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back to article James Bond inspires US bill to require smart guns for all

American gun manufacturers will have to fit smart technology to their products if a new bill from US Representative John Tierney (D-MA) comes into force. The Personalized Handgun Safety Act of 2013 would give gun manufacturers two years to fit all guns with technology that would allow only the owner (or an authorized user) to …

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Coat

I see it coming

The iGun's on the way!

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Re: I see it coming

I wonder if it will have the 'Find My iGun' app pre installed? Maybe it'll even fire a round and let you know where it's at.

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Re: I see it coming

Shotgun manufacturer Mossberg has had such a system via an RFID ring, dubbed iGun, for over a decade, and Colt tried a similar system using a bracelet before abandoning it.

Already exists

but hey that never stopped a certain manufacturer of expensive iCrap form patenting something, and infringing on a trademark owned by another company

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All this is is the "guns for rich people only" law. this will never pass, and it shouldn't.

Bad tech and worse legislation. Seriously, I'm supposed to hang that mess on my target pistol?

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And background checks? I had to go through two of them. State and FBI. There are PLENTY of background checks.

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Really?

There are no background checks if you buy from a gun show. There are places where background checks are weak. Don't take your personal experience to be gospel as to how it is done country-wide.

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Re: There are no background checks if you buy from a gun show.

That's a flat out lie from people who want to confiscate guns. If you deal in guns and are required to do a background check as a normal part of your business, you HAVE to perform them at gun shows too. It's part of your FFLC and there is no 'gun show exception.'

The people who aren't required to run background checks at gun shows are the average Joe who carries a couple or one gun to the show that he wants to sell so he can get a different model. And guess what? He wouldn't have to run a background check if you did it at his house either.

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Re: Really?

"There are no background checks if you buy from a gun show. There are places where background checks are weak"

Two problems here:

First, your statement displays ignorance of the facts. Most vendors at gun shows these days hold FFLs (Federal Firearms Licenses) and are required to conduct NICS checks on buyers, even at gun shows. The only transactions in which background checks are not carried out are private sales between individuals, where state law permits such. In those cases it is the nature of the transaction that eliminates the NICS check, not the venue.

Second, your implication that universal background checks, even for private party transactions, would be desirable displays ignorance of economics. Given that there is no practicable mechanism for an individual to obtain a NICS check on another individual (and, given privacy concerns, nor should there be) the imposition of such a rule would leverage existing gun dealers into the position of gatekeepers over all transactions. This would inevitably lead to rent seeking, with "transfer fees" increasing dramatically as happens whenever government grants one group a monopoly. This effective increase in the price of all used guns would, in turn, drive up the price of new guns, creating a spiral which would inevitably lead to the situation in which only the rich could afford guns, as mentioned above.

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Re: Really?

>>"This would inevitably lead to rent seeking, with "transfer fees" increasing dramatically as happens whenever government grants one group a monopoly. This effective increase in the price of all used guns would, in turn, drive up the price of new guns, creating a spiral which would inevitably lead to the situation in which only the rich could afford guns, as mentioned above."

While I don't doubt that some element of that could happen, and I guess it might depend on exactly what you call 'the rich', surely there aren't that many artificial monopolies which result in *most* of the potential customers being priced out of the market?

Since the existing NICS checks (which appear to cover most commercial sales) don't appear to be onerously expensive, it would seem unlikely that the public would acquiesce for long with a system where the charges for selling firearms became clearly excessive, with people making lots of money for little work.

Also, unless there was some strictly enforced cartel, in the situation you present as an *inevitable* consequence with huge dealer charges on sales but few sales happening, there would seem to be a fairly obvious market for an existing or new dealer to start imposing lower charges, gaining lots of business in the process.

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That's why I like what we have in New Zealand

Here in NZ a firearms license is basically a safety course and a formalised background check.Criminal: fail. Drink/drug problem: fail. Don't have adequate security (safe etc): fail. etc etc. Once you have that, you can buy guns and ammo.

It is illegal for anyone (including private individuals) to sell buy to someone without a firearms license.

There is no ongoing cost (NICS) or delays when purchasing. Like that rifle over there? Show your card and buy it. Feel like owning some .50 BMG ammo? Same.

Sure there will be a black market where crims can trade stolen/illegal weapons but at least the supply is limited without having to significantly impact on law abiding citizens.

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Re: there will be a black market where crims can trade stolen/illegal weapons

Why black market the weapons when it is probably easier and safer to black market in ID cards?

Except of course for the weapons you couldn't buy with an ID card.

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Re: there will be a black market where crims can trade stolen/illegal weapons

Why black market the weapons when it is probably easier and safer to black market in ID cards?

I'd think there would be room for both markets. They have different security trade-offs.

A black market in forged / stolen ID cards, as you suggest, is likely easier and safer. Cards are smaller and lighter, for example.

