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Efforts to restart smart-gun innovation could misfire again

Lucas Mearian | Oct. 17, 2016
Smart-gun technology is now benefiting from faster processors and the miniaturization of processors

But pushback continues. Last year, Germany-based Armatix attempted to sell the first smart gun in the U.S. Its .22-caliber iP1 pistol debuted in one of California's largest gun stores. But it was quickly pulled from the shelves after some gun advocates pressured the store to stop selling the gun.

Engage Armament, a Maryland gun store, also announced it would sell the iP1, but reneged after gun-rights advocates allegedly lashed out on social media, called the store and even threatened its owner.

Gun advocacy groups such as the NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSA) have said they do not oppose smart-gun technology. The NSSA said market forces should decide whether smart gun technology is adopted and noted it has never opposed its development.

"We would continue to oppose mandates for this technology, particularly since there are well-proven existing methods to secure firearms, and firearms accidents are at historic low levels," an NSSA statement read.

Mossberg, Kloepfer and Hirsch all vehemently oppose smartgun laws. Mossberg's iGun Technology website states: "NO MANDATES."

"We are working on plans to introduce this product to select markets, but will do so only in a free-market environment," the website's marketing material declares.

Hirsch believes only a free market for smart guns will allow them to flourish.

"But, we need to get these things to market. I think as far as the gun-owning community, there will be some who will never, ever want to adopt this. That's fine. If you don't' like them, don't buy the technology," Hirsch said. "But don't stop me as a gun owner from being able to buy this technology."


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