The President’s Renewed Push for ‘Smart Gun’ Initiative

president obama smart gun initiative

The President has announced a 3-step plan to implement so-called “smart gun” technology, electronic lock-out systems that prevent unauthorized users from operating smart guns. The administration has been investigating implementing smart gun tech in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting as part of their larger goal of implementing new types of gun control.

Smart gun technology has been in and out of development for years. Many gun control advocates argue that it would reduce the number of accidental or negligent discharges and make guns harder to steal and misuse. However, many gun rights supporters see this as a way to increase the cost of gun ownership and restrict gun ownership in general.

“Today, many gun injuries and deaths are the result of legal guns that were stolen, misused, or discharged accidentally,” said the President in a statement posted to Facebook. “As long as we’ve got the technology to prevent a criminal from stealing and using your smartphone, then we should be able to prevent the wrong person from pulling a trigger on a gun.”

The President indicated that he would continue to pursue increased gun control through executive orders in addition to legislative action. “We’re announcing a rule to ensure that federal mental health records about individuals prohibited from buying a gun are reported to the background check system,” added the President.

One part of the plan includes developing a series of smart gun requirements for law enforcement use. This is an unprecedented move–and particularly unusual in that many law enforcement agencies are against the adoption of yet-unproven smart gun technology.

See Also: Vice President Joe Biden Gives ‘Smart Gun’ Talk

Although the details of the requirements have not been publicly outlined or finalized, it is likely that, for now anyway, they seem to be performance requirements for smart guns, not a mandate for law enforcement to adopt the technology.

“[The] DOJ (Department of Justice) and DHS (Department of Homeland Security) will work on a set of ‘requirements that manufacturers would need to meet for federal, state, and municipal law enforcement agencies to consider purchasing firearms with enhanced safety technology’ to be completed in October, explains Politico. “That effort will also identify agencies that would be willing to participate in a pilot program.”

“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, in an earlier interview. “We have some very, very serious questions.”

No gun equipped with smart gun technology has proven to be as robust and reliable as their standard, non-smart equivalent. All the proposed systems have shortcomings.

Some smart gun systems use biometric scanners like fingerprint readers. These are expensive, not 100 percent accurate and do not worth with gloves and other protective clothing. Others use radio scanning systems combined with rings, bracelets, and other proximity devices. These have range requirements and can be spoofed or jammed.

In a life-or-death situation, guns have to work correctly every time. Concerns over the reliability of smart gun technology isn’t limited to just those in law enforcement. Because of this, there is little interest or money developing smart gun tech on the open market.

“Law enforcement officials in the U.S. have dangerous jobs and put their life on the line every day to keep us safe,” said the National Shooting Sports Foundation, or NSSF, in a statement. “The announcement by the White House is driven by the agenda of anti-gun interest groups, not by the demands of the officers whose lives depend on reliable firearms to do their jobs.

“Any step toward mandating that highly-trained federal law enforcement personnel carry firearms limited by the whim of unproven, unreliable technology makes their jobs more dangerous, and puts their lives and public safety at risk,” said the NSSF.

About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

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  • jonahex May 20, 2016, 5:45 am


  • Justin May 9, 2016, 9:55 pm

    Isn’t there an ATF block on electronic controlled triggers?

  • JoihnMacDonald May 9, 2016, 3:12 pm


  • JoihnMacDonald May 9, 2016, 3:09 pm

    Well I guess Zan is an Obummer Demo rat

  • Ned Harrison May 7, 2016, 9:01 pm

    I note with more than a little humor that the F.O.P. is aghast at the idea of being “guinea pigs”. But that’s EXACTLY the right standard to judge by. When it’s reliable enough for daily carry by cops, THEN I’ll consider it for my own carry piece. But until then, why should I have to face a risk they’re unwilling to?

  • Gary MacNeill May 7, 2016, 12:14 pm

    Interesting so according to The President it’s criminals who steal and misuse guns. Maybe instead of making more laws to tell private companies what products to make and sell the government should concentrate on enforcing the existing laws concerning theft, burglary, etc…?

