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Smart Guns are Coming

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the how-about-smart-people dept.

United States 1089

wikinerd writes "Eurekalert reports that smart gun technology actually works. According to the press release, smart guns demonstrated by the NJIT, can recognise authorised users utilising "sixteen electronic computerized sensors embedded in the gun's grip" and "Under New Jersey law, passed in Dec. 2002, only smart guns can be purchased in the state three years after personalized handguns become commercially available. Lautenberg said New Jersey's legislative effort to introduce smart gun technology should be a national model for the country"."

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1089 comments

First Charlie Brown (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342506)

.-'& '-.
/ \
: o o ;
( (_ )
: ;
\ __ /
`-._____.-'
/`"""`\
/ , \
/|/\/\/\ _\
(_|/\/\/\\__)
|_______|
__)_ |_ (__
(_____|_____)

Re:Smart gun? (1, Funny)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342521)

It will really prevent cases when the victim is killed by his own gun. Imagine the gun blowing up the perp's arm when the fingerprint readers come up with a mismatch.

Now, that's smart.

Re:Smart gun? (2, Insightful)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342565)

Wow I couldn't think of a stupider idea, luckily, you can! Because finger print readers always work every time..

Re:Smart gun? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342623)



nice try at karma whoring. Replying to the first, totally non-relevant post. Mod him to hell!

Re:First Charlie Brown (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342577)


good grief that's offtopic

Re:First Charlie Brown (1)

Ads are broken (718513) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342657)

C'mon mods, this is funny. Nice job AC.

Firefox Dying - Netcraft CONFIRMED (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342510)

The Firefox usage chart, though still produced, is of little interest to anyone. Sales of the browser and its plugins have failed to make any impact on the market at all. We still keep sales charted and are available on monthly, quarterly and annual reports, though we have dropped the platform from the browser chart following a lack of interest.

Now all we need... (5, Funny)

sjrstory (839289) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342517)

...is smart users :)

Re:Now all we need... (4, Insightful)

Surye (580125) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342633)

I'm afraid I can't let you do that Dave.

FP? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342519)

To get first post or to read the fucking article. Decisions, decisions...

No Thanks (3, Informative)

afabbro (33948) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342524)

One EMP pulse and you're disarmed. Thanks, but we're not interested.

Re:No Thanks (4, Insightful)

outZider (165286) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342563)

If you're dealing with someone who has the foresight to use an EMP pulse, and has the equipment necessary to do it, you have bigger things to worry about.

Re:No Thanks (2, Insightful)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342605)

I think the issue is that your right to bare arms is just incase the government turns bad and everyone needs to overthrow them - if guns can be disabled like this on mass with a single high altitude nuclear blast for example, it would pretty much negate any chance of an armed uprising..

Re:No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342706)

Ha you Americans are so naive. When the economy collapses who do you think is gonna be overthrowing the government? I can tell you right now it's not going to be you and your white bowling buddies. The angry, poor, and screwed majority are blacks and hispanics.

Re:No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342757)

So? The leaders of the revolution were rich, white, and they had everything to lose. They could've just as well have done nothing at all, and they would have likely been just fine (but their tea would still be overly taxed.)

Re:No Thanks (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342707)

...gee you think... from the fallout and all, coming down above our heads?

Re:No Thanks (3, Funny)

darth_MALL (657218) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342711)

"I think the issue is that your right to bare arms is just incase the government turns bad and everyone needs to overthrow them "
Yup...nothing overthrows a government more effectively than a t-shirt wearing mob.

Re:No Thanks (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342745)

Look, fuckwad psychopath, if someone was going to go to that much trouble they'd just LET THE FUCKING BOMB HIT THE GODDAMNED GROUND AND WIPE YOUR ASS OFF THE FACE OF THE MOTHERFUCKING EARTH. God DAMN I fucking hate you dipshits. "But X could happen! But Y could happen!" Well you know what? IT IS FUCKING NOT GOING TO, YOU GODDAMNED PARANOID FUCK. Go fuck your stupid self with a gun. Please, put a bullet through your balls so any chance of your stupid ass reproducing is nullified.

