Smart guns, guns that have been in development for some time, are made with technology that will limit the gun’s ability to fire only by the person legally responsible for the gun. These guns use either a fingerprint reader or a chip worn by the user and a PIN pad to unlock the gun. Several gun manufacturers are expecting to have these smart guns available sometime this year.
Red flag! New Jersey has a law that was passed in 2002 that bans the sale of any handgun that is not a smart gun:
Basically, the Childproof Handgun Law of 2002 says that once “personalized handguns are available” anywhere in the country, all handguns sold in New Jersey must be smart guns within 30 months.
“It actually doesn’t matter if the gun has been sold,” says David Kopel, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute. “If there’s just one available for sale anywhere in the United States, then that triggers the handgun ban. So who would want to sell a smart gun knowing that, by doing so, they’d be imposing a handgun ban on New Jersey?”
The response was quick and intense. Both Engage Armament and the California store were flooded with angry calls and messages from people who consider the New Jersey law an infringement of the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. Raymond says he received multiple death threats. Both stores quickly backed down on their plans to sell the Armatix gun.
“I don’t think the reaction was at all surprising, because it’s viewed as being a gun control push,” says Lawrence Keane, vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry’s trade group. Keane says his organization opposes New Jersey’s mandate to sell only smart guns, but he says the foundation is not opposed to the technology itself.
So, a new law was passed in 2019 to replace the 2002 law:
New Jersey has had a smart gun law in place since 2002, requiring licensed dealers to only sell handguns with user recognition technology, but it has been in suspension as there are no such firearms on the consumer market. The bill signed this week by Murphy, a Democrat, replaces the dormant law with one that requires gun dealers to carry at least one model in their stores should they become available in the future.
1-11-22 The World News
Guns coming to market could trigger a 2019 New Jersey law requiring all gun shops in the state to offer smart guns after they become available. The 2019 law replaced a 2002 law that would have banned the sale of any handgun except smart guns.
“The other side tipped their hand because they used smart guns to ban everything that’s not a smart gun,” said Scott Bach, executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs. “It woke gun owners up.”
Here are some links for further reading:
10-4-21 Giffords Law
7-16-19 CBS New York