On the other hand, if a record of the card is taken for (some or all) weapons sales, then even with a forged/stolen card the user is leaving a trail with correlations that might be useful to law enforcement. It's potentially more difficult for a buyer to "test" a card before purchasing it (for example, to verify that a stolen card hasn't already been flagged as such). And there's the extra step of purchasing the black-market card before purchasing the weapon on the legal market.

So there are likely situations that make either approach optimal over the other.

That said, this is certainly not my area of expertise, so I have no idea how the NZ card scheme performs relative to the US NICS background-check scheme, vis-a-vis either their explicit goal of restricting purchases to approved users, or undesirable side effects.

(I've never purchased a gun myself, but I may do so in the future, since the wife is considering retiring to a remote area where we may occasionally need to deal with ornery wildlife. As far as I'm concerned, guns are tools; I haven't needed to perform the jobs they're good for yet, but I'm not ruling the possibility out. And I too would be very leery of electronic controls on firearms.)

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One option was suggested...

Make this law - but only after the police have successfully used it on 100% of their weapons for at least five years.

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Devil

Re: One option was suggested...

Not just police and army too.

After that we shall all applaud Lucifer delivering the signed bill on a snowplough for execution.

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Oh S*&t!

I think I'm in danger of agreeing with something the NRA say!

This is another case of politicians failing to understand anything at all to do with technology. Its like the UK lot wanting the magic fairies to filter out all the porn off the Interweb. Look everyone, we're politicians we cab write laws about anything, surely if we can write a law you can do the easy bit and invent the technology to make it work.

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Re: Oh S*&t!

We need a bigger budget for the magic fairy development project. It's obvious.

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wim

facial recognition

Here is how to make sure it passes.

require a facial recognition of the target and make sure if the target is a politician the gun will not fire.

All politicians will vote for this.

And then see how long it takes to hack it.

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Back to the Drawing Board

The six year old was the intended operator of the gun in question, so putting a chip in it so that only he could fire it would not have saved his four year old sister.

However, keeping guns out of the hands of poor people, or people who have no officially declared taxable income (so if they're not poor, they must be dealing drugs or something) would indeed significantly reduce crime. So this isn't as utterly loony an idea as it may seem to some, even if it has potential problems - such as it not being impossible to remove the technology from stolen guns to let them fire again.

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Re: Back to the Drawing Board

However, keeping guns out of the hands of poor people, or people who have no officially declared taxable income (so if they're not poor, they must be dealing drugs or something) would indeed significantly reduce crime.

yes because all poor people use legally obtained, and traceable weapons to commit crimes...

This stupid law still won't address 99.5% of gun crime(as reported by the FBI) as those are done with illegally obtained firearms.

I'm curious if that .5% that is done with legally obtained guns is by poor people even I'm guessing its done by well off people in the heat of the moment

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WTF?

Re: Back to the Drawing Board

John Savard: "However, keeping guns out of the hands of poor people, or people who have no officially declared taxable income (so if they're not poor, they must be dealing drugs or something) would indeed significantly reduce crime" <---- What....The....Fuck?

You're utterly clueless how crime works, and you also sit yourself too high. I can't tell you how much of an ass you are, but apparently you have forgotten how the U.S.A. was won from England, which was very much poor people with guns. BTW, since you have clearly never owned a weapon or have been poor, I have to believe that your particular point of view has been seeded in your mind. Do the yourself and the world a favor, start thinking on your own, learn some history, and have some sense of dignity. And for the love of something, don't be a tool which is bought and sold, it just makes you look stupid.

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Re: Back to the Drawing Board

can't find the 6 year old shooting a 4 year old in google.

Can find cases of a 5-year-old shooting a 2-year-old (sister) and a 4-year-old shooting a 6-year old neighbour. Both weapons were .22 rifles.

In the first instance it was his "birthday present" (though apparently it had a child lock but was left loaded in a safe place)

In the latter the father left the gun out and about, and has since been arrested and charged for that.

I think any comments by me on the subject are superfluous to just stating the reports.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Back to the Drawing Board

Dear My back door.

Are you American? Your apparent ADHD and trigger happy reflexes would seem to indicate so. I know it's hard but try and get to the end of the other persons article before firing off a response.

Oddly though your flame was just as long as the OP's original comment it could just be a total lack of ability to spot subtle humour which is troubling you.

So perhaps I have a different solution to the problem... Keep guns out of the hands of people with short attention spans, aggressive response mechanisms and no sense of humour. That should fix it.

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Unhappy

Re: Back to the Drawing Board

I assume that the (intended) ironic comment was not understood by most people?

It is nothing to do with poor people but quite a lot to do with poor thinking people of all wealth ranges.

The fact that so many people, or their close relations are killed by their 'self protection device' appears not to matter to the Numbskull Rabid Assembly.

