibling or a playmate, all of which this technology would prevent.

  6. In 2010 there were only 230 justifiable homicides involving a private citizen using a firearm reported to the F.B.I.’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

    2,694 children and teens died from guns in the United States in 2010.

    Injuries from firearms send an estimated 7,000 kids to the ER every year, and an additional 3,000 children die from gunshot wounds before they can get to a hospital, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.

  7. The National Rifle Association's Campaign To Stop Smart Guns



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