Guns in New Jersey might soon become a lot more unreliable and costs might soar
The guns could be used only by their owner, who in some cases would have to wear a special watch or ring to be able to fire the weapon. The firearms could be configured to allow for multiple users, such as family members.
Skeptics of the technology point out that, despite years of research and high hopes, such guns are still not available in the United States. But that may be changing.
Belinda Padilla, the head of U.S. sales for a German company called Armatix, said the firm plans to sell a .22-caliber pistol in the United States by this summer that works only after its user activates it by entering a five-digit code into a wristwatch. The watch uses radio waves to communicate with the gun. . . .
The concerns are summarized here:
The NRA did not respond to requests for comment, but Scott L. Bach, the executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, said the technology is flawed, and could put gun owners in danger when it fails. He also questioned why law enforcement officers are exempt.
“New Jersey’s smart-gun law is as dumb as it gets,” Bach, of West Milford, said in a statement. “It forces you to use an unproven technology to defend your life, and then exempts the state from liability when the gun goes ‘click’ instead of ‘bang.’ If it’s such a great idea, then law enforcement shouldn’t be exempt, and the free market should be allowed to determine its viability.” . . .Can't find your watch quickly? There are other problems that are relevant for guns that aren't relevant for computers. In particular, the shock from a gun plays havoc with electronics.
And yet these so-called smart guns soon could be the only kind sold legally in New Jersey under a state law that has languished on the books for a decade. . . .
It is unclear whether that model, which will fire only within range of a sensor embedded in a wristwatch, will trigger the New Jersey regulations. But advocates predict that the first sale is likely to create a domino effect as other companies and publicly funded groups — including one at the New Jersey Institute of Technology — are spurred to bring their own prototypes to the market. . . .So what about a finger print reading gun that seems to be the Holy Grail. As Walt Mossberg notes, there are fingerprint readers and fingerprint readers.
The 5S is the first digital device I've seen with a simple, reliable fingerprint reader—one you can confidently use, without a thought, to unlock the device instead of typing in a passcode. . . .
There have been laptops and at least one other phone with fingerprint sensors, but they have generally been unreliable and people tended to stop using them. Apple is using a different technology that turns the Home button (which still performs its usual functions) into a rapid, accurate finger scanner. . . . .This is pretty neat, but even Apple might have its problems. Anthony Kosner at Forbes claims that the scanner has a 20% fail rate. Suppose that they get the failure rate down to 5 percent, would you be willing to play Russian roulette with whether the gun works?