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Obama Wants Law Enforcement to Use "Smart Guns"

April 29, 2016  | 

The Armatix iP1 is a .22 caliber pistol that can be fired when it is no more than 10 inches away from an RFID watch. (Photo: Armatix)
The Armatix iP1 is a .22 caliber pistol that can be fired when it is no more than 10 inches away from an RFID watch. (Photo: Armatix)

The White House issued a set of recommendations Friday aimed at making it easier for federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to purchase “smart guns” that only operate for certain users.

Under the measures, the government would define requirements that gun makers need to meet for police to consider purchasing. The White House said that local governments could apply for grants for guns equipped with the technology.

Though a German company called Armatix tried to introduce a smart gun into the United States two years ago, most of the technology is at the prototype stage. The guns are designed to allow only those authorized to fire them. Manufacturers are pursuing a variety of authorization methods, ranging from fingerprints to wireless chips connected to rings or watches.

Proponents argue the technology would cut down on incidents where guns are taken from police officers and used against them, and school shootings where students use their parents’ guns.

Gun control advocates have been working for months to get police agencies around the country to commit to adopting smart guns — to prove they work and to create a sizable demand for them.

But some law enforcement groups, including the Fraternal Order of Police, have argued that it’s irresponsible to give these firearms to law enforcement agencies when they have not be fully tested.

James Pasco, the FOP’s executive director, said in an interview with the Washington Post Friday that he “doesn’t know anyone who has seen” a smart gun in commercial use.

“It’s a concept more than it is a technology,” Pasco said. “To deploy an unproven concept or technology with law enforcement, using police officers as guinea pigs, is something that causes us great concern.”


Comments (28)

Displaying 1 - 28 of 28

anonymous @ 4/29/2016 12:25 PM

If he is so gung ho for them let his protective detail use them

OK then @ 4/30/2016 6:31 AM

I agree. This is relatively new technology and is most likely full of bugs and glitches. Plus in light of all the hacking of late I wonder how hard it would be to jam the signals on these things and render them useless.

Tom ret @ 4/30/2016 7:12 AM

I agree with anonymous, let the secret service be the test bed for such
technology until the end of Obama's term.

Ken @ 4/30/2016 7:22 AM

Obama wants Law Enforcement to use " Smart Guns" and I want a smart president. Guess we're even. Neither one has it's bugs worked out.

BlueCajun @ 4/30/2016 7:47 AM

So I'm in the process of becoming a cop in one of the most Northern states. What happens during winter and you have to wear think gloves due to below zero weather?

UncleMike @ 4/30/2016 7:58 AM

"Smart" guns contain electronic components.
Anything containing electronics is subject to instant failure from any number of outside forces.
Shock, water, heat, cold, dust, a short on a circuit board, a broken reed switch, repetitive on/off cycles that stress components, an EMP, or simply a dead battery. After I retired from the PD I became a Quality Auditor for an international electronics assembly facility.
In my experience ALL electronics eventually fail.
Which is likely what the POTUS wants if they are widely adopted by Police forces.

OK then @ 4/30/2016 8:24 AM

Re: bluecajun, you are right, there are many situations and variables that render this "smart tech" worthless. I am old fashioned, but I would rather a 4" revolver to a dozen of these silly paper weights.

Aaron @ 4/30/2016 8:39 AM

I think that when dealing with anything that is battery powered you leave yourself open to "murphy" to show its weiry head. I do not and will not subject myself to this danger. Sounds like some politician has had his pockets lined by the manufacturer of this new technology and they are pushing for the Feds to approve it and mandate it. No thanks!!!!

Lt Roy Smith @ 4/30/2016 8:53 AM

Obama's gun would be a .22 caliber, shooting shorts only, with a magazine limited to 3 rounds, without sights or any attachments, and would not fire in the dark or after 6PM.

Steve @ 4/30/2016 9:48 AM

Mr Obama, if stupid could fly you would be a jet!

kojack58 @ 4/30/2016 10:08 AM

Yes lets ask the secret service to try them out on his detail and I bet you will see a complete ultimate no from the Secret Service Director.

Stephen @ 4/30/2016 10:18 AM

What if during the course of a gunfight one officer tries to fire another officer's weapon because he is out of ammo or a malfunction, and he finds out he can not fire the gun because it belongs to a dead or incapacitated officer?