You are an idiot and should die. Preferably a death that involves bleeding out of your rectum.

Re:No Thanks (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342646)

More importantly, you need a bigger gun!

Re:No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342654)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't part of the point of the 2nd amendment to make sure that if the gov't got corrupt, the citizens could do something about it?

Seems to me like:

A: that's pretty much impossible in a day with Apaches;

and

B: The Army/Marines/National Guard is almost certainly going to have some form of EMP weapon they could use to disable these.

Now, to be perfectly honest, I'm playing devil's advocate here. My own opinion is that guns should be ... not banned, but made incredibly hard to get.

Re:No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342760)

"A: that's pretty much impossible in a day with Apaches;"

Interestingly, Fallujah has not yet gotten the memo.

"B: The Army/Marines/National Guard is almost certainly going to have some form of EMP weapon they could use to disable these."

What a great reason to hang on to the 320 million existing privately owned firearms in the United States.

Re:No Thanks (1)

ArmorFiend (151674) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342620)

Heh heh, true enough.

Some people might be interested. People living around children, perhaps.

Re:No Thanks (3, Insightful)

TFGeditor (737839) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342621)

" One EMP pulse and you're disarmed. Thanks, but we're not interested."

Ditto for any other inopportune failure of the electronics. When a computer, iPod, etc. fails--even at the worst possible time--at most you are severely inconvienced. When your firearm fails at an inopportune time--say, I dunno, when a knife- or dumb gun-wielding intruder breaks into your bedroom maybe?--you are dead.

Re:No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342709)

How about you give him what he wants, and let him go? He doesn't *have* to me a murderer, you know?

Remember Judge Dredd (1)

camcloud1 (758094) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342526)

Technology can sometimes come back and bite you on the Stallone

Re:Remember Judge Dredd (2, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342698)

Technology can sometimes come back and bite you on the Stallone

please... i'm trying to forget that horrible adaptation.

FYI MegaCity is effectively a fascist state, where the judges (which time and again have had their problems) can do pretty much as the deem necessary.

and that vain chucklehead Stallone actually removed his helmet!!

FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS (1)

BillsPetMonkey (654200) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342527)

As Charlton Heston, president of the National Rifle Association says.

Come to think of it, is he still alive?

Re:FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS (2, Funny)

camcloud1 (758094) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342586)

Not sure. Last time I saw him he was on his knees on a beach going "Noooooooooooooooooo!"

Re:FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS (1)

Riddlefox (798679) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342661)

He's not the president of the NRA anymore. It's Kayne B. Robinson.

Smart Gun? Dumb ass! (1)

bwalling (195998) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342528)

A smart gun isn't going to save me if the guy that owns it is a dumb ass!

SmartPeople (1)

ParticleMan911 (688473) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342529)

Is the same technology available for implementation in humans?

Hmm (4, Funny)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342531)

I for one welcome our sentient weapon overlords

Re:Hmm (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342673)

> I for one welcome our sentient weapon overlords

I, for one, welcome our seBLAM!

Letting a friend shoot a gun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342533)

I wonder how this affects your right to keep and bear arms, especially in letting a friend borrow a gun to go to the shooting range with you.

What? (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342547)

Hypothetical situation...

3. I detonate a small EMP for a 5-10 mile radius (possible for short-term? ala Oceans11??)

2. take my "oldskool" gun and rob a number of places

1. Profit?

wtf gives making the new gun the only legal one you can own. this is utter foolishness.

Re:What? (2, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342680)


Electronically locked bank vaults would be wedged. Even the little bill dispenser at 7-Eleven would die. You'd manage to get about thirty five dollars and 9 cents from the Salvation Army pail before cops with conventional guns ventilated your hide.

Re:What? (1)

Poseidon88 (791279) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342700)

wtf gives making the new gun the only legal one you can own. this is utter foolishness.

