Smart guns: Would they work?

Posted at: 02/15/2013 10:31 PM
Updated at: 02/15/2013 11:12 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

While it sounds like something from a movie, a high tech gun is more realistic than you think. But critics wonder, would it really work when it comes down to life or death?
They're called "smart guns”. And they fire only when a certain magnetic ring is in contact with the handle. So, if you don't have the ring, you can't shoot the gun.
It would make stealing a gun pointless, but some say it may not work when you need the gun for protection.

500,000 guns are stolen every year. 600 people are killed in accidental shooting. Some say putting this technology in the gun won't stop every gun death, but could save lives. While others say this is just another way to control guns.

Josh Perkins, Jackson Gun and Ammo said, “With something like this it needs to be 100% tested cause it comes down to it's your life on the line.”

That is Josh Perkins main complaint with “smart guns.” Perkins sells all types of guns at Jackson Guns and Ammo and says he supports the idea.

News10NBC's Amanda Ciavarri said, “What do you see are the benefits of it?

Perkins said, “The benefits of it are it's going to stop any kind of child from playing with the gun when they should have it. It's going to stop people, if the gun is stolen, from operating it. It's really, in an idea, it's a really good idea.”

Here is how it works. A micro-chip is placed inside a ring that the gun owner wears. When that ring touches the handgrip, the chip transmits a code to a receiver and allows it to fire.

Ciavarri said, “But there are some down sides?”

Perkins said, “There are going to be a lot of downsides. Is it going to stand up to the recoil of the fire arm? How long will it hold up? Battery operation, a lot of different things play into affect on how reliable it's going to be.”

Perkins worries about men and women in law enforcement who live may depend on their gun.

Ciavarri said, “Do you think that's something law enforcement are going to want to take a chance on?”

Perkins said, “In the future possibly yes, cause it's going to be great cause if an officer has his weapon taken away from him, the person who takes it wont be able to use it, but also in the situation where an officer drops his gun and his partner needs it, he's gonna be in a load. There is always going to be that one situation where say someone is getting mugged, ya know, husband gets taken down who has the gun, wife picks it up and isn't able to use it.”

The NRA says its stance on smart guns is that we don't need to focus on technology in guns, we need to focus on educating and training those who use guns.