New York Democrat Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a perennial anti-gunner always looking for a headline, has introduced legislation that would mandate “smart gun” technology on all new handguns within five years, and retrofitting traditional sidearms within ten years.
It is an idea that caused Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, to tell a reporter, “This is more baloney from Maloney.”
The Empire State congresswoman has been a staunch anti-gunner throughout her Capitol Hill career. She has taken an idea that became law in New Jersey and now wants to spread it to every state in the union. She calls it the Handgun Trigger Safety Act, and it would require the following:
- 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.
While it is doubtful that Maloney’s legislation will go anywhere in the Republican-controlled Congress, it may simply be aimed at perpetuating the erroneous notion that so-called “smart guns” will prevent accidents or crime. It also fuels the false impression that Congress can legislate against stupidity.
Criminals will continue to have access – without background checks – to all kinds of pre-existing handguns that do not have “smart gun” technology.
Besides these drawbacks, there has yet to be a “smart gun” that is 100 percent guaranteed to operate all the time. That has posed the greatest problem with the concept, because people who have handguns for personal protection need confidence that their sidearm will work in an emergency.
“Her real goal is to mandate guns out of existence,” Gottlieb asserted about Maloney’s bill. “We have seen this tried by anti-Second Amendment politicians in New Jersey. Now they want to take it national.”
Gottlieb is among many leading gun rights advocates who argue that, while there is nothing wrong with developing new technology, it should never be mandated by Congress that firearms owners can only purchase guns designed with such technology.
“The free marketplace should decide what kind of firearms people will buy,” Gottlieb said, “not government mandates.”