Read. Illegal to purchase. Not illegal to own. You can keep your old dumb-weapons, you just won't be able to (legally) purchase new ones.

Re:What? (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342710)

There is no problem with owning a non smart gun, you just could not purchase one in the state 3 years after personalized guns become commercially available. So should I ever decide to move to NJ, my trust 9mm will be able to join me... although somehow I doubt I could get a conceal and carry permit there as easily as I can here in SD.

I can understand this for new gun sales, however I am forced to wonder about what this will do to used gun sales? I'm guessing they too will be legal to buy, just new ones would not be.

Smart Guns//Smart People (1)

sciop101 (583286) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342551)

Smart Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People!

Re:Smart Guns//Smart People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342697)

...and beyond that, unfortuately, it doesn't matter if it's a smart gun or a smart can of pop...bad guys (or honest Joes and Janes) are gonna get their hands on them...accidents will happen, and history will repeat itself.

However, I have to give em props for their discovery...

"We've only just begun and we're pleased to say that we're getting 90 percent reliability when scanning users," said Sebastian.

...and I hope that they can get that number up to at least 95 percent or better...then I'll feel safer...maybe...

Will that stop robbers? (1)

Ummu (830131) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342559)

I mean, all you have to do is wave the gun around, and everybody gives you what you want right away...

What happens when... (3, Insightful)

Bucket Truck (788240) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342560)

... a cop's partner or even a private citizen needs to use the cop's gun to defend themselves and the wounded cop? Will the "smart" gun recognize someone trying to help the owner or will it not function?

What about the 90% Reliability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342632)

From TFA: "we're pleased to say that we're getting 90 percent reliability when scanning users"

And Later: Recce sees his invention someday also being used in other applications--perhaps the yoke of a plane or a car's steering wheel

What is 90% reliable? Does that mean that an unauthorized user has a 10% chance of being able to fire the gun, or that the authorized user is not recognized 10% of the time- meaning that he cannot shoot when necessary in a life or death situation?

Does it scare anyone besides me that they are thinking this would be good to put on flight yokes or car steering wheels? What if the authorized person has a heart attack and someone else needs to take control, and they are not authorized? Firey crash? Or is there an override? And if there is an override, why bother having recognition if it can be easily turned off?

Re:What happens when... (3, Interesting)

harrkev (623093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342641)

Worse than that. What if a cop has been assaulted and his hands are covered in blood -- or the sensors are caked in blood and mud after a scuffle in a dirty alleyway?

Does this thing need to have batteries replaced every year? What is the false positive vs. the false negative rate?

Really, this is just an electronic replacement for common sense - and not a very good one at that. Bad idea. I would not buy one.

Re:What happens when... (3, Insightful)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342665)

What if a cop has been assaulted and his hands are covered in blood -- or the sensors are caked in blood and mud after a scuffle in a dirty alleyway?

I say we mandate "smart guns" only for police.

LK

Re:What happens when... (2, Funny)

lee7guy (659916) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342696)

Of course it will recognize someone trying to help the owner. Otherwise they wouldn't call them smart guns, would they?

Re:What happens when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342756)

It will not function. However, there are several orders of magnitude more cases of cops being shot with their own guns while struggling with a criminal than there are of citizens defending anyone with a gun "borrowed" from a cop... in fact, if you can find _any_ actual occurances of a private citizen using a wounded cop's gun to defend the cop, I'd be interesting in hearing about them. As far as I know, that kind of thing only happens in the movies!

10 Percent Failure Rate (2, Insightful)

XBruticusX (735258) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342570)

"Sixteen electronic computerized sensors embedded in the gun's grip distinguished known from unknown users. "We've only just begun and we're pleased to say that we're getting 90 percent reliability when scanning users," said Sebastian." So either 1 in 10 times or 1 in 10 users can forget it. Sorry, but when you need a firearm in an emergency situation, the odds are going to have to be much, much better than that.

