Anti-gun New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat, has introduced legislation that would require, among other things, that handguns be retrofitted to make them “smart” and that firearms manufacturers would be reimbursed for the costs of this process.
Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, reacted bluntly.
“More baloney from Maloney,” he said. “Her real goal is to mandate guns out of existence. We have seen this tried by anti-Second Amendment politicians in New Jersey. Now they want to take it national. The free marketplace should decide what kind of firearms people will buy. Not government mandates.”
Maloney’s Handgun Trigger Safety Act would, according to a press release from her office:
- Authorize grants to develop and improve “personalized” handgun technology to increase efficacy and decrease costs;
- Mandate that within five years of enactment all newly manufactured handguns must be personalized, ensuring that they can only be operated by authorized users;
- Mandate that within ten years of enactment anyone selling a handgun must retrofit it with personalization technology before that sale can be completed; and
- Provide reimbursement to manufacturers for the costs of retrofitting handguns through the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund.
Maloney resorted to the often-used tactic of claiming the measure is for the protection of children.
“How many more kids have to die? How many more police officers have to be killed with their own weapon before we come to our senses?” Maloney said in her statement. “We wouldn’t drive in cars or use baby cribs that didn’t adopt the latest safety technology, and we shouldn’t use guns that don’t take advantage of this technology either. I’m proud to reintroduce the Handgun Trigger Safety Act to support the development and adoption of innovative safety technology for handguns. We should be taking advantage of new technology, not shunning it.”
According to Maloney’s announcement, a companion bill will be introduced in the Senate by Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey.
While it is doubtful that Maloney’s legislation will go anywhere, it does perpetuate the notion that so-called “smart guns” will prevent accidents or crime. It also fuels the impression that Congress can legislate against stupidity.
Smart gun technology has been pursued for years, with some prototypes showing promise, but they have not been 100 percent foolproof or reliable. Gottlieb and other Second Amendment advocates contend that such technology may find a following but that it should be up to consumers to determine whether this technology will gain widespread acceptance. They argue that there should never be a mandate.