New Jersey Enacts "Smart Gun" Legislation

  1. TRENTON, N.J. (Dec. 23) - New Jersey on Monday became the first state to enact ''smart gun'' legislation that would eventually require new handguns to contain a mechanism that allows only their owners to fire them.

    Gov. James E. McGreevey signed the bill into law requiring the ''smart guns,'' but the rule will not go into effect immediately because the technology is still under development. It could be years before it becomes a reality.

    ''This is common-sense legislation. There are safety regulations on cars, on toys. It's clearly time we have safety regulations on handguns,'' McGreevey said at Monday's signing ceremony.

    Under the New Jersey law, smart-gun technology will be required in all new handguns sold three years after the state attorney general determines a smart gun prototype is safe and commercially available.

    The New Jersey Institute of Technology is developing a smart gun prototype that would use sensors on the pistol grip to identify a user.

    The owner would have his or her grip programmed at a gun shop or police range by practice-firing the weapon. A microchip in the weapon would remember the grip and determine in an instant whether the authorized user was holding the weapon. If not, the gun would not fire.

    Supporters say the law will help prevent accidental gun deaths and suicides.

    But opponents argued that it makes little sense to legislate about a technology that does not yet exist and have raised questions about its reliability.

    ''No technology is foolproof,'' said Nancy Ross, spokeswoman for the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs. ''Anyone who has a computer knows how many times it crashes.''

    AP-NY-12-23-02 1325EST

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    <--screw that, AOL wouldn't let me link it..lol

    I'm not real thrilled about this..
    does this mean since we keep ONE gun in the house for protection, that now we'll have to keep two?? And what if I'm being mugged and somehow take the gun away from the perpertrator..then I can't shoot the bastard??!!

    I do see the benefit in keeping kids from accidentally shooting themselves and others..
    that's about it.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Q.
    Interesting technology. My hubby raised the same questions you did.
  4. by   sjoe
    "opponents argued that it makes little sense to legislate about a technology that does not yet exist and have raised questions about its reliability."

    Sounds like the "Star Wars" defense system, revisited.
  5. by   fergus51
    If it ever happens it would also decrease the number of gun being stolen and used in bad ways.... I would imagine you could program it so that either you or your hubby could fire it...
  6. by   eltrip
    Originally posted by sjoe
    "opponents argued that it makes little sense to legislate about a technology that does not yet exist and have raised questions about its reliability."

    Sounds like the "Star Wars" defense system, revisited.
    Oooh, I just had the same thought!
  7. by   eltrip
    Originally posted by fergus51
    If it ever happens it would also decrease the number of gun being stolen and used in bad ways.... I would imagine you could program it so that either you or your hubby could fire it...
    It would give the criminals an opportunity to disable the chip/program so that the firearm could be fired by anyone.

    Enrollment in computer technology courses could rise with the numbers of criminally-minded folks who would want to take advantage of such an income-producing opportunity.
  8. by   renerian
    The technology has been around for some time. There are to my knowledge of last I heard, two companies that can do the ID system. Just getting it through the political riggamarole in the states.

    renerian

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