Re:10 Percent Failure Rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342651)

And how many emergency situations have you been in where you actually needed a gun to protect yourself? do tell because I am sure those 90% success odds are well in your favor.

Re:10 Percent Failure Rate (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342740)

So either 1 in 10 times or 1 in 10 users can forget it. Sorry, but when you need a firearm in an emergency situation, the odds are going to have to be much, much better than that.

They will be. This is a proof-of-concept, not a commercially available product. This is just to show that it is, despite what many have said, possible to identify the holder of a handgun in this fashion. 90% is excellent because it is beyond the realm of chance, it shows that the technology actually works. They will improve it considerably before they start marketing it.

Don't let you battery get low... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342573)

...or you will not be able to use the weapon. Smart guns are not dependable, at least not as dependable as an old-school revolver. These weaponse will not deter crime, but will make the smart gun owners more vunerable to it.

no DNA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342584)

it does not yet look at my DNA? what is this...?

-1 redundant ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342589)

national model for the country

Reliability? (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342590)

Sixteen electronic computerized sensors embedded in the gun's grip distinguished known from unknown users. "We've only just begun and we're pleased to say that we're getting 90 percent reliability when scanning users," said Sebastian.

Glad to know that a mugger will have a 1/10 chance when facing me down, now. :P

Sounds good,but.. (1)

Antonymous Flower (848759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342592)

Can we trust this technology? If we rely on the 'smartness' to convict murderers are we giving those who would hack this technology the power to frame the innocent?

Re:Sounds good,but.. (2, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342713)

Once again, the same basic flaw in the argument.

Oh yeah, like criminals are going to rush out and buy smart guns...No, criminals will buy regular guns, and when these are no longer available in the US they will smuggle them in from countries that are not as restrictive.

It's another case of the law once again demonstrating that it is only effective if people CHOOSE to obey it. The criminal, however, has no respect for his fellow human, much less for the law.

What this technology will do is help prove that Johnny Average shot his wife/neighbor/gerbil/ whatever in the middle of a fit of temporary insanity/argument/sex or whatever (but not necessarily in that order!), stuff that is pretty easy to prove anyway in my not so expert opinion.

Predicting Defeat (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342594)

"Under New Jersey law, passed in Dec. 2002, only smart guns can be purchased in the state three years after personalized handguns become commercially available. Lautenberg said New Jersey's legislative effort to introduce smart gun technology should be a national model for the country"."

And the NRA will claim this is an infringement on the 2nd amendment because a State Law is superceding the Constitution on this key part " the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"

Good idea, but you can just see the challenge coming.

Re:Predicting Defeat (1)

temojen (678985) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342674)

OK, I'm not even an American, let alone an American Constitutional Lawyer, but how is requiring guns to be built a certain way an infringement?

if DRM is a bad idea for software.... (3, Insightful)

rbird76 (688731) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342747)

why is it good for guns?

Maybe I'm cynical, but if every gun sold has to have electronic/computer receivers, might governments have keys to disable guns with those receivers? In some cases, that would negate the rights that gun ownership is supposed to secure, by removing checks on the ability of governments to take those rights. If government became despotic (as it often did when the words you quoted were written), the only mitigating factor was the ability of citizens to arm themselves against it. Negate that, and governments could do whatever they want, a state of affairs that the Constitution was designed to prevent.

The technology has good and safe uses, but it puts a lot of powers in the hands of people who can't be trusted with that much power - which is to say, anyone.

Place your bets, place your bets.. (4, Funny)

AndyCap (97274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342595)

Is the first lawsuit going to be about a smart gun firing when it should not, or a smart gun not firing when it should?

Bad Law (1)

athmanb (100367) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342597)

It should require that the smart gun technology is good enough that manufacturers are willing to at least accept civil liability in case that an authorized user gets locked out, and a crime cannot be prevented due to the malfunction.

Batteries? (2, Interesting)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342599)

So I have to keep the gun in a charger if I want to ever use it? No thanks.

