"Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) introduced the Start Advancing Firearms Enhancements and Technology (SAFETY) Act," a Thursday press release from the Democrat (naturally) representative's media flacks announced. "The bill provides incentives for manufacturers and consumers designed to promote the development and purchase of smart-gun technology such as biometric or fingerprint locks and radio-frequency identification."
The bill is H.R. 6109: "To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide an enhanced research credit for the development of smart gun technologies." It's been assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill summary and text are not yet posted to Congress.gov (Firearms News obtained an advance copy prior to number assignment). Also unknown at this writing is who else wants to grandstand by attaching their names as cosponsors -- or even if Ways and Means' Republican Chair Kevin Brady of Texas (rated "A" by NRA) will let it get out of committee.
If it does, it promises to do something about the "115,000 Americans [who] fall victim to gun violence -- over 36,000 fatally."
It won't, of course, because it can't, nor will it do a thing about the "350,000 thefts reported each year." Unless both houses of Congress and the White House are lost to the gun-grabbers, Himes' play for attention will be just that. What he's doing is posturing and getting his name mentioned in advance of the elections. The constituency dumb enough to trust this oath-breaking fraud with power is now primed to believe he's "doing something about gun violence."
So naturally, the Gungrabby Gabby group is solidly behind it. They welcome all potential incremental infringements on the way to the goal of citizen disarmament, because that's been the game plan that works. And Himes is a politician that knows his infringements, demanding no end to them, including ending private sales, imposing prior restraints, ignoring due process and banning standard-capacity magazines.
His "smart gun" venture is but another way to help slip the camel's nose under the tent.
Here's the thing about personalized firearms -- it's not that those warning against their development are against the technology per se. In a free society, people ought to be able to market and purchase what they want, even if the whole concept is meant to interfere with the function of the gun. Perhaps prospective customers have never pointed a remote control at a garage door or television set and had nothing happen.
But it's not about safety or reliability anyway. The people pushing for mandates are only interested in forcing diktats on those they would disenfranchise and restricting their choices. Himes knows that.
He knows there are hundreds of millions of guns already in circulation in this country. He knows that what can be put on can be taken off.
All this was also known to those imposing anticipated restrictions like the one enacted in New Jersey, requiring that all handguns for sale in the state incorporate the technology once it becomes available for sale. They knew that raising the cost of a gun by several hundred dollars means people will react the same way they do with bootleg cigarettes. They knew prohibitions create opportunities for murderous criminal enterprises to flourish and grow (and pay off the corrupt). And they knew that porous borders will allow plenty more guns to come in (which Himes naturally supports, along with a "pathway to citizenship" for people who will overwhelmingly vote Democrat and anti-gun).
If such laws become widespread a federal judge could dismiss a challenge and "reason" that being "allowed" to have a "smart gun" satisfies fulfillment of the right. Then all the Supreme Court would have to do is... nothing. Think how many gun cases they've let die at the appellate-court level simply by declining to grant cert, most of the time without comment.
There's another technology danger not too many are talking about (except for a handful of us who have been raising a flag for years).
"With a laptop and customized software called CarShark, the researchers disabled the brakes of a regular family car and switched its engine off - while it was moving," a News.com.au report revealed in 2010. And yes, of course that was being looked into as a requirement, using ending car chases and the ubiquitous "safety" as "justification" for the state exercising total and final control.
Yardarm Technologies has demonstrated a product designed to allow gun owners to remotely track and disable their firearm. Who thinks for a minute that those who would mandate "smart guns" would not also mandate a shutoff "key" for police?
After all, if you're not doing anything wrong...
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine, a featured contributor to AmmoLand, contributor to Firearms News website and magazine, and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at "The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance" and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook