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New Jersey Enacts 'Smart Gun' Law 1748

Posted by timothy
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rmohr02 writes "New Jersey has just enacted legislation that would require all handguns to be able to recognize their owners and only fire when their owners grip them. Gun manufacturers will be required to implement this within three years of the NJ Attorney General's approval of an acceptable, commercially available model. One critic says 'No technology is foolproof--anyone who has a computer knows how many times it crashes.' I'm sure fellow /.ers will have something to say about that. Also on Google News"
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New Jersey Enacts 'Smart Gun' Law

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  • by _Sambo (153114) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:48AM (#4949892)
    What a great black market is being created here. Soon, on the Sopranos, you'll see the Italian geek boy, with the obligatory nerd goggles. He'll be known as the technical officianado de la cosa nostra. When he gets a support call, it'll be a real life and death situation.

    Cracker markets are as follows: rigging the guns to fire when anyone picks them up.

    Bio-cracking: making the customer's biometrics fit those of the gun's owner.

    Disabling the protection.

    Those are a few off the top of me head.

    Only one question will remain: Does the tech mob guy get to wear a big gold cross?

  • interesting... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hagbard5235 (152810) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:49AM (#4949896)
    I'm curious if when this legislation goes into effect if all new handguns issued to NJ police officers to contain this technology or if handguns for police have been exempted.
  • HERF guns vs. guns (Score:3, Interesting)

    by evenprime (324363) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:51AM (#4949906) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if these things will be hardened against EMP attacks. If not, it would not matter if they used a transponder ring or fingerprint recognition; either way a powerful radio signal is all a criminal would need to disable all the guns in a home before breaking in.

    I'm especially interested in the transponder ring systems. I'm sure that hardware types will try cobbling together a universal ring...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:56AM (#4949945)


    In the very controversial testing (I believe at least 6 manufacturers, possibly as many as 9 or more submitted entries) and acceptance of the 9 mm beretta as the replacement to US military (not all branches) sidearm in preference over the Colt .45, the handguns had to pass tests that included over a certain number of successful firings in all types of conditions, no cleaning, mud, water, etc. (was it 1,000? 10,000? 25,000?, someone want to look it up?) without a single jam. In repeated tests, none of the guns were perfect (though the beretta and colt came damn close), but beretta was compromised on because foreign nations in nato had adopted the 9 mm over the .45 as the standard caliber for interoperability between nations.

    So will the NJ gun-banners apply a reliability factor into the requirement so the 100,000+ persons in the US who use guns defensively in the US will be able to protect themselves reliably, or will the NJ gun banners be happy that the gun simply doesn't fire, period?

  • Guns won't "crash" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by saskboy (600063) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:58AM (#4949954) Homepage Journal
    "One critic says 'No technology is foolproof--anyone who has a computer knows how many times it crashes.' "

    That is utter foolishness. A gun will not have an OS, it will be hard coded. My microwave doesn't 'crash' and I don't think my gun would either.

    The more serious concern is how easy it would be to fool the gun. I can fool my microwave pretty easily, so I'd expect the same from a gun.
  • by ADRA (37398) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:59AM (#4949964)
    Who does it hurt? I don't see this to pro-gun or anti-gun but a narrowing of the issue.

    1. Someone can't break in and kill you with your own gun.

    2. Bowling for .. well you know the name had a valid point on raising children.

    3. Extra-state gun purchasing, well that is a given, but for every state to say "I am not doing it until my neighboring states do it will et one nowhere. It is good to see that someone has stood up and said this is important.

    4. "responsible, diligent parenting" Like it or not, having this gun control measure enacted won't stop kids from killing themselves. Even having responsible and diligent parenting doesn't mean they won't be suicidal.

    5. "does nothing for preventing gun crime" Besides point 1, how about preventing people from breaking in and stealing your gun? I am not sure about you, but there are not that many gangs hooked up in the information age. That doesn't mean there will be no "cracked" weapons, but it does mean that more ill-begotten firearms will be put into the hands of people that will use them. If the mechanism for disabling the gun were cracked on day 1, I am spositive that the law would save at least one life, and too me, it is worth it. Save lives not egos.
  • Re:interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stefanlasiewski (63134) <slashdot@stefa n c o .com> on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:00AM (#4949967) Homepage Journal
    Actually, I've always throught that US cops should had the gun attached to their belt by a cable, just like they do in many European and Asian countries.

    Drop your gun? Well, at least somebody can't pick it back up and shoot you. According to these guys [ncpa.org], "10 percent of police who are shot are shot with their own guns".
  • by ezakimak (160186) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:06AM (#4949998)
    Well, I don't see how they could possibly implement this w/o some sort of id tag on the owner. It should be interesting to see how they attempt to implement this in any reasonable fashion, if it is indeed possible...

    "...after the state attorney general determines a smart gun prototype is safe..." Since when are guns safe? They are inherently unsafe last I checked--as implements of destruction usually are.

    How does the mechanism they descibe (the grip test) prevent "accidental gun deaths and suicide"? If the owner grips it and fires, _it will go off_ --that's it's purpose! Also, will their 'grip id' work through gloves? It doesn't seem likely. If not, cops couldn't wear gloves in the winter!

    Even more interesting, would be to follow the money trail to see who's really trying to make a buck...
  • Re:Good idea (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Talennor (612270) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:08AM (#4950012) Journal
    Yeah, but what happens when these 'smart' guns really get smart and start aiming for you, maybe something of a friendly fire option to keep people your family safe. It's not something that should be forced upon people, but improvement can be made until people actually want it, that is if they can afford it.
  • Re:Good idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Twirlip of the Mists (615030) <twirlipofthemists@yahoo.com> on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:15AM (#4950056)
    Trust me, if New Jersey legislators had been able to pass a worldwide law, they would have. But the New Jersey legislature only has jurisdiction over New Jersey, so they're doing the best they can.

    If N guns are manufactured in New Jersey in 2006, there will be N guns on the market that have this kind of safety gizmo built in, which is better than the status quo.

    And finally, this law has nothing at all to do with crime. It has to do with public safety. As a crime bill, this law will probably not do a very good job. As a safety bill, assuming the technology works, I imagine it'll be quite effective.
  • Good idea, but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by asteinberg (521580) <.ude.drofnats. .ta. .grebniets.ira.> on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:16AM (#4950070) Homepage
    ...there are definitely a few things we should be concerned about.
    1. Will it be possible to "unencode" the gun? Specifically, if a person decided to resell their gun, obviously it would not make sense to let them resell it privately (since that would defeat the purpose of this capability), but they should be able to resell it to a licensed gun dealer, who could then in turn either send it back to the manufacturer or use a special tool to unencode it.
    2. Will bullets fired from these guns be traceable to the owner of the gun, and if so, will evidence along those lines be useable in court? It seems kind of like a lie detector-type situation (or, if you prefer, a "Gattacca"- or "Minority Resport"-type situation). If somehow someone figured out how to fire someone else's gun, and the bullet were traced back to the gun, then, because of this technology, a jury might be inclined to assume that there is only one possible person who could have fired it, when in fact there could theoretically have been someone else. They should be very explicit in describing how this can and cannot be used in court.
    In general, though, this seems like a pretty solid idea that would be useful even if not 100% effective. If something malfunctioned and the rightful owner was not able to fire the gun, then they could take it back to the store and replace it, while alternatively if it malfunctioned and someone else was able to fire the gun, well then even in this worst-case scenario it would be no worse than it is now. I think, as long as they're careful about the two aforementioned issues, I can be proud of my home state (not that I shouldn't already be proud of it), and hopefully not have to hear too many New Jersey jokes as a result of this.
  • vs 'Privacy' (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lord Bitman (95493) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:33AM (#4950174) Homepage
    "The gun is set to only fire from the hand of Mr. Thompson, the bullistics match this gun, the gun was registered under the name of Mr. Thompson, A partial of Mr. Thomspon's fingerprint was found on the gun, The is NO other logical conclusion that could possibly be made!"

    The real reason for this law, of course, is to slip in yet another provision for the purpose of making guns useless. Once they're completely useless for any practical purpose, there will be much less resistance to any law banning guns altogether- "Well, I do think I should have the right to protect myself, but then it's not like I'd be able to fire a gun in time anyway. I won't bother contacting my representative." Already any killing can be ruled premeditated murder based only on the gun used being kept loaded and in a place where you could get at it if you need it. There have been laws proposed and passed requiring "gun locks" to be placed over triggers so that you need a key to use the gun. I'm sorry, but the self defence rule of reaching for your keys when you're being attacked should only apply when you aren't carying a gun.
    There will always be people who are pro-gun and people who are anti-gun. I dont think there's a need to go for the cliche "If guns are outlawed..", just remember that if your potential attacker doesnt think you can get your gun to fire before he can get your arms behind you, he is a lot more likely to act. The other guy doesnt need to have a gun if yours doesnt work.
    Guns are made not to protect, but to kill. I hated walking through school and seeing guns every day. It isnt thinking that someone else could grab that gun and use it, I hate it no matter who is holding the gun.
    So yeah, I'm a moron, I guess. I want citizens to be able to protect themselves [read: kill the other guy] with a gun, but I dont want police walking the streets with them. Stupid dream, aint it?
    Many people may consider this a step in the right direction: It's not gun restricting it's gun control, literally! This is what we've really been asking for the whole time, right?
    The dream is to have complete control over the gun- exactly when and how it can be used. Know that the law's idea of when and how a gun should be used is NOT your own belief. If you are against guns, you want more restrictions, if you are for them, you want less. If you're the one holding the gun, you don't give half a shit either way, 'cause all that shit you're saving up for yourself. Some situation has placed a gun in your hands, and all you can care about is using it in the way that situation demands. If it means you're about to shoot someone the law would deem innocent, you do not respect the law. Dont begin to lie saying that you wouldnt want the option. You have the gun, he's in front of you, and the last thing on your mind should be "God, I hope this thing actually fires", even less "Shit! What was my keycode?!" [note to whoever is going to reply 'you say last and then even less, that is impossible': I know that, sometimes words are written to be impossible in order to express an eggageration.]
    Whenever you are going to shoot a person, your desired action is not within the limits of the law. Remember this when considering how much control the law should have over your guns.

    As I said last time I posted like this, my facts are probably not, and in general what I said could probably be viewed as entirely innaccurate. The point of this message is not to promote accuracy, but thought and discussion. Whether the thoughts or discussions it promotes are intelligent or not is entirely up to the reader. That said, it should be obvious that simply calling me an idiot or pointing out innacuracies is rather pointless, as anyone who has gotten to your post has probably made their way through mine, and so would know such things already.
  • by fmaxwell (249001) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:55AM (#4950283) Homepage Journal
    It's all about interptretation.

    That's why we have the Supreme Court, so that we will have some of the finest legal minds making the interpretation.

    As far as the Supreme Court is concerned I think it is full of shit.

    It's not "the" Supreme Court in the sense of one group of Justices. I cited rulings that strethed over a 90 year period and all of those Justices ruled against the concept of the Second Amendment guaranteeing individual gun ownership rights.

    Personally I say it is an individual right along with the rest of the rights provided by the U.S. Constitution.

    Learned legal scholars and Supreme Court Justices disagree. What is your background and what law degrees do you hold?

    They are creating law instead of making sure it is Constitutional these days.

    So, do you include 1886, 1939, and 1976 as "these days"? Because those are the dates of the rulings that I cited. I find it hard to view 115-plus years ago as "these days."
  • Re:Good idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mshomphe (106567) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:56AM (#4950287) Homepage Journal
    Not meaning to be a troll or flamebait, but how many times a year is the aveage citizen in a gunfight, or even in a gunfight situation? Most gun rights advocates always trot out the notion of having a gun in the home to protect their family. How often does a burglar break into someone's home while they are home? How often is that burglar armed?

    I live in an apartment complex; there is no reason for me to own a gun for that reason (or any other reason).

    Why do you feel the need to arm yourself against an intruder? Has it happened before?

    I'm honestly curious about these issues, because I don't see the level of violence around me that would necessitate owning a firearm. I've lived in Baltimore (1 block away from one of the larget crack-dealing blocks in the country), and Los Angeles (both in the Valley and downtown, as well as going to school in Watts). It seems to me that violence happens to those that seek it out, or live by it.

    You seem to justify owning a firearm by perceiving added safety for you and your family. Why don't you feel safe?
  • Gun safety (Score:2, Interesting)

    by flirzan (133046) <flirzan@NospAm.psychoholics.org> on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @02:58AM (#4950302) Homepage Journal
    It's kind of late in the game for me to start commenting now, but I feel like I should get this out. As somone who *was* involved in a gun accident, I think I can speak authoritatively on the subject. Let me first say that while I do not currently own a gun, I would if I had the money to spare on it at the moment. Secondly, let me say that I am missing several digits on one of my hands because of irresponsibility with a weapon. What this taught me was: "Never listen to someone who says a weapon isn't loaded, always verify that for yourself". Rest assured that this will be the first lesson my children learn (and these are not theoretical children at some point in the future, I've got two wonderful sons). My father taught me to shoot at an early age, and I plan on teaching mine to shoot as soon as they are able to hold a rifle. I think that the important point in this debate is the fact that children who are educated about weapons (be they guns, knives, words, jelly donuts, whatever) will not try to show off to their friends about how cool they are cause they found dad's gun. They will (for the most part) show them the respect they deserve. Putting chips in weapons that only allow one person to fire them is not the answer. Properly educating the youth of today is one aspect of the answer, another is giving the kids something to do rather than run the streets looking for acceptance with the local gang, or sitting in their room stewing about how mistreated they were at school. Noone is going to stop criminals from killing people with guns by only allowing legitimate weapons to fire when handled by the correct operator, I can show you 15 ways to make a zip gun that is every bit as deadly as your average .45, and another 10 that would drop any human in one shot, regardless of whether it killed him. Legislating gun ownership (or functionality) away is not the right way to go, no matter what kind of spin you put on it
  • Weapon Retention (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Tyro (247333) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @03:13AM (#4950367)
    This is a training problem... one you will have a hard time fixing with technology.

    As a former firearms instructor, I can tell you that retention is tough. If you are fighting for your gun, it's real, no-shit, do-or-die time, and you had better win. I'm not going to discuss specifics in this forum. Even though I have hard time imagining some slashgeek going for a cop's gun, there's probably a few here who are crazy enough, and I'm not going to give anyone any sort of tactical edge.

    The reasons police officers get killed with their own guns are many, and often simply come down to bad tactics. That said, I would NEVER trust one of these smart-gun gadgets for a duty weapon.

    This is the same philosophy behind the "New York Trigger" that many police officers are required to have on their handguns. Instead of better "trigger control" during training, you get one of these heavy triggers. The trigger pull weight on a New York Trigger is about 12+ pounds, and was put in place to prevent accidental shootings, ostensibly because such a hard trigger pull is difficult to accomplish "by accident." Unfortunately, it causes accuracy to suffer (perhaps increasing bystanders getting hit by stray rounds?), and makes the guns unusable for some smaller-framed officers. Again, a misguided technology fix for a training problem.

    I think this is just grandstanding by some NJ politicians. It's almost funny to see them mandate something that doesn't even exist. Unfortunately, this will impact regular gun owners disproportionately, and have little effect on crime guns.
  • by stinky wizzleteats (552063) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @03:16AM (#4950378) Homepage Journal

    I see that this story has unleashed the obligatory pissing match between those who believe that the /. idea of freedom - freedom of information - goes hand in hand with the freedom to be armed, and those who believe that the idea of personal armament is an outdated and dangerous concept in modern society.

    On Friday night, a good friend, colleague, and fellow slashdotter defended his household and family from intruders with a 12 gauge Mossberg shotgun. He stopped the robbery and scared the suspects off. The police caught them a short while later. No one was hurt. In reflecting upon this event, he and I look at the issue of gun control, and indeed the entire issue of gun culture, with a degree of clarity previously unachieved.

    He, like many in our generation, is a reluctant gun owner. We've been bombarded with social engineering that seeks to cast gun ownership in a bizarre, almost psychotic light, which has created, in my opinion, a sort of cultural "gun guilt". Despite this, he recognized about a year ago that he needed a weapon for personal protection, and asked for my advice in selecting it.

    I was raised around guns. I was taught to shoot at a very early age, and participated in official tournaments when I was 13. I own several weapons, including a shotgun and what some like to consider an "assault rifle". I've never been in doubt with regard to the necessity for weapons ownership in a free society, but even I have been affected by the discomfort weapons owners are subjected to in our culture these days. Before this recent event, I might even be known not to have a "ready weapon" for use in a home defense situation.

    I was therefore his "gun nut friend", and took him to the range to learn to shoot safely and effectively. While fully capable of using it, and with a confident, demonstrated, and consistent application of gun safety practices, he never felt comfortable as a gun owner for precisely the same reason so many around here chime in gleefully when something as ridiculous as smart guns gets proposed. (Are you prepared to stake your life on the speed and accuracy of modern biometric identification?) He, and indeed I as well, are victims of the great lie of the modern American anti-gun culture, and it could have cost him his life.

    So before you chime in on this one, and run with the crowd of those who believe guns are vehicles of evil and that those who own and use them are psychotic redneck madmen seeking only to kill schoolchildren, take a second to question your views, what cultural influences formed those views, and the possible agenda of those who exterted those influences. Your life may one day depend on it.

  • Re:Good idea (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mesocyclone (80188) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @03:29AM (#4950438) Homepage Journal
    There is very little accidental gun use by young children. Most gun incidents involving "children" are cases where the "children" are near adult age and are gang-bangers. I think we should require smart swimming pools before we require smart guns - swimming pools kill more children per pool than guns do per gun.

    As far as illegal guns ( an odd concept to me - in my state most guns are legal )... criminals get guns on the street. They may have been stolen or sold to the criminals. The stolen "smart" guns will simply be hacked to be unsmart - after all, it will be much harder to secure a gun (which is a pretty simple mechanism) than a DirectTV receiver!

    Furthermore, there are hundreds of millions of dumb guns out there. This law has no effect on them. There are enough to keep the cirminals well armed for centuries.

    This "smart gun law" is just another typical attempt to deny people the ability to protect themselves against criminals who will be well armed in the first place!

    BTW, in Arizona where guns are common, concealed carry without permit is allowed on your own property, and killing a burglar in your house without any warning is perfectly legal, we have few confrontations between homeowners and intruders. I wonder why? Could it be that criminals prefer to prey on unarmed people? Could that be the reason that gun crime is rising rapidly in England, where legal ownership of a handgun is basically impossible?

    I have used a gun in self defense. It was effective, I want to maintain the right to do it again. Stupid laws like the New Jersey smart gun only help the criminals, and criminalize the honest citizens who want to have a reliable self defense weapon.
  • by Lokinator (181216) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @03:51AM (#4950555)
    The result will be simple enough - firearms manufacturers, quite reasonably, will refuse to sell firearms in the state of New Jersey based on the liability issues involved.

    The first time a battery runs down, or a "smart gun system" fails to fire when necessary - resulting in the death or injury of the lawful firearm owner - the manufacturer of that so-called "smart gun" is going to be sued out of existence.

    There are seldom many volunteers to be sued out of existence.

    A firearm is a last-ditch tool of self defense, and like a fire extinguisher, introducing exciting new failure modes is a *very bad thing*.

    Certainly, my *very first* priority if I were to purchase a so-called "smart gun" would be to dumb it down and remove the potentially fatal failure mode implicit in its' alleged "safety-system".

    This, of course, does not even begin to address the notion that I'd be MUCH more willing to buy a WWI era .45 and recondition it than I would be willing to purchase a risk-intensive "smart gun"...

    Lokinator
    "A gun is one of those things that if you need it, you really really need it...and you need it WORK the first time..."
  • Re:Good idea (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dnewlander (336441) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @04:08AM (#4950628)
    Where exactly do you think all the illegal guns come from? The majority of them are stolen from people who are legally able to buy them, or are bought legally and then sold illegally.

    Any source for these facts? I'm almost 100% certain the first concept is false. Not quite sure how to evaluate the second.