I'm not really that interested in something that requires energy on an item I could potentially use for self-defense and sensors that operate on how the holder uses the gun would be highly suspectible to stress related malfunction.

Won't it be wonderful when the first officer can't return fire to the suspect because the stress of holding the gun on a suspect changes his holding "pattern" and disables the gun?

Hows that old saying go? (1)

wcitechnologies (836709) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342603)

Smart guns don't kill people, Smart PEOPLE kill people.

Bad, bad BAD idea. (5, Insightful)

Kronovohr (145646) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342604)

This is a patently bad idea with regards to general usage. While this idea is great in theory, there is one major drawback:

More components mean more points of potential failure.

The problem in this is, should you need the firearm, at any time it may be unreliable no matter what you're using (even Kalashnikov recognized this in his design): when in a life-or-death situation, Murphy's law usually decides to rear its ugly head, and at that point you're playing the odds: I have x components, y components stand a chance of failing. If any one of y components fails, the firearm fails to function, and you may quickly wind up dead.

Now: that said, if we had a society where firearms weren't necessary for home protection or policing (I rarely ever see the latter in action where I live, so I require the former), then this would be great. On sport firearms, this would be great, because you don't need the reliability you would in a protection scenario. However, in any situation to where you have a life-or-death scenario, as many firearms are manufactured for in the first place, you do not EVER want extra complexity that may cause failure in function of your sidearm.

Re:Bad, bad BAD idea. (2, Interesting)

Psychotext (262644) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342669)

Sorry, this might sound like a troll, it's not. Is your country really that f*ck*d up that people feel they aren't safe without weaponry? Your use of the word "necessary" seems to indicate that things are pretty screwed up where you are.

Surely this is an over exaggeration isn't it?

Re:Bad, bad BAD idea. (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342739)

And what country are you from?

What a load of absolute bullshit (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342610)

Read the "biometrics" that the article mentions. The way you squeeze the trigger and hold the weapon is used to drive the id mechanism. I'm pretty damn sure that I won't be holding a pistol the same way under life-or-death stress as I would under target shooting.

The sensors add orders of magnitude more complexity (pistols themselves don't have to be very complicated) bringing more cost and points of failure.

I certainly wouldn't stake my own life on one of these pieces of crap working. Why would anyone willingly buy one of these toy guns?

Wait... (1)

temojen (678985) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342615)

Another form of biometric--the dynamic biometric--depends on both physical markers and behavior. "This is about who you are and how you do something." said Sebastian. This biometric is the foundation of Dynamic Grip Recognition. The technology measures not only the size, strength and structure of a person's hand, but also the reflexive way in which the person acts. For smart gun, the observed actions are how the person squeezes something to produce a unique and measurable pattern. Embedded sensors in the experimental gun then can read and record the size and force of the users' hand during the first second when the trigger is squeezed.

So, if the gun is trained on the firing range (or even in "hogan's alley"), will the cop use it in exactly the same way while someone is shooting at him?

Bad Idea (2, Insightful)

TheUrge2k1 (835954) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342616)

Smart guns would be great in a setting were kids are around, but I could see this actually being a hiderance in certain situation, like if someone is breaking into your house. Imagine trying to get your gun to recognize you are you when seconds count would defintely be a hinderance. Bad Idea

smart....gun? (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342625)

Contradiction in terms...no matter how you look at it.

Just another way to disarm ordinary citizens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342626)

Ownership of firearms is a right that has a grave responsibility. People like Corzine and Lautenburg prefer that only the police have guns.

In my thinking, that's what makes a police state.

In the Warsaw ghetto uprising, technology like this would have prevented those brave souls from fighting back against the Nazis.

Hmm, that must be what the Democratic senators from NJ have in mind...

Take a look at http://www.a-human-right.com/

What happened... (1)

Unnngh! (731758) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342627)

...to a gun just being a gun? I'm all for keeping dangerous criminals away from firearms, and I think that legislation for waiting periods and against concealed-carry is a great idea...BUT, the real problem is not guns, no matter how much some people complain it is.

