So, I am a big fan of the free market. I believe that if you let it loose it can fix a lot of things that the government tries to fix by regulation and decree. That is what is happening in California with our handguns. All new handguns are required to have “micro-stamping” technology included in their design. This is to “help law enforcement” track down handguns that have been used in a crime. It does this by stamping the shell casing with a unique alpha numeric sequence that identifies the gun that a particular shell came from. Now, there are all sorts of issues with this tech, that I won’t get into in this post, but there is another solution that could be a good compromise.
That is the so called “Smart Gun”. To be honest, I am not a fan of this just yet. I think it has a lot to prove, but it could be a good thing, but we will likely never know. Why is that? It’s because the government, in all it’s wisdom, has seen fit to make this into a law “as soon as the technology is available”. That didn’t say “once the tech has been proven to work” or anything like that. So, someone somewhere, will decide that the tech is available and that means that it will become a requirement at some point, whether it’s ready or not.
That is not the way the free market works. The free market says that not before it is ready, and cheap enough that people will buy it, will it be released for sale. That means that companies can put these things through their paces, work up a good design, do some market research to find out what people want, and release a product that functions as it should and meets a need. Currently there really isn’t a need for these smart handguns, save here in California eventually. Which means there are very few companies (one as of this writing) that are making something like this, and it’s not particularly useful at the moment (only comes in .22 cal)
So all the government is ensuring is that a substandard “smart gun”, which will undoubtedly be re-named a “dumb gun” (or something more witty) that no one likes but everyone has to buy because the government says you have to. That will in turn endanger the lives of the people that will depend on those guns to work every time.
I don’t think it’s a bad idea to develop a smart gun, I think it’s a bad idea for a government to mandate that one is now required.