Ok, I said it. Smart guns are dumb. But why?
First off lets explain what a “smart gun” is if you have not heard of them. Basically it is a firearm that has built in technology that will only allow the authorized user to fire it. In theory it sounds like the cure all for gun violence. But dig a little deeper and the flaws are a little scary.
First off lets talk about the basics of the firearm. Simply put, by pulling the trigger, it releases the hammer to hit the firing pin which then strikes the primer of the cartridge, firing the bullet. No electronics, or electricity needed. Its a simple mechanical device that works in about every environment, wet or dry. With modern manufacturing, the failure rate is typically, worst case, 1 out of 1000 rounds or 0.1% of rounds fired. The military spec is 1 out of every 10,000 rounds or 0.01%. Now remember that failure rate.
“Smart guns” use either bio metric locks that read either palm or finger prints or an RDF chip that requires the user to wear a watch coded to the firearm. They have shown a failure rate (depending the the sources quoted) of between 10% and 20%. In other words, 1 to 2 failures per 10 round magazine. As with all electronics, There needs to be a power source, a battery like your TV remote. Batteries die, and get weak with age. Also RDF chips can have issues with signal interference. And Bio metrics will not work well if the user is wearing gloves (Like us northern folk wear for 1/3 of the year). Also, electronics do not react well with moisture. Then there are some people that think that the government could just disable all the firearms by sending out a code if they wanted to. They would never do that now would they?
Now that failure rate I stated earlier. Which type of firearm would you want to rely on to protect your family? One with a 0.01% failure rate or one that has a 20% failure rate. I honestly believe that we will never see the reliability of a smart gun as good as a non smart gun. The military has already stated they do not want this and I doubt law enforcement would either. If they do not trust it, why should you?
Now some of you may think I am biased against technology or new ideas. I am not. I have been in the Information Technology field for over 20 years. I like technology as much as anyone, just not in my firearms. Especially if that firearm is the difference between life and death.
So, Smart Guns are dumb.