By: Peter J. Lamont, Esq.
New Jersey Business and Personal Law Attorney
Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont
With "smart guns" on the verge of becoming reality, the question is begged - how much safety is inherent in this cutting edge technology?
The guns will soon be on the market courtesy of German company, Armatix, and provides that a gun cannot be fired unless in proximity to a signal emitting wrist worn device, similar to a watch.
The apparent intent of the technology is to ensure the weapon is only fired by a person wearing the device, presumably the registered owner or someone the owner has permitted access to the gun.
A visionary New Jersey law adopted by the state legislature a little over a decade ago in 2002, requires that once the technology is generally available, all guns sold be fitted with the device. Three years after ready availability of the device, the law will come into full force.
While this vanguard technology does afford a degree of safety, it does not address the simple fact that if one has the wrist device, the gun can be fired at will; simply put - the majority of firearm issues that are in existence today will remain. Gun advocates have also argued that "more technology just means more to go wrong".
This technology does speak to the control aspect of firearm safety and may be seen by some to be a step in the right direction; but it should not be regarded as a panacea intended to placate the gun control lobby or make the general population breathe easier due to its mere existence.
All the intrinsic dangers of firearms do remain and indeed there may be an introduction of a few more; for example - "buggy" software, causing potentially life and health threatening situations; the genesis of a smart gun hacking industry and all that entails; enticement to our youth to "play" with the software, as they are prone to do with any new technology; and has been stated, the reality that more complexity often leads to more complex problems.
Armatix has said they will introduce the first gun fitted with the user recognition system within the next two months.
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