Just as the 'self protection knifes' are so useful for killing those who carry them in my country.

Fact - all offensive weapons are passive objects that are used by people who kill,

Fact it is people who kill, but the easier the access to such devices the greater the number of deaths from offensive action.

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Anonymous Coward

short attention spans, aggressive response mechanisms and no sense of humour

but they have a constitutional right to carry them

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Re: Back to the Drawing Board

you have forgotten how the U.S.A. was won from England, which was very much poor people with guns.

Ahaha, no. The US revolution was run by a bunch of rich white slave owners who no longer wanted to pay their taxes. The rest is sentimental bullshit.

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Re: Back to the Drawing Board

> The US revolution was run by a bunch of rich white slave owners

Nah, it was worse than that, some of them were lawyers.

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Re: Back to the Drawing Board

>>"Nah, it was worse than that, some of them were lawyers."

Never mind the lawyers, I am led to believe that French helped as well, fighting nobly for liberty while in the service of their freedom-loving absolute monarch.

Not that it did him much good in the long run.

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Coat

Re: Back to the Drawing Board

david wilson: "Never mind the lawyers, I am led to believe that French helped as well...."

They most certainly did. A very odd thing I saw back in ~2002 with the war over 911 was bumper stickers that said "Fuck France". It wasn't their view that struck me odd, what was odd was that sticker was apparently a misprint, or a joke no one understood. The "Fuck France" sticker had a picture of a Bald Eagle, the American Flag, and the Statue of Liberty!! I found someone one day getting into their car in a parking lot with the sticker on it, and commented that I like the humor. The conversation turned short for they didn't understand the irony behind it, nor knew where the statue came from. Truthfully, something inside me went from being very humorous, to very concerning. I never asked anyone about the sticker again, I just assumed they were all idiots.

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Re: Back to the Drawing Board

Nah, it was worse than that, some of them were lawyers.

More seriously, it's true that the cabal of US "founding fathers" was a group of plutocrats, and they were a combination of mostly-Southern agrarian landowners (typically slave owners) and mostly-Northern capitalists. Capitalists generally don't own slaves, because wage-slavery is considerably more economically efficient, as Eric Williams argued at length in Capitalism and Slavery.1

In any event, while "poor people with guns" may have made up the bulk of the US Revolutionary Army's infantry, it was most assuredly the rising middle class that conceived, organized, and controlled the war and the development of the ensuing Union.

Shay's Rebellion was a poor-people's revolutionary movement in the US. It did not go well for the rebels. Jefferson subsequently praised it, but more as an abstract concept - he felt that democracy periodically needed to be renewed with spilt blood, preferably that of poor folks. Jefferson was kind of a loon.

1It's debatable how much of this was Williams' idea. C.L.R. James claimed he gave Williams the thesis when they were friends at Oxford; but this in an interview with James after the two had a bit of a falling out, with Williams putting James under house arrest and all. In any case, it's likely the general idea was in the air among the Black-Colonial expats at Oxford in that era - Williams, James, Nkrumah, etc.

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Mechnical systems and the criminally inclined

So currently guns are fundamentally mechnical systems and have no need for biometrics or electronics to function. I can't see how you can rig up something that cannot be removed by someone with determination and time. The main instance where this might help seems to be snatch and grab situations like on the street (where I'd hope that most private owners aren't gadding about packing heat anyway).

And we've not had a resounding success with DRM of fully electronic systems either.

But like cars, we may see more electronically integrated firearms, maybe with electronic firing. As this becomes common, we might insist on such firearms being used in circumstances where snatch and grab might be an issue.

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Just political bullshit

This is just public posturing. People see 007 movie, politicians want to appear to be doing something....

Most gun "accidents" that this would prevent (eg. the 6year old shooting the 4 year old) could easily be achieved by what we have in our house: a gun safe.

Any criminal getting hold of a Smart Gun could make it work within 10 minutes by using a file/screwdriver/whatever to bypass the smartness and convert it back to a "dumb gun".

This tech will really achieve nothing except make the hand wringers feel like they did something.

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Re: Just political bullshit

"Most gun "accidents" that this would prevent (eg. the 6year old shooting the 4 year old) could easily be achieved by what we have in our house: a gun safe."

Trigger locks would probably work just as well and be less expensive.

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Re: Just political bullshit

Mr Manning has hit the nail on the head. For those less well versed in US Realpolitik, here's a brief explanation.

Guns are what is known as a "wedge issue" (abortion is another). Both main parties, The Crips and The Bloods, use wedge issues to good effect.

The process is as follows:

1. Some incident leads to a wedge issue getting heavy rotation in the mainstream media.

2. Congresscritter mouths some empty bollocks related to said wedge issue. It doesn't have to be practical, sensible or even desirable - just related, even tangentially.