    Simply put, the New Jersey law is something that sounds great, but makes very little sense in actuality. Especially when you consider the very real, and completely undeniable, fact that it will be impossible for this law to have any real effect, other than unconstitutionally limiting the second amendment rights of New Jersey residents. Anyone is free to bring non-"fixed/safe" guns into New Jersey from New York, Pennsylvania, or Delaware, and New Jersey is powerless to stop them. Unless NJ ignores a couple of amendments (unreasonable search and seizure, states cannot limit interstate trade) this law is completely unenforceable, and will be struck down as soon as it is challenged. Virginia may be able to prohibit radar detectors, but this won't fly.

  • Re:Good idea (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jhylkema (545853) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @04:34AM (#4950693)

    Not meaning to be a troll or flamebait

    Not taken that way.

    but how many times a year is the aveage citizen in a gunfight, or even in a gunfight situation?

    It's a legitimate question, and the answer is simple - God willing, never. Not in a year, or a lifetime.

    Trouble is, the police have no duty to protect an individual. None. Zip. See, e.g., Riss v. New York, 22 N.Y.2d 579, 293 N.Y.S.2d 897, 240 N.E.2d 806 (1958) and Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App 1981).

    In other words, the police don't have a duty to protect you. In the event that you find yourself in a situation where your life is on the line and can't protect yourself, the police will happily respond, process the crime scene, cart your remains away to the coroner, and notify your next of kin. Police agencies are reactive by nature.

    I'm honestly curious about these issues, because I don't see the level of violence around me that would necessitate owning a firearm. I've lived in Baltimore (1 block away from one of the larget crack-dealing blocks in the country), and Los Angeles (both in the Valley and downtown, as well as going to school in Watts). It seems to me that violence happens to those that seek it out, or live by it.

    See previous about the police having no duty to protect you. What if one of those drug-crazed hoodlums decides you have crack money on you? It happens, my friend. The fundamental question, though, is whether or not people should have the right to arm themselves for self-protection in the exceedingly rare event that the fight does come to them.

  • Humm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @04:37AM (#4950700)
    Firstly, it's a dumb idea. About as workable as a "Ballistic Fingerprint".

    Secondly, I know a ton of Law Enforcment officers carry thier "issue" piece (Sig, Glock, etc) and at least a personally purchased backup, and often a "belly gun" and maybe even an ankle gun.

    Well what the hell happens in a fight if couple officers are underfire, and for some reason the partner has to use one of the other officer's backups?

    A dead cop is what happens.

    Smart grips don't work, aren't going to work for a while, it's a dumb law.

    Besides, what stops Bill from buying a pistol at a PA gunshow or from the Classifieds and driving across the state line?
  • by Prof.Phreak (584152) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @05:13AM (#4950816) Homepage
    A gun is such a simple contraption that it's unimaginable that someone won't make or modify an existing one that won't be protected. It might help in officers being hurt when their gun refuses to fire in an emergency, but it certainly won't stop the criminals from using guns.

    Not to mention that there are so many guns out there right now.

    A better strategy would be to somehow chemically taint the gun powder to make it identifiable. Whenever you buy bullets (or plain gun powder), that gun powder is forever linked to you. If it ever shows up anywhere, you're busted. Also make it 100 times more expensive than it is now. Crime problem solved. Nobody can afford the bullets (at say $100 a piece), and when they do use them, they're 100% traceable to the buyer. If all bullets sold implement this feature, then in 10-20 years, nobody will have "old" untraceable bullets.

    Now, I seriously doubt anyone is nuts enough to make their own gun powder from scratch...
  • FYI (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @06:35AM (#4951006)
    Open carry is legal in Arizona, permit or no. We are one of the few states that will let people carry guns without jumping through any hoops. You still need to get a permit to carry concealed in public, but open requires no permit.
  • The Point (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ZeLonewolf (197271) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @08:00AM (#4951165) Homepage

    I think "the point" of this law is not so criminals can't get their hands on guns...because I'm sure it would be trivial to take your gun to a shop (or someone's basement) and have it "re-fitted" to you. I believe that "the point" here is to prevent children from getting their hands on guns, which I would consider a noble cause.
  • by Adam J. Richter (17693) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @10:24AM (#4951570)
    In England, Gun crime is rising amongst gangs. Shootings are almost exclusively gang on gang, Yardies Vs Locals. Burgulars don't carry guns, muggers don't carry guns, they don't need to, their victim will be unarmed.

