Improved RFID Technology in Smart Guns Threatens Second Amendment

By:  Bob Adelmann
08/20/2013
       
Improved RFID Technology in Smart Guns Threatens Second Amendment

RFID technology has advanced to the point where a chip, installed in the grip of a handgun, will allow the government to render the gun useless instantly.

The development of RFID (radio frequency identification) chips (shown in photo next to a grain of rice) has advanced to the point where gun makers will shortly be offering “smart guns” for sale in the United States, according to Anthony Gucciardi, who has been watching the movement with increasing concern for years.

The advancement will allow the manufacturer and the federal government to “turn off” the firearm and render the weapon useless at any time, a tactic that will be used "to take away legal firearms from the hands of law-abiding citizens,” according to Gucciardi.

“Smart gun” development is no new thing, but has been the subject of sometimes intense interest by universities, government agencies and gun makers for decades. As far back as 1994, former Colorado congresswoman Patricia Schroeder routed $650,000 from the Pentagon budget to the Justice Department to commission Sandia National Laboratories to explore smart-gun development. When Sandia reported some progress, Colt Industries decided to develop its own smart gun — the Colt Z40 — which incorporated an RFID chip coupled with a radio wrist transponder to prevent unauthorized users from firing it. The project died when gun owners boycotted Colt for its apparent siding with gun controllers over the issue.

In 1999, Mossberg & Sons started developing its own RFID chip, which never made its way onto the market. Between 2000 and 2004, the National Institute of Justice granted Smith & Wesson $3 million to test a variety of smart-gun iterations. The company failed to comply with the grant’s objectives.

And there the matter largely rested until the Newtown shooting in December 2012. The media began asking whether a “smart gun” would have prevented Adam Lanza from using his mother’s weapons in his attack at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. For example, the New York Daily News noted, “Now proponents of so-called personalized or smart guns are hoping the nation’s renewed attention on firearms following the Newtown school massacre will kick start research and sale of safer weapons.”

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