  • BUURGA May 6, 2016, 12:59 pm

    The President should concentrate his energies on a smart administration program.

  • M. E. May 6, 2016, 11:17 am

    Every week Obama helps decide which good patriots in countries around the world will die from a drone attack. And he also bears responsibility for creating and supporting ISIS and all the horrors they perpetrate. What we need is a 3-part plan to keep Obama and his fellow psychopaths from murdering the good people of the world.

    • Zan May 6, 2016, 3:50 pm

      Responsibility for creating ISIS? Are you willfully ignorant? Do you simply refuse to read the history of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Have you any comprehension of politics in the Middle East and when the foundation for ISIL/ISIS was laid? Let me answer that for you, no.

      • Jeremiah May 7, 2016, 3:04 pm

        Unfortunately, Zan, Gary McNeil is right on target.

        Obama tried to honor a campaign promise made in ignorance – pulling troops out of Iraq – and he did this before it was time to leave Iraq on it’s own. He was advised by 100s of military geniuses not to do this.

        ISIS took advantage of the vacuum left by our untimely troop departures, and filled the void left due to Obama’s lack of military understanding.

        Then Obama further exacerbated the situation with his actions in Libya, and lack of actions in Syria. All done by Obama with an incredulous lack of knowledge of “After-Warfare” and just plain ignorance. By the way, Obama also fired over fifty of the best General Officers who disagreed 100% with him and who would have prevented ISIS from getting even the tiniest toehold in any country in the Middle-East.

        So, YES! Obama is totally to blame for ISIS!

  • Roy P. May 6, 2016, 10:22 am

    I have a better idea. What we REALLY need is a law requiring all presidents to be SMART presidents.We haven’t had one for seven and a half years.

    • M. E. May 6, 2016, 11:24 am

      So President Bush, an alcoholic and coke addict who couldn’t read a children’s book is your idea of a SMART president? What worries me about an apocalypse in America is all the confused and armed people who haven’t got a clue.
      Democrats and Republicans are all sycophantic psychopathic mercenaries who work for criminals. They’re all criminal. And they’re putting on a show for people who haven’t caught on yet.

  • Jay May 6, 2016, 9:08 am

    Gotta love the liberals terminology, “smart gun” I guess that would fit if a gun could think, but like its anti-gun counterparts it cannot!

  • Ken May 6, 2016, 8:12 am

    Perhaps if “smart gun technology” is ready for “prime time” the Secret Service bodyguards for Obama and Biden should be the first ones to demo the system?

    • Paul May 6, 2016, 12:27 pm

      The people that should “test” this technology should be more than just the secret service. They should be all of the body guards used by the executive, legislative and judicial branch of our government. Once they “prove” the technology, then they can start looking to expand it. I think it will not happen any time soon if we (no pun intended) stick to our guns.

  • Bill B May 6, 2016, 7:05 am

    All I have to say about smart guns is, if the market really wants it, guess what the manufacturers will make it. Don’t force it upon us but if we as gun owners really want it and cause a demand for it, then people will make and sell them. Let the market decide which direction we go on this.

  • Roger Mitchell May 1, 2016, 6:25 pm

    when all these liberal politicians give up all their armed body guards and walk around like the rest of for rest of their lives like we do. I’ll consider it. One way to cut down on crime is to put the law breakers in prison instead of slapping on the wrist and letting them walk.In Waterbury Ct last month 2 cases (1) drug dealer caught for 4th time with drugs and gun in car $12000 confiscated plus pays $15000 fine and walks away.(2)punk with a restraining order breaks into his girl friends house tasers(her taser) her beats her up go to court same judge that issued restraining order fines him $1200 and lets him walk out.But if any permit holder in Ct gets caught with more then 10 rounds he’s getting fined 5000 and put in jail.GREAT SYSTEM WE HAVE.

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