Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Improved RFID Technology in Smart Guns Threatens Second Amendment

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The development of RFID (radio frequency identification) chips (here shown next to a grain of rice) has advanced to the point where gun makers will shortly be offering “smart guns” for sale in the United States, according to Anthony Gucciardi, who has been watching the movement with increasing concern for years.

The advancement will allow the manufacturer and the federal government to “turn off” the firearm and render the weapon useless at any time, a tactic that will be used "to take away legal firearms from the hands of law-abiding citizens,” according to Gucciardi.

“Smart gun” development is no new thing, but has been the subject of sometimes intense interest by universities, government agencies and gun makers for decades. As far back as 1994, former Colorado congresswoman Patricia Schroeder routed $650,000 from the Pentagon budget to the Justice Department to commission Sandia National Laboratories to explore smart-gun development. When Sandia reported some progress, Colt Industries decided to develop its own smart gun — the Colt Z40 — which incorporated an RFID chip coupled with a radio wrist transponder to prevent unauthorized users from firing it. The project died when gun owners boycotted Colt for its apparent siding with gun controllers over the issue.

In 1999, Mossberg & Sons started developing its own RFID chip, which never made its way onto the market. Between 2000 and 2004, the National Institute of Justice granted Smith & Wesson $3 million to test a variety of smart-gun iterations. The company failed to comply with the grant’s objectives.

And there the matter largely rested until the Newtown shooting in December 2012. The media began asking whether a “smart gun” would have prevented Adam Lanza from using his mother’s weapons in his attack at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. For example, the New York Daily News noted, “Now proponents of so-called personalized or smart guns are hoping the nation’s renewed attention on firearms following the Newtown school massacre will kick start research and sale of safer weapons.”

The News didn't have to wait long. Armitix, a German gun maker, announced that it had developed a smart gun with technology already approved by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) and would begin offering it for sale in the United States by the end of the year.

A second manufacturer, TriggerSmart, out of Limerick, Ireland, has developed an RFID chip that would be built into a gun’s grip; it would be triggered by a device the size of a grain of rice inside the owner’s ring or wristband. The company already has patented its invention worldwide and is seeking to license its technology to an American manufacturer. On its website the company explains:  

TriggerSmart has developed a user unique, childproof, Smart Gun using RFID Technology. Only the authorized user … can fire the weapon. The Smart Gun will be harmless in the hands of a child or an intruder in the home. Our vision is to license our technology to gun manufacturers and sell Smart Guns principally to the USA gun market.

Another goal is to have a police department put our Smart Guns on trial and then to supply further Law Enforcement agencies, the Military, and the civilian market.

The second part of the childproof gun safety system is the ability to remotely disable guns in certain zones such as airports, schools, Universities and Government buildings etc. This aspect of the technology is called Wide Area Control or WAC.

It’s that “second part” that raised Gucciardi’s ire:

I believe that these smart guns will not simply be pushed by slick marketing via TriggerSmart and other invested corporations, but legislation that attempts to force these smart guns onto the American public….

As the creators of the Big Brother weapons have already detailed in interviews, the true power behind these RFID-controlled smart guns is the concept that they are a loophole that allows for the government to disarm the people while still “upholding” the Second Amendment.

In the event of a “terrorist attack” of any kind, the government could shut down all smart guns in the area. In the event of an elevated terror alert level, there go the guns. How about a mass shooting in your city? Better turn off the guns.

When the “slick marketing” by Armitix and TriggerSmart fails to persuade sufficient numbers of informed citizens to purchase their new high-tech weapons, there will no doubt be pressure "to protect the kids,” to create legislation to require citizens to replace their present weapons with the new safer ones that can be monitored, tracked, and controlled by the government. If successful, such a move would provide for instant disarmament without the messy necessity of actually confiscating weapons. 

A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at

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