The US Attorney General, Eric Holder, has announced the direction he wants to take the DOJ with regard to “gun safety,” but the wheels are already in motion to legally mandate “smart gun” technology.
At the end of February—2/27/14—Congress proposed Bill S. 2068, called the “Handgun Trigger Safety Act of 2014.” The spirit of the bill is laid out in Section 2: Findings. Summed up, the Handgun Trigger Safety Act is designed to reduce violent crime and accidental deaths via handgun, as well as reducing handgun theft, by mandating identifying technology on firearms that would only allow authorized users, i.e., the legal handgun owners, to utilize the affected guns. If this bill were to pass as a law, it would establish both research grants for the development of gun restriction technology, as well has a timeline for when all handguns would be expected to be outfitted with this “smart gun” technology.
The bill decrees that all handguns made after the effective date would need to be outfitted with a component (or components) that restrict operation to “authorized users of the handgun…” (Section 101, Paragraph 2, Subparagraph B). The gun restriction device must be somehow integrated into the overall firearm design so that it cannot be easily removed or deactivated.
S. 2068 also establishes how extant handguns are to be retrofitted with this smart gun tech. Firearms manufacturers are expected to absorb the costs of collecting applicable firearms, and outfitting them with identifying technologies that cannot be easily removed or deactivated and would restrict the firearm from being operated except by the handgun’s legal owner. They’re also expected to complete the retrofitting process and return the modified handguns within a “reasonable amount of time.”
The Handgun Trigger Safety Act would, two years after the effective date, explicitly prohibit all handgun manufacture that does not utilize smart gun technology, referred to in the bill as “personalized handguns.” Within three years of the effective date, all handguns that were manufactured prior to the ruling will be illegal to sell or distribute. The only exceptions permitted are firearms sold to or owned by the Department of Defense or antique guns.
If passed, this bill could have an extreme negative impact on firearms manufacturers, due to the costs involved, which could be passed on to handgun purchasers. There’s also no guarantee that this type of law will have the intended reduction to firearms-related crime. How do you think the proposed Handgun Trigger Safety Act will help or hurt lawful handgun users?
Featured image composite created courtesy of contributor zirconicusso via freedigitalphotos.net.