    Can you please post some references to you claims? Here are some that I've found via google.

    Here is a quote from an article [reason.com] on reason.com, which I assume is the online version of the Libertarian Reason magazine:

    Nearly five centuries of growing civility ended in 1954. Violent crime has been climbing ever since. Last December, London?s Evening Standard reported that armed crime, with banned handguns the weapon of choice, was "rocketing." In the two years following the 1997 handgun ban, the use of handguns in crime rose by 40 percent, and the upward trend has continued. From April to November 2001, the number of people robbed at gunpoint in London rose 53 percent.

    It sounds like some burgulars do carry guns in England.

    I suppose its a little plausible that "shootings are almost exclusively gang on gang" as I can believe that most gun use for good or ill is not going to get to the stage of pulling the trigger, but that doesn't mean that outlawing guns hasn't increased crime against innocent civilians.

    From another article [stats.org]:

    The recent International Crime Victimization Survey, which provides a good indication of overall crime levels around the world, shows that, while crime fell dramatically during the 1990s in the United States and most of the rest of the world, it has remained steady in Britain and Australia (which also enacted a gun ban during the late 1990s).

    Also, here is an article [downunderwebsites.com] that claims to be a copy of a Sunday Telegraph article entitled "British Gun Crime Triples (after ban on handguns)."

    Anyhow, if you could post some references, I'd appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

  • by The Monster (227884) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @11:04AM (#4951831) Homepage
    New Jersey should enact a "Smart People" law???
    That would require Smart People in the legislature....

    If this is such a good idea, before the state imposes this on everyone else, I'd like to see all police in the state, including those who guard Gov. McGreevey, trade in their dumb guns and use the new technology exclusively for 5 years. Only after they do that should they even consider mandating it for the general population. Now why do you suppose that McGreevey didn't veto the bill, sending it back with a message that he wanted to do just this?

  • by Wingnut64 (446382) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @11:11AM (#4951874)
    I'd like to see all police in the state, including those who guard Gov. McGreevey, trade in their dumb guns and use the new technology exclusively for 5 years.
    They don't have to. Law enforcement is exempt from the law. Kinda makes you wonder, doesn't it?
  • Re:Hmmm. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Blkdeath (530393) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @11:18AM (#4951919) Homepage
    Then I converted the weight into grains and fed that into the calculator here [firearmexpertwitness.com]. I got a result of 314102.56 Ft-Lbs. Convert that to joules and you get 425,865.873284 joules. Sigvigantly more than the 500 joules at the muzzle quoted for a 9mm hand gun shell.

    Going back to the 'hole' theory, however, tells me that this shell will create a rather significant hole in whatever area it hits. Supposing it hits the chest area (the broadest area of an animal, also the one with the most vital organs) it would potentialy create a hole large enough to put your arm clean through. The chance of such a shell NOT hitting a vital organ along its way is very, very slim.

    I have to say, though, that this is the first time I've ever heard mention of this "Hydrostatic Shock" theory, and I can easily see why; it's about as baseless as so many other pseudo-science ('wives tale') claims.

    Anybody who's taken even a basic biology course will understand that if an artery is clipped/severed/ruptured, the animal's heart is then literally pumping blood outside of thebody. When enough blood has escaped so as to decrease the blood pressure, and thus deprive vitaul organs of blood/oxygen, they will cease to function as expected. (Very non-medical description from a person who is not a doctor; consider it a nutshell ;) )

    What's next; a claim that bullets offset the balance of the four humours?

  • by NexusTw1n (580394) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @01:58PM (#4953098) Journal
    It is not 53%. For example, an unbiased survey, commissioned and paid for by the pro gun lobby only "found" :
    A pro-gun lobby group has attacked the government over laws that made handgun ownership illegal, after a study it commissioned found that the criminal use of handguns went up by 40% in the two years after the weapons were banned.

