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HomeNew GearHere We Go Again: Reuters Breathlessly Announces Another Revolutionary 'Smart Gun' That...

Here We Go Again: Reuters Breathlessly Announces Another Revolutionary ‘Smart Gun’ That Will CHANGE EVERYTHING


lodestar smartgunz smart gun
Courtesy Reuters

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The gun control industry coined the term “smart guns” many moons ago to describe what to date have been a series of flawed, unreliable firearms. Every few years since then, pretty much like clockwork, the mainstream media get all excited when another carnival barker comes along with a new prototype of a new gun that can only fired by its owner.

Now we have another of these as reported in Reuters.

Imagine the irony that my computer locked up just as I started to write this story about the marvel of mating computer tech with a self-defense firearm.  What could possibly go wrong with a computerized gun that needs to recognize a fingerprint, connect to a magical ring, or an enormous watch to unlock the firing mechanism? That is, assuming the battery hasn’t run down. But the “gun safety” people and their friends in the media call it “smart” so it must be, well, smart. right?

Of course, our “friends” in the fourth estate look right past the mountain of potential problems with the new “technology.” They instead gaze upwards to the heavens with stars in their eyes as an other inspired entrepreneur recounts a story or two of a child accessing an improperly-stored firearm, resulting in a tragedy. This despite accidental firearm deaths being at or very near historic lows thanks in large part to the NSSF and the NRA’s firearm safety programs.

I once read about a pistol that had a fingerprint scanner imbedded to eliminate the need for a RFID ring, watch or other accessory. How many of us have struggled to get the fingerprint reader on our iPad, smartphone or computer to cooperate with us?  Especially if our finger (or thumb) isn’t clean and dry.

Now imagine struggling with that fingerprint reader as Mongo the Mauler, fresh out of the prison weight yard, beats the hell out of you. I couldn’t deploy a folding knife in a training class while under attack and that’s a whole lot easier than trying to finesse a fingerprint reader.

Counting on fickle technology for something that must be instantly available and readily usable to save innocent life seems wildly optimistic at best, foolhardy at worst. Yet here we are, with the mainstream news media once again gaslighting reporting to the American people that firearm safety nirvana is at hand.

Reuters reports . . .

Personalized smart guns, which can be fired only by verified users, may finally become available to U.S. consumers after two decades of questions about reliability and concerns they will usher in a new wave of government regulation.

“…May finally become available.” That’s a lot of wiggle room there. Even if they do eventually arrive, will they be popular enough to “shake up” the firearms market? LOL.

Four-year-old LodeStar Works on Friday unveiled its 9mm smart handgun for shareholders and investors in Boise, Idaho. And a Kansas company, SmartGunz LLC, says law enforcement agents are beta testing its product, a similar but simpler model.

LodeStar has been working on “smart” guns since at least 2017. They wanted to sell the disastrously flawed Armatix Pistol back in the day. Now they seem to have come up with their own model.

SmartGunz LLC claims that law enforcement agents are beta testing its product, a dumbed down version. I’ll bet a dozen of Krispy Kreme’s finest glazed donuts that they aren’t “beta testing” this product as the firearm on their duty belts.

Both companies hope to have a product commercially available this year.

President Obama promised us lots of hope and change, too. We saw how well that worked out.

LodeStar co-founder Gareth Glaser said he was inspired after hearing one too many stories about children shot while playing with an unattended gun. Smart guns could stop such tragedies by using technology to authenticate a user’s identity and disable the gun should anyone else try to fire it.

They could also reduce suicides, render lost or stolen guns useless, and offer safety for police officers and jail guards who fear gun grabs.

Reduce suicides? Can they? Do they detect the state of mind of the user, too? As for cops fearing a gun-grab, perhaps. But police officers are like me. They want to carry a tool that’s dead-nuts reliable no matter the weather, time of day, or whether or not they remembered to charge it the previous night.

But attempts to develop smart guns have stalled: Smith & Wesson got hit with a boycott, a German company’s product was hacked, and a New Jersey law aimed at promoting smart guns has raised the wrath of defenders of the Second Amendment.

Yes, New Jersey would love to put its mandatory “smart” gun law into effect should a viable product come onto the market.

The LodeStar gun, aimed at first-time buyers, would retail for $895.

There are always early adopters who will jump in on a new product, but a $900 price point for a life-saving product without a track record of safety and reliability seems like a product in search of demand in the marketplace.

The test-firing of the LodeStar gun before Reuters cameras has not been reported elsewhere. A range officer fired the weapon, a third-generation prototype, in its different settings without issue.

Noe the photo Reuters published of the test firing. The first thing I noticed was the man shooting the pistol had a GLOCK with a +2 extension on his magazine in his holster as his defensive gun. Would he trust this new gun with his own life, instead going with tried and true existing (“dumb”) technology? You make the call.

The second thing I noticed were his safety glasses are on top of the brim of his hat, not protecting his eyes. The third thing I noticed? The lady standing next to him was using her fingers to plug her ears. It looks like like safety-oriented LodeStar and SmartGunz ran a first-rate Baldwinesque operation there.

Reuters reports the test firing went off without a hitch. But would Reuters’ Daniel Trotta known if it hadn’t?

This new wondergun activates using “both a fingerprint reader and a near-field communication chip activated by a phone app, plus a PIN pad.”

The fingerprint reader unlocks the gun in microseconds, but since it may not work when wet or in other adverse conditions, the PIN pad is there as a backup. LodeStar did not demonstrate the near-field communication signal, but it would act as a secondary backup, enabling the gun as quickly as users can open the app on their phones.

They didn’t demonstrate all of the new gun’s features. And the only person to shoot the “third generation prototype” was a range officer. Does that inspire confidence?

[LodeStar co-founder Gareth] Glaser acknowledged there will be additional challenges to large-scale manufacturing, but expressed confidence that after years of trial and error the technology was advanced enough and the microelectronics inside the gun are well-protected.

Building a prototype that (sort of) works is one thing. Building hundred or thousand of them at scale is an entirely different proposition. Fingerprint recognition technology might work fine for the occasional duffer going to the range once or twice a year.  However, for those of us who have and carry guns for saving lives, I’m just like the guy shooting this new gun:

Mr. Glaser will have to forgive those of us who aren’t willing to risk our lives on a still unproven technology. I’ll be sticking with tried and true tech that I know works every damn time.

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