What if the sensors got dirty or damaged? What if there was a software glitch? What if the batteries die?! In the off chance I need the gun for self-defense, I would just as soon have a knife. A glock, however, that had been buried, beaten, and soaked in water for the next umpteen years, would probably still fire just fine.

sixteen electronic computerized sensors? (1)

dindi (78034) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342631)

Ahha ... well i agree that guns should be regulated and yaddayadda .... but i would not trust a gun like that ...

a gun takes lotsa abuse, and if the accuracy of the scans is only 90% than it might just furtther degrade especially in situations where you really need a gun ....

thos situations can be muddy, rainy, dirty, hell even bloody ... and bouncy .... when you drop a 9mm probably there is no harm ... try it with a mid calss few-hundred bucks paintball gun ...
see what happens to the electronic loader, see how electronic grips jam up in rain ...
and so on ....

dunno i am really c omputerized person, but when i have to draw a gun i don't want to have the slightest chance that it does not scan me right ...
it is a little more mission critical than my pda not booting or needing a reboot ...

Police? (-1)

ClickWir (166927) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342634)

So if there's a firefight... this would stop the police from using the perps own guns against them. Great.

Re:Police? (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342663)

It would also stop a crackhead from grabbing a cops peace and killing him during a routine traffic stop. (And this is a more common scenario than the cop using the bad guys gun) At any rate, if the cop has the bad guys gun, at least the bad guy doesn't have it. Cops have their own guns.

It cuts both ways, you see.

Dream on (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342636)

NJ's law will NOT be the national model. Most states (and even the nation) are so evenly divided that no one is going to risk pissing off potential voters.

Very few people will withdraw support for a candidate because they don't support such legislation, millions of people WILL actively work against any politician who tries to enact something like this.

LK

Would you like to be the test user? (4, Insightful)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342647)

Eurekalert reports that smart gun technology actually works.

Depends on your definition of "works". From the article:

Sixteen electronic computerized sensors embedded in the gun's grip distinguished known from unknown users. "We've only just begun and we're pleased to say that we're getting 90 percent reliability when scanning users," said Sebastian.

There's no sane cop in this world that would carry a weapon for self-defense that worked reliably 9 out of 10 times.

Its about damn time.... (1)

leon.gandalf (752828) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342650)

Just think.... an officers gun will only work for him/her..

I especially like the idea of NOT being able to be shot by ones own gun THANKYOU VERY MUCH. Of course the only true way to make this work is an RFID implant or ring.

OK, comence with the ONE RING references and TIN FOIL hat BS.

This is not good at all (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342652)

People will think that since "only they can fire it", that they can treat the gun with less respect than an average one. And will there be restrictions so that a parent can't add a child to the gun's permission list, unless the child is certified to operate it?

After all, most gun deaths with children happen in the home, or are brought on by either themselves or a family member. It really would defeat the purpose of this safety mechanism in a large way if people can be added to the firing list willy nilly.

And I am sure that criminals will obey the law. (1)

HiyaPower (131263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342658)

Yeah right.

Oh, and btw, there is a small matter of this being a "taking" under the constitution since it does not address the fact that the folks who currently own them would be prohibited from selling them. But shucks, when did that stuff ever get in the way of a press headine or three.

Little Red Button (1)

protolith (619345) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342666)

Don't Forget to ask what it's for...

just stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342670)

If you are really somone who is trying to use the firearm because a life is in danger, this is the last thing in the world you want.
A gun you can't trust by design?
Brilliant.

Circumstances? (1)

Belsical (238668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342672)

The technology measures not only the size, strength and structure of a person's hand, but also the reflexive way in which the person acts. For smart gun, the observed actions are how the person squeezes something to produce a unique and measurable pattern. Embedded sensors in the experimental gun then can read and record the size and force of the users' hand during the first second when the trigger is squeezed.

What about how people react in a firing range compared to on the street in a real situation? I would sure as hell grip the gun a little harder, shake a little bit, etc. I'd love to see this technology work, but I'm just not convinced.

