November 15th, 2013

Americans Wary of RFID and Biometric “Smart Gun” Technology

A poll conducted for the National Shooting Sports Foundation has found Americans are highly skeptical of the reliability of user authorized technology for firearms. They also say overwhelmingly that they would not be likely to buy a so-called “smart gun” and overwhelmingly oppose any government mandate requiring the use of this technology should it become available.

Asked “How familiar are you with efforts to develop a firearm that will only fire for a specific authorized person(s)?”, only 20 percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat familiar with the concept of “smart gun” technology. When told that such firearms would incorporate biometric or radio frequency identification (RFID) with an activation system that would rely on battery power, 74 percent of respondents said that these firearms would not be reliable at all or very reliable. Gun owners overwhelmingly (84%) believed a smart gun would not be reliable, while a clear majority (60%) of non-gun owners also believed they would not be reliable.

An overwhelming 74 percent of respondents overall said that they would not buy or would not very likely buy such a smart gun. Some 70 percent of the survey sample said that they did not believe that government should mandate that all firearms produced incorporate smart gun technology should it become commercially available.

Can Technology Be Trusted? Watch this Video for a Chilling Vision of Future Gun Control:

These findings were among the results of a national scientific poll of more than 1,200 Americans conducted in October by McKeon & Associates and released by the NSSF. Although attempts to develop and market firearms equipped with authorized user recognition technology have been discussed for many years, the topic has been revived in recent months by some gun control advocates, remarks by President Obama and by the depiction of a smart gun in the latest James Bond movie. Read the NSSF press release for more details.

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April 22nd, 2013

California Legislature Considers Tough New Gun-Control Laws

california gun control lawsA number of extreme gun control measures are currently being pushed through the California Legislature. In California’s State Senate, the Committee on Public Safety considered some of the most restrictive pieces of gun legislation yet proposed in California.

On April 17, the Public Safety Committee approved Senate Bill 293 that bans the sale of conventional handguns and implements owner-authorized “smart-gun” technology. This would block the sale of ANY handgun that was not “coded” to the gun owner (so that nobody else could shoot it). Of course, no such “smart” handguns are currently offered for sale by any major manufacturer.

As you’d expect, California is also moving forward on legislation to further restrict self-loading rifles. On April 16, the Senate Public Safety Committee, on a 5-2 party-line vote, approved Senate Bill 374. This bill expands the definition of “assault weapons” to ban the future sale of almost all semi-auto rifles that accept a detachable magazine. SB 374 now moves to the Senate Committee on Appropriation.

The California Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee recently considered Assembly Bill 760 which would impose a new 5% sales tax on all ammunition components (complete cartridge, bullet, or case). That’s a nickel per bullet or cartridge. We’re pleased to report that AB760 has been held in committee pending further study of its financial effects. The bill is “suspended” for the time being, but it could be reconsidered in the near future. According to the L.A. Times, “The state Board of Equalization noted in a review that the proposed tax would be in addition to an existing sales tax on bullets, and it said the new tax could become a burden to businesses.”

In addition to taxing ammunition directly, California legislators have introduced bills that would make it much more difficult to purchase ammunition. SB 53 mandates a background check for ammo purchases. In addition, SB 53 would require gun owners to obtain a permit to purchase ammo. The permit, good for one-year only, would have to be renewed annually with a recurring $50/year cost. “It’s a way to red-tape the right to bear arms to death,” said Chuck Michel, attorney for the California Rifle and Pistol Association. “It’s all part of a campaign of shame, the fight to make it as difficult as possible for law-abiding citizens to make the choice to have a firearm for self-defense.”

State-wide ban on Lead-containing Ammunition
In addition, the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife (WPW) approved AB 711, a bill that if passed and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown would extend the now limited condor range ban on traditional lead ammunition to the entire state. By its terms, AB 711 will “require the use of nonlead ammunition for the taking of all wildlife, including game mammals, game birds, nongame birds, and nongame mammals, with any firearm.” This bill passed the WPW Committee and was re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

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