    Guardian [guardian.co.uk]
    If they can only conjure up 40%, I've no idea where your 53 comes from. Let's look at some real figures.

    Let's take London. Street robberies.
    "In the past eight months, guns have been used in 200 of these offences, compared with 170 in the same period last year"
    Guardian [guardian.co.uk]
    A massive rise of 30 incidents for the entire capital in 8 months. There is easily 100 muggings a day in London,
    While London is still safer than New York, the capital did see a total of 40,000 street robberies, more than 100 a day Guardian [guardian.co.uk]

    40,000 muggings, 200 by gun. Best arm the kids and wife tommorrow I guess...

    "New moves were announced yesterday to stem the wave of gangland gun crime in south Manchester which has resulted in 27 violent deaths in less than four years.

    Moss side South Manchester as any Brit will tell you is rife (by UK standards) with gangland guns. Less than 6 killings a year, I should imagine there are blocks in the US that can generate more deaths per annum than an entire British city. Remember, these killings are gang on gang, Joe Public and his wife aren't getting massacred - if you can count 27 deaths in 4 years as a massacre.

    Are innocents being shot with all these millions of guns the criminals have ? Not in Leeds (where I currently live). Guardian [guardian.co.uk]
    Seven shootings in month linked to crime power struggle in Leeds.....Mr Birley said he and his wife were seeing visitors into a taxi. "A man came running out of the night waving a gun at me. He just said 'Get out of my way' and went past at what seemed like 100mph. This man wasn't panicking and looked as though he was in control - he could see we were no threat."
    And there is the rub. Yes the criminals are armed, yes the police are worried, but simply want tougher sentences for possesion - you can currently get probabtion for some gun offences. The public don't want to be armed, the criminals know that only criminals carry guns, and are only shooting each other in power struggles, they don't perceive innocents as being a threat and have no need to use the guns on them.
    As for your US crime has fallen stat. Did everyone in the US suddenly arm themselves to the teeth, even more than they ever have before in the 90's ? No ? So, how do you correlate US falling crime with gun possession ?
    Could it be something else ? NYC zero tolerance ? LA 3 strikes ? Who knows, You are making a weird leap with that last statistic, unless you can show noone in the US was armed in the 1980's hence the high crime rate, and then when everyone and their mother bought an Glock on 1st Jan 1991, the crime rate plummetted.
  • Re:Hmmm. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by xA40D (180522) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @03:56PM (#4953852) Homepage
    But don't let inconvenient facts get in the way of your self-satisfied ignorance.

    Right, so you are so unsure of your beliefs that you have to resort to insults to make your point. I happen to believe that guns are a bad idea. You want to argue the point? Do it with facts - just leave the value-judgements, unsafe correlations, and urban-myths at home. As to ignorance, well as I don't know it all I must be ignorant. But at least I'm willing to tackle my ignorance head-on in open discussion with others of opposing views.

    Some facts:

    private ownership of handguns is now illegal

    True/False. The 1997 Firearms (Amendment) Act owtlawed certain classes of firearm - not handguns. The stated aim of the act was to restrict the ability to carry concealed weapons, so obviously this affected handguns more than rifles, however, some classes of handguns are still permitted.

    crime rate has skyrocketed

    True. But gun related crime is down. Your suggestion that there exists a correlation between harsher gun laws and the rise in violent crime is statistical game playing. The statistics show that there is a link between the number of people killed by drunken drivers and the number of qualified teachers - amusing, but that's all. Besides as a percentage of total population the number of people holding gun licences has increased (less than 1 in 100).

    illegal for their victims to defend themselve

    False. I can use reasonable force. In other words I can kill the psycopath attacking me, but I'll have to explain my actions and show they were reasonable. Interestingly, "reasonable force" is the same legal benchmark UK Armed Police are judged by when they discharge a weapon. However, I will admit that the judicial interpretation of "reasonable" has been a bit suspect of late.
  • Unbiased statistics (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Doom Ihl' Varia (315338) on Tuesday December 24, 2002 @11:08PM (#4955541)
    Anyone have some unbiased statistics on on shooting deaths from various countries?

"Don't discount flying pigs before you have good air defense." -- jvh@clinet.FI

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