And my favorite (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342677)

Remember the arms sale demo scene in 5th Element?

"Includes the new 'rrrrrrecall' feature. Fire one shot (bwam!), and all subsequent shots go to the same target, regardless of where you point the muzzle! bapbapbapbapbapbapbapbapbapbapbapbap!!!"

So when... (1)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342685)

will New Jersey mandate a wireless link into this smart weapon that allows an officer to remotely disable it?

We need smart people... (5, Interesting)

MLopat (848735) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342692)

This technology has very little merit. Since there are over 100 million weapons in North America, there will never be a problem for a criminal to find a gun that does not contain this "smart" technology. People that legitimately acquire weapons are not the ones that mis-use them.

In Canada, there has been National debate over their new control registry that has legislated that all gun owners must now register their weapons. It's not very likely that legitimate gun owners are going to commit a crime with their .22 calibre hunting rifle. It is very likely the continued importation of illegal automatic assault weapons will be used for crimes though.

The only place this technology has any applicability is in the hands of police if they feel they may lose their firearm to a suspect and have it used against them. And you don't hear about that happening to often because police have training. Develop smart people, not smart weapons.

This brings new meaning to... (0)

msauve (701917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342693)

the phrase "blue screen of death." Stop! Thief! Wait until I replace my batteries!

This better have a switch... (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342704)

That can be turned off by the cop when he/she goes on duty in case for some reason a fellow officer needs to use the gun, and so that the cop can turn it on when he gets home and his kids can't set it off.

Oh wait, that's the same as a safety and it won't prevent a criminal from taking the gun away, turning our theoretical switch off and using it against the cop.

I'm so impressed.

I got my smart gun 5 years ago. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11342708)

Still works flawlessly [tarnhelm.com] . I carry it everywhere. I wear a $2000 ceramic vest. I hope I never, ever have to draw this gun in anger. But god help anyone who forces me to do so.

In other news, let me be the first to say "fuck new jersey".

/praying for the day when my fellow liberals understand that all civil rights are important.

Smart guns? More like smart senators. (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342721)

From TFA:

The project has the enthusiastic backing of Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg and Jon S. Corzine. In addition to proudly witnessing the technology, the pair announced last week that, once again, they had secured $1 million in federal funding for the project. Last year, they secured a similar amount.

And later:

Under New Jersey law, passed in Dec. 2002, only smart guns can be purchased in the state three years after personalized handguns become commercially available.

Let us speculate on whether the technology will be patented, and who is likely to get all the royalties. Hmm... That's a tough one. While the slashdot crowd is discussing EMP, fascinating as it is, Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg and Jon S. Corzine pass another bill to give an unfair advantage to a private business.

Don't read Logan's Run sequels - they're terrible! (1)

ugmoe (776194) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342722)

http://www.stellar-database.com/non-ISDB/LogansRun .html [stellar-database.com]

If anyone is tempted by this topic to go out and read Logan's Run and then its two sequels...

Don't do it!

The original book Logan's Run is pretty good. The sequels (Logan's World and Logan's Search) are terrible. My personal opinion is the author took a lot of drugs, messed up his mind and then needed to make some money fast.

Also interesting is that the original novel was written by two people (William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson) while the sequels were written just by William Nolan.

The author William Nolan has a Logan's Run website here: http://www.williamfnolan.com/ [williamfnolan.com]

Note: I have no idea if drugs were involved, but it would explain why the sequels were so lousy compared to the first novel.

If this is such a great idea... (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342730)

And the move is being done to genuinly protect people, and not as a further attempt to limit guns, why don't the Police volunteer to be the first to use the Smart Gun technology? After all, if this is as cheap and reliable and safe as they claim, they should be happy to embrace the technology.

One should be suspect of the technology if the Police aren't willing to use it themselves!

