Topic Tuesday #93 2014/04/29 "Gun Safety - Hell No!?"

Topic Tuesday #93 2014/04/29 "Gun Safety - Hell No!?"

The iP1 the first "smart gun" for sale in the United States.   Credit Monica Almeida/The New York Times

The iP1 the first "smart gun" for sale in the United States.CreditMonica Almeida/The New York Times

Last night a story came across my news feed that made me sit up and take notice. It was a beautiful fire arm that I swore was a movie prop. (See Picture)

The iP1 is quite a stunning looking pistol. It's a .22 caliber and will only fire when a 5 digit pin is input into the watch and is within 10 inches of it. As a technologist, I personally foresee the technology could be embedded in any personal item, as the watch is not as attractive as the gun, that could be a good thing for the $1,800 firearm... That is if the gun, and its technology, are ever able to make it to market. Second Amendment activists flooded social media site like, and called for vigilante-style investigations of Ms. Padilla and Armatix.  One user commented that he had no issues with "...the idea of personally and professionally leveling the life of someone who has attempted to profit from disarming me and my fellow Americans."

The gun lobby in the U.S. is far less concerned (and I'm not being hyperbolic) with the safety of the public than they are with the ability to manufacture and sell guns without any additional safety mechanisms, or smart technology. The company, Armatix, and its chief representative here in the states, Belinda Padila have been ostracized and harassed as part of a campaign to shut down the sale of the iP1 smart gun. They are not alone either, as just last year a study found that 3 other companies came out with a smart safety system for firearms. We haven't heard much about them either...

From the times article:

"Second Amendment defenders argue that once guns with high-tech safety features go on sale, government mandates will follow. They cite a decade-old New Jersey law requiring that within three years of the recognition technology’s becoming available in the United States, all guns sold in the state would have to be “smart.”

“Are we concerned?” asked Lawrence G. Keane, general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for gun manufacturers. “Yes.”

The National Rifle Association, in an article published on the blog of its political arm, wrote that “smart guns,” a term it mocks as a misnomer, have the potential “to mesh with the anti-gunner’s agenda, opening the door to a ban on all guns that do not possess the government-required technology.”

Padila and Armatrix continue to look for retailers. Personally, If I was to have a gun in my house, you better believe it would be an owner recognition system. 

A friend pointed out that there may be a better marketing strategy that they missed out on. That if the caliber was the same as is used in the military and law enforcement side arms that they would have a larger target market and potential for more lateral support.  I hope Armatix is listening and coming out with a Desert Eagle equivalent. And if it looks as slick as this model, you might even see it in your next buddy cop film, unless the gun nuts get their way. Eventually, common sense should win out. There have been too many casualties and this allows people to retain their rights to bare arms and adds a layer of protection. Imagine no more accidental deaths from children shooting their siblings in the face. I would like to never see another story like that again.