Are Smart Guns Dumb?

OK first, I’m not real confident that they’ll be able to successfully implement these technologies. That said, on the surface it looks good. A gun that knows who I am and knows who you are not. Here’s an anecdote, I live in a building that uses facial recognition to get in, it works ‘pretty’ good until it doesn’t. It has left many of us standing outside waiting for the guard to answer the phone and buzz us in. I would give it an effective percentage of 95%. I worked in a facility that used retinal identification for access to different areas, it worked ‘pretty’ good but seemed to be really finicky, right angle right distance right amount of time kind of stuff. For plinking out in the desert smart guns might work, to stop a thief from using a stolen gun maybe, but for self defense, No Frickin Way!


One word for you - E.M.P.

Now, this is actual smart gun:


Are Smart Guns Dumb? YES!


They are unlikely to be anywhere near reliable enough to bet your life on. Also once they become common enough, criminals will figure out an easy way to bypass the security so they can use it. They may even be able to use smarter tech to block you from using it against them.


Wouldn’t want me or my family to be the test case that’s suing the manufacturer for a malfunction resulting in injury or death due to the firearm not working when needed.


I have 0 interest in owning one, pretty much ever, no matter what.

Never ever be as reliable as not having the ability to electronically disable at all, because nothing manmade is 100% reliable and the “smart” part would just be another thing that can and in some cases will fail

Also where there is a will there is a way, criminals will be able to defeat it (just look at security cards/systems and vehicle keys now)

Also, some entity will surely hold the ability to disable citizen’s firearms.


I wonder if I could customize one that would eject blades from the grip. Triggered only by a foreign hand print. Totally a great idea as long as I’m making SURE I draw it EXACTLY right every time.:joy::rofl:. Honestly though, this would be a terrible idea and California would make this a requirement in a New York minute! We can NOT let them find out this technology exists!!


Could you imagine another person being able to hack into your gun and fire it from their keyboard!? Ya, let’s just keep our guns as dumb as possible. As it is, I can still only blame people for killing other people. Let’s not give these gun controllers any more ammo to blame guns for killing people.


“The fingerprint reader unlocks the gun in microseconds, but since it may not work when wet or in other adverse conditions, the PIN pad is there as a backup. LodeStar did not demonstrate the near-field communication signal, but it would act as a secondary backup, enabling the gun as quickly as users can open the app on their phones.”

This sounds worse than the “Should I carry one in the chamber?” thread … :-1:


California already required technology that did not exist (microstamping)


Can we “mandate” that Hollywood shows and the security details for the California, New York, New Jersey and Chicago elite be the test group for the next ten years. This would solve problems more than one way and would be a good baseline for continued study.


That’s where my head was going. The problem isn’t technology or innovation. The idea of a smart gun is neat; it could reduce risks of curious children shooting themselves or bad guys getting their hands on my pistol.

The problem is with legislators and regulators requiring technology that may not be completely reliable, or may not be adequate for all users. For someone like me, for example, who has very weak fingerprints and can’t use fingerprint scanners. Or someone who prefers to wear gloves at the range.

And the real losers in the push for smart guns will be low-income families. They already live in the worst neighborhoods and arguably have the most need for self-defense, and any new tech that becomes mandatory will simply push firearms further beyond their ability to purchase what they need.


Every smart gun can be fried and rendered useless by Mother Nature.


Is a drone or unmanned vehicle considered a smart gun?


These things pop up every few years… they don’t work… they fade away… they pop back up again in a few years. I think this idea has been around at least from the early 2000s if not the late 1990s.

We’ve only just gotten to a point where we consider red dots on pistols “pretty reliable” by more than 1 manufacturer. So the odds of this particular version of the electronics standing up to any sort of reasonably expected abuse is pretty slim.

As others have pointed out, anything electronic has the potential vulnerability of an EMP (search for DIY pocket emp, its not that hard) which may either temporarily or permanently disable the security device (does it default to open? or default to closed?), the potential to be hacked by criminals (either the street or political kind) to either prevent your usage or enable theirs.

And then you have just the general ergonomics and usability of it. For this to be something you can depend on, it has to always unlock when you need it. Immediately. Every time. Not later, not on the second or third attempt, and not with you having to take several intermediate steps (unlock a phone, open an app, touch to firearm) in order to use it. By any reasonable definition of when you need a firearm it is because you are facing an imminent and deadly threat regardless of whether it is for civilian, LEO, MIL usage.

But someday… someone will solve those problems, or at least solve them “sufficiently” where it becomes a viable option for at least some people some of the time.

And I still would think its a poor idea to be mandated by any gubment. Because we would again be trying to solve a people problem by either legislating it or tech-ing out of it.


Most of what we call “drones” are really remote control vehicles, or as you said, unmanned aerial vehicles. A literal “drone” would be able to make decisions on its own, so I suppose an armed drone could be a smart weapon. I don’t think any nation has armed drones, in the more literal sense. The unmanned planes the U.S. uses all have a human being in a chair somewhere who make those decisions. I suspect that will change one day, because competition will force us to change.

I have a difficult time imagining a scenario with “smart guns” issued as individual weapons on the ground. For one, they’re expensive. For two, on a battlefield, I might need to pick up a firearm off the ground and use it. Can’t do that with a smart gun. For three, it’s just one more thing that can go wrong which a Soldier or Marine can’t fix in the field or on the range, so these things would have to go through the maintenance shop on a regular basis.

Imagine that for commercial firearms. I rarely have an issue that I can’t fix, perhaps with the help of a friend. A smart gun would require some industry level changes, something like the auto industry. Sudden my firearm will have computer issues that can only be fixed by a manufacturer authorized technician.


This topic also reminds me of the gun that uses the thumb trigger that is located on the back of the gun. Instead of needing a hand print, you would just use the thumb print on the button like trigger. Very reliable for the phone. Obviously I hate the idea of this “safety” to prevent kids or strangers using your weapon but this could be another route manufacturers could go. Is this smart though, or just a safety. The idea of truly smart weapons, meaning connected to the internet, really gives me pause. Reference “The Terminator”!


Good point, I guess we’re really talking about electronic safeties. So a “smart safety” is one that only specific people can unlock. Is that a fair way to describe the idea?

Or to put it another way, a “smart safety” is one that only specific people can forget to unlock.


Yes indeed.


Having a smart gun is better than having no gun at all. There should be a reciprocity between state if you travel with one and should be allowed in all 50 states. If there is a benefit to own one I am going for it. The anti’s would benefit too. I don’t think they should be mandatory unless they were just as flawless as any gun today.