By: Daniel Jennings
A new technology that could allow authorities and others to literally “turn off” guns by remote control has been patented.
German arms maker Armatix GmbH has filed a patent for an improved smart pistol that can be shut down by a wireless signal.
“Preferably, the apparatus of the invention can be controlled remotely, for example via satellite and can send information to a satellite,” the European patent application for the gun says.
Armatix already makes one smart gun, the iP1 Personalized Pistol, that can only be fired by a person wearing an “Intelligent Watch.” The watch sends out a wireless identification signal that activates a chip in the gun. The new pistol would have that feature and the remote control capacity.
iP1 Could Trigger Smart Gun Law in New Jersey
Here’s how the iP1’s designer, Ernst Mauch, described the weapon in a Washington Post op-ed piece: “The iP1 Personalized can be synced with our Intelligent Watch, which is worn on the wrist. The authorized user inputs a five-digit personal code into the watch that activates the firearm. Without that code, the gun cannot be fired.”
Mauch believes the iP1 provides an additional level of protection because it cannot be fired without the code if it falls into the hands of the bad guys. If it works as advertised, only the weapon’s owner would be able to fire it. Some gun owners have expressed concern that in a dire situation – say, if someone breaks in your home – it would take far too long to “turn on” the gun.
“In short, the gun is yours alone,” Mauch wrote. “It is personalized.”
Others say the fact that a gun potentially can be disabled by someone else, thousands of miles away, is frightening and even eerie.
Law Would Require Smart Guns
The Washington Post is now demanding that New Jersey start enforcing the law mandating the sale of smart handguns. The Garden State’s smart hand gun law has been on the books since 2002 but it has never been enforced because no smart weapons actually existed.
“If the law (takes effect), you’ll see every model with these features,” Bryan Miller, a gun control advocate who helped get the law passed, told The South Jersey Times.
Gun owners say it should be overturned.
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“It’s a very stupid law that was passed in haste by legislators who didn’t know what they were talking about when they passed it,” gun store owner Bob Viden Sr. said. Viden noted that the legislation has no provision for target practice and weapons that are not used for self-defense.
State Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen County) told MSNBC that she will introduce legislation designed to overturn the smart gun rule. Weinberg is the majority leader in New Jersey’s state senate.
Gun Sales Lead to Death Threats
The iP1 Personalized has produced some unusual behavior from individuals claiming to be gun rights activists. Gun store owners who announced plans to sell the weapon received death threats from individuals claiming to be gun rights activists The Washington Post reported.
“I thought what I was doing was right,” Maryland gun store owner Andy Raymond said. “I didn’t want my shop burned down.”
Raymond claimed that unidentified individuals threatened to burn down his store and kill his dog after blogs reported he was selling the iP1 Personalized. Raymond said he stayed up all night with a gun to protect his business.
The owner of Edge Armament, Raymond has since decided not to sell the iP1 Personalized, The Postreported. At least one other store, the Oak Tree Gun Club, in Southern California has made a similar decision.
Weinberg sited the threats against the gun store owners as the reason why she wants to get rid of New Jersey’s smart gun law. She hopes her legislation will end the opposition to smart guns.
“I’m willing to do this because eventually these are the kinds of guns people will want to buy,” Weinberg said.
The iP1’s designer claims he supports the Second Amendment and the right to possess weapons for personal defense.
“Respect for this freedom to protect your family as you see fit is a major reason I believe that gun owners in the United States should have the right to purchase personalized firearms using high-tech safety features,” Mauch wrote in The Washington Post.
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