Tom Ret @ 4/30/2016 10:52 AM

Obama's brilliant mind is responsible for coming up with these novel ideas like
smart guns for cops and getting jihadi johns jobs so they don't attack us, using tax payer money to rebuild mosques over seas, using NASA for muslim outreach world wide and last but not least global warming which we all know is the most serious and imminent threat we face today. I could go on and on about Obama's brilliance and accomplishments but since time is limited I will just suggest FUBAR sums it up pretty well.

WarrenC @ 4/30/2016 11:08 AM

Obama proves once again that really has the backs of the police in this country. Now he wants the police to act as test subjects to promote his gun control agenda by acting as guinea pigs for the unproven technology of “smart guns”. Remember there is a system for Smith and Wesson revolvers involving the use of a ring that has been on the market for years. It is a mechanical system but never gained much popularity among police departments even when S&W was the major supplier of police armament.

Deputy Moose @ 4/30/2016 11:09 AM

Great idea Barry, start with all Federal agencies that pack heat including the SS and all WH security personnel. Lead by example for a change.

mike @ 4/30/2016 12:22 PM

Great idea. Let's test it out with the Secret Service agents that guard Obama and his family.

John @ 4/30/2016 3:12 PM

I think I'll keep my dumb Glock and be a smart police officer instead.

Capt512 Ret @ 4/30/2016 3:50 PM

Gloves, Rain, Snow, Sweat, Blood. The possibility of problems with the so called "Smart Guns" are endless. Cant see Law Enforcement personnel going for this at all.

While a few officers may be shot with their own weapons I seriously doubt the number of those would outweigh the number of problems that would be experienced in the field with a "Smart Weapon".

Hopefully he wont use our military as quinea pigs instead.

Somebody hide his "pen and Paper".

Tschako @ 4/30/2016 4:21 PM

Haven't these people realized that rings or watches will not work? Anytime someone tries to take an officer's gun his hands will be trying to get it back, and the AH will still be able to fire it.

[email protected] @ 4/30/2016 8:06 PM

I got to agree with all the above. This idiot in the WH needs to keep his uninformed mouth shut. His administration has done more to harm Law Enforcement then all the thugs & goons out there, as well as to agitate and enflame the dim witted fools who follow so blindly. Time for a change. Blues, Stay Safe.

AFIntel @ 5/1/2016 1:54 PM

Why not just create a technology that would render a gun useless when picked up by a thug, but operable when used by the law abiding?

I mean, if we're gonna rely on technology and science-fiction to stop crime, let's go all the way, right Mr. President?

JJones @ 5/1/2016 3:40 PM

He should Walk the Walk..., start by forcing all Presidential Seclurity Officers to use only "smart" weapons.

Chief800 @ 5/2/2016 6:47 AM

Should use smart bullets. They bounce off of innocent people and penetrate into guilty people. I know the technology exists, when I hunt I can hit all small and medium size game, when I shoot at a monster I miss. lol.

tom @ 5/2/2016 6:48 AM

What happens if you lose the watch ? Easy during a physical struggle. What happens if another officer needs my weapon ? It could and has happened.
How about solar flares (EM discharge), other EM interference, or Murphy's law ?

Too many potential problems, without answers.

JM @ 5/2/2016 11:42 AM

I would imagine he will find it shocking that no agencies apply for the grant...

ssc1911 @ 5/4/2016 11:53 AM

This was the concept behind smart gun technology in the first place to prevent a perp from using on officer's gun on the officer. This technology has not been proven to be reliable or actually work, they work when they shouldn't an vice versa. Also with all the electronics in police cars today and what officers carry on their person the signal may be interferred with. Law Enforcement nor civilain population IS NOT THE PLACE to test smart guns. Conventional guns are more reliable that smart guns ,Law enforcement officers need to make fast decision and at time draw their weapons they don't have the time in a situation to worry if their issued smart gun will or won't work as it should. A very bad idea. How about charging prosecuting and putting people in jail for a long time or if they deserve the death penalty for injuring or killing a police officer, a much better deterent

Joe Smith @ 5/6/2016 10:50 AM

Only dumb people believe smart guns will work. Especially for law enforcement.

Bill @ 5/17/2016 7:06 AM

I'm on board President Obama, we can start the process by allowing the entire Secret Service presidential protection detail start carrying them first. You know, since it's so reliable and all, leading by example and what not...

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