Stupid Guns invented in NJ, too! (1)

your_mother_sews_soc (528221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342736)

I worked at a cool company in NJ in the 90's where everyone but me, it seemed, had PhD's and from places like MIT and Princeton. Two of the guys used to joke they invented a "Stupid Gun" that would identify and shoot stupid people. Trouble was, they could never get it to not light up and fire at people. I guess it's all a matter of perspective, huh?

Simpler solution to all this (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342737)

Require the first owner of the gun to be regestered.

After that, whoever's name is on the registration is held legally responsible if the gun is involved in a crime. If you wish to give the gun as a present and leave your name on it, well, it is now your problem if the gun is involved in a crime.

This is simply making any gun owner be responsible for their weapon. It seems like we are now a nation of none-responsibility. National Leaders who f**k up and then blame everybody but themselves (so many excellent examples, these days). Criminals who blame manufactuers. Business Leaders who steal billions and at worse have to give back a small portion of what they stole (no jail time, though), while pushing all the blame on underlings who do hard time.

Step 1 (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342749)

The weapon shop guns are one step closer. The next step is for them to recognize their target.

(I'd say "Now how was that supposed to work?" but I know that van Vogt never specified.)

Wouldn't trust it with my life.. (1)

Rhone (220519) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342750)

Another form of biometric--the dynamic biometric--depends on both physical markers and behavior. "This is about who you are and how you do something." said Sebastian. This biometric is the foundation of Dynamic Grip Recognition. The technology measures not only the size, strength and structure of a person's hand, but also the reflexive way in which the person acts. For smart gun, the observed actions are how the person squeezes something to produce a unique and measurable pattern. Embedded sensors in the experimental gun then can read and record the size and force of the users' hand during the first second when the trigger is squeezed.

Holy crap. I can't even make my hand-written signature look the same every time; I sure as hell wouldn't feel comfortable trusting my life to a method of self-defense that depends on me having to apply the same amount of force, speed-of-movement, etc. every time.

Yeah yeah, I know--it's supposed to be all reflexive, something I'm not consciously controlling. But, let's say I buy a gun for self-defense, and, as unlikely as it may be, I end up having to use it. Somehow, I suspect that with my heart racing as I'm trying to defend myself from a mugger/car-jacker/whatever, I won't be pulling the trigger quite the same way as I would be in, say, target practice.

Now, the cases when an innocent citizen actually needs to pull a trigger in self-defense are exceedingly rare, but still--if I were to get a gun for that purpose, I certainly wouldn't be comfortable with a supposed "smart" gun.

Smart Guns are here (1)

philkerr (180450) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342753)

They've been around for a few years now. Companies like Metal Storm have their own smart handgun [metalstorm.com] as well as their more well known [metalstorm.com] technology.

Smart guns? (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342754)

Cool! Soon, we can start blasting some aliens and face huggers with these smart guns [google.com] . [grin]

This will be interesting... (1)

Black Art (3335) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342758)

How long until the first "Smart Gun Jammers" become available?

Somehow I think there will be a number of RISKS articles generated from these guns.

What happens when... (5, Insightful)

ShamusYoung (528944) | more than 9 years ago | (#11342759)

Someone busts into my house, my wife takes out my gun, and the fucking thing doesn't work for her, because the gun is "mine".

The article claims they have 90% reliability? MY gun shoots every single time I pull the trigger. So now we have:

* A gun I cannot loan to a friend on the range

* A gun which is going to be more expensive, due to all those fancy features, yet will be harder to SELL, even to another law-abiding citizen, because of the added difficulty in "transfering" the gun to the person so they can use it.

* A gun that is far less reliable

* A gun that is mandated by law (in New Jersey)as the only sort of gun I'm allowed to have

* A gun with complex electronic parts that will be much less durable, and will probably require some sort of energy source (such as batteries).

* A gun that will weigh more

* A gun that criminals WILL NOT USE. They will bypass the security of stolen guns, or just trade in "non-secure" guns. So, only law-abiding people will be stuck with these crappy things.

Why is it these lawmakers trust technology more than the people they represent?

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