3. That portion of the electorate on one side of the issue puts what little critical thinking ability that it has on hold and unquestioningly supports said critter, regardless of any other evil that it may be doing. Simultaneously, said critter gets heavy rotation in the media on the back of the original incident.

4. ?

5. Profit!!!

As I say, they all do it and the electorate rewards them for it - so there's not much hope of any change any time soon.

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Re: Just political bullshit

I think I know 4.

4. Congress sends people abroad with guns to help people without them. i.e. Jews in WWII.

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Re: Just political bullshit

Trigger locks would probably work just as well and be less expensive.

Trigger locks are a good idea, but some kids are liable to just resort to banging cartridges with rocks to see what happens. Ultimately it's the ammunition you have to keep away from the little dears, if they display that sort of inclination.

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Anonymous Coward

Sensible gun laws in the US?

Pipedream.

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Meh

Re: Sensible gun laws in the US?

Depends on the state, The president lauded Minnesota's gun laws. Sober responsible honest people can have (and carry) guns here, drunks, fools and criminals need not apply. And yes your background is checked VERY thoroughly and you WILL be trained in safety and the law.

Drunk drive? No gun for you. Ever involuntarily committed, no gun for you. Get charged for beating your wife or kids, no gun for you. Gun ownership is an ADULT responsibility. If you cannot behave as an adult, you don't get adult privileges.

If it was like that in the red state pest holes everyone could be happy.

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Holmes

Good idea, but even better...

Why don't we form an international police and diplomacy force by selecting children with weird mental powers, take them from their parents and train them to use glowing swords?

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Facepalm

And of course nobody actually wants to use a gun for its intended purpose (say hunting) which requires you to be outdoors in the cold... and wearing gloves!

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Want to "save the chilllllldddddrrren"?

Ban schools in Tornado Alley[1].

More pre-teen kids were killed or injured at school in a matter of minutes in Moore, OK than were killed or injured by guns fired by pre-teens in the last year here in the USofA. Will the parental units of the kids in Moore be prosecuted for child endangerment for putting them in an obviously unsafe environment? Why not? Will anyone (other than myself) have the balls to even broach the subject?

Perspective. It's a lost art.

[1] Yes, I know, the Kansas School Board is trying ...

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Facepalm

Re: Want to "save the chilllllldddddrrren"?

" than were killed or injured by guns fired by pre-teens in the last year "

What has pre-teens got to do with it, other than allowing a lower number than the tornado killed ?

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@Stuart Elliott (was: Re: Want to "save the chilllllldddddrrren"?)

What has pre-teens got to do with it?

Is that a serious question?

"Last month, a 6-year old in New Jersey accidentally shot and killed a 4-year old child. Accidents like this are not as rare as we want to believe, and they are preventable," said Congressman Tierney

This idiot congresscritter seems to think that "personalizing" guns will somehow stop kids from getting killed, despite the obvious fact that tools don't automagically kill people, even if they are capable of killing people.

It wasn't an accident, either. Somewhere, there is an adult who is guilty of allowing a 6 year-old to access a firearm and kill a 4 year-old. The adult should be on trial for manslaughter, IMO ...

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Re: @Stuart Elliott (was: Want to "save the chilllllldddddrrren"?)

"Somewhere, there is an adult who is guilty of allowing a 6 year-old to access a firearm and kill a 4 year-old. The adult should be on trial for manslaughter, IMO"

In the state where I live (Kentucky) they could be facing felony charges for it.

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Re: @Stuart Elliott (was: Want to "save the chilllllldddddrrren"?)

In Kentucky they would surely be prosecuted for felony charges. In similar states like Kentucky, you have more rights with arms, but the consequences are much much higher. However, I'm still not sure about the right to carry an unconcealed side arm without any permit at all. The "Gold Star" states are just...different.

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Re: @Stuart Elliott (was: Want to "save the chilllllldddddrrren"?)

"I'm still not sure about the right to carry an unconcealed side arm without any permit at all."

The "Bad Guys" tend not to open-carry. They don't like to draw attention to themselves.

Personally I am not a fan of open-carry* (though I respect the right of others to do so if they wish) - it scares the sheeple and in the event of an attack the person open-carrying will be the first one shot. I like to keep the Bad Guys guessing. The fact that I'm covertly armed also protects those who aren't, as the Bad Guy has no way of knowing who is and who is not.

In Vermont people can carry concealed firearms without a license at 16. They have the 2nd lowest gun crime in the country...

* Full disclosure: I teach concealed carry classes.

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Anyone else reminded of

A E van Vogt's 'Weapon Shops of Isher'?

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Trollface

Re: Anyone else reminded of

Everyone needs a bosom for a pillow ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Anyone else reminded of

I can't get my head on my bosom, not fair!

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