What is a ‘smart gun,’ and how will it impact the future of gun ownership in America? That was the topic of conversation on Tuesday’s Glenn Beck Program. Guest host Dana Loesch spoke to Frank Miniter, author of The Future of the Gun, and John Lott, Jr, author of More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, about the capabilities of the concept firearm that have some conservatives concerned for their Second Amendment right.
As Miniter explained, law abiding gun owners are not really concerned about the smart gun technology so much as they are concerned about the potential control mechanisms that could come along with it.
“Gun owners are afraid of smart guns not because the technology out there might be used by somebody but because it is going to be mandated,” he said. “New Jersey has a law on the books since 2002 that when a smart gun becomes available on the market that can be the can be the only handgun sold in New Jersey.”
The Childproof Handgun Law of 2002 essentially says once “personalized handguns are available” anywhere in the United States, all handguns sold in New Jersey must be smart guns within 30 months. Because that threat is out there, smart guns are unavailable in the U.S. at the moment, though they are sold in Europe. Furthermore, the cost of these firearms threatens to price many out of the market.
According to Lott, the starting price of these so-called smart guns will be upwards of $1,800. If the technology is mandated – like it already is in New Jersey – a price induced gun control could quickly emerge.
“I think a lot of this gun control is just to price people out of owning guns,” Lott said.
While Miniter agrees this is an “unproven technology that need to find their place in the market,” he does see “practical applications of the technology.” i.e. prison guard
“Right now the worry is this will be mandated and used to control individual rights. But we can spin this around,” he said. “I have been talking to gun designers and engineers… [and] this can be used to control the state in a different way.”
That “very different way” involves technology that could help to prevent another Ferguson-type situation from unfolding.
“They can actually install a tiny camera in the front of gun… so if a police officer takes the gun out of the holster, it automatically would come on and video whatever he is pointing at down range,” Miniter concluded. “So if you have an instance like Ferguson, we would immediately know what really happened.”