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United States Technology

Smart Guns are Coming 1089

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-about-smart-people dept.
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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Smart Guns are Coming

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  • by sjrstory (839289) * on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:16PM (#11342517) Homepage
    ...is smart users :)
    • by Surye (580125) <surye80 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:22PM (#11342633) Homepage
      I'm afraid I can't let you do that Dave.
      • by Evanisincontrol (830057) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @10:44PM (#11344289)
        I'm afraid I can't let you do that Dave.

        While I laughed my ass off when I read this, I think he's saying more than he knows. (or maybe he knows exactly what he's saying.) What if you're being attacked in your home, and your smart gun suddenly decides (due to circuitry failure or some other business) that you're not it's rightful owner? Your gun is now nothing more than a bludgeon.

        We've already put computers into every household appliance and most forms of transportation, and now we're introducing them into our guns. Do we really need to computerize weapons, knowing that all we're doing is basing MORE of our security on electronics? I would be happier knowing that the fate of the world still lies at least partially in the hands of humans, not in the circuitry of a processor.
        • by wattersa (629338) <[andrew] [at] [andrewwatters.com]> on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @11:57PM (#11344876) Homepage
          You're right, of course. Seeing as how "dumb" knives are freely available and virtually unregulated, I wonder how long it will be before knife weapons attract the same attention :-/. If someone calls this absurd, that's the point.

          It is hard enough getting a fully mechanical gun to function reliably every time; a 10% failure rate in today's handguns would be not only unacceptable, but dangerous by providing a false sense of security. The worst handguns today probably have a 1% or 2% failure rate at most, and even that is horrible. Personally I prefer a 0% failure rate, which is what my .45 auto [springfield-armory.com] has provided.

          The only application I see for this technology that would be accepted by the marketplace (without the NJ law...lol) is a firearm kept in a semi-public place or insecure location like in a car trunk or office, or used by a bartender or bouncer.

          A 10% failure rate is unacceptable for self/home defense. Note that the police are exempt from the new New Jersey law, despite that they are perhaps the group most likely to be shot and killed with their own weapons. They don't trust this technology, so why should I?
          • by macdaddy (38372) * on Thursday January 13, 2005 @03:03AM (#11345973) Homepage Journal
            Nice gun. My Glock 22 has a near 0% failure rate. I've only had one misfire in the handful of years I've owned it and the thousands of rounds I've put through it. I contribute that to faulty ammo though. It really wasn't the gun's fault. It's that damned PMC crap.

            Now on the otherhand my Marlin 336SS has an extremely high failure rate. In the 3-4 years I've owned it I've had it jam up so bad I have to disassemble it to unjam it. In fact it's jammed up this very moment and I can't get the thing apart. I have to send it back to the factory for repair. That gun's failure rate is more than a little unacceptable. My Marlin 1894 hasn't ever had a problem though. Odd. It must be a manufaturing error in my 336.

            You last sentence is a good one. I used the same arguement when I wrote to my state's senators last year when we were trying to get a CCW law passed (house passed it, Senate passed it with a veto-proof majority, the governess vetoed it. grrr). One of the good senators tried to introduce alternate language while the bill was in committee that would only allow the CCW permits to be issued for tasers and other non-lethal defensive weapons. Your arguement is the defense to that senator's language. The police don't trust the technology so why should I? Now let me expand on that. The police do use tasers. In fact they are becoming extremely common which is both a good and bad thing. The police however do not solely relay on tasers. They of course carry conventional firearms. Whenever you see cops enter a building with a non-lethal weapon to root out a suspect they never go in alone. They have at least one officer at their side with a conventional firearm drawn and ready to use. Stun guns don't always work. The clothing might be too thick. The probes might bounce off a large button, pin, cell phone, pocket protector, flask, bottle of jack, etc. It might hit the person's leather belt. It could hit in any number of places or ways that would render it useless. That also assumes the person firing it actually hits their target. Most consumer versions of stun guns are single-shot only. The user would have to reload to take a second shot. Since the range is usually limited to a about 15 feet (Taser International's product limitations) and since the minimum safe distance recommended by all personal safety classes is about 20 feet (see my previous post from tonight) the user wouldn't be able to reload the weapon, aim and fire again before the attacker was on them. Heck they'd already have to be in the person's buffer zone for the rounds to reach them period. The rounds aren't exactly the fastest in the world either so dodging them isn't impossible. Taser rounds aren't cheap either. How is a typical user supposed to practice with their gun when each round costs in the neighborhood of $20 or 7% of the cheapest Taser I found on the market (I just searched using Froogle for both the gun and the ammo). Practice makes perfect but apparently not if you can't afford to practice with your gun. .50AE rounds aren't even that bad. Neither are 470 Nitro Express rounds. Sheesh. You'd think the rounds were gold encased.

            Yeah, I think "smart" guns are for idiots and any law requiring their use must also be crafted by the same. Anyhow, I'm starting to rant. Nice Springfield though. I want a Kimber Gold Combat II.

          • The 911 hijackers are taking over a plane. The president presses a button and all boxcutters in america retract their blades...
          • by dave420 (699308)
            Now all they need to do is make a gun that knows when the owner is drunk or mentally unstable.

            I know what you mean about a knife, but it's a lot harder to kill someone with a kife - you actually have to stab someone to kill them. With a gun, it's a lot less personal - one squeeze and they're dead. That's the problem. Guns are too easy to use. Normally sane, sober people can pick them up in a fit of rage or mental unbalance (like if their lover has left them, or they lost their job), and kill someone be

        • by ckedge (192996) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @12:49AM (#11345205) Journal
          .
          [RANT]

          What the fuck is it with Americans and their "I need a gun to shoot intruders in my home" crap. No where else in the whole fucking world do people say shit like this.

          Do you know how infrequently people come across intruders in their home, intruders who are actually intending to murder/harm the owner? And of those that own guns, do you know how FEW manage to get to their gun? And do you know how many have their shitty cheap gun misfire and jam, then having enraged the intruder get the shit beat out of them? Or actually shoot *someone else* they mistook for an intruder? Like their kids getting home late or their husband sneaking back into the house at 2am?

          Now compare all of the above to the number of kids and owners that shoot one another accidentally, the number that shoot one another because a gun is so handy and easy to pick up when angry, and the number of people shot because there are so many fucking guns that every single God damned 7-11 robber and car-jacker packs heat and is stupid enough to use it.



          [/RANT]
  • No Thanks (Score:4, Informative)

    by afabbro (33948) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:16PM (#11342524) Homepage
    One EMP pulse and you're disarmed. Thanks, but we're not interested.
    • Re:No Thanks (Score:5, Insightful)

      by outZider (165286) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:18PM (#11342563) Homepage
      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 (Score:2, Insightful)

        by t_allardyce (48447)
        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..
        • ...gee you think... from the fallout and all, coming down above our heads?
        • by darth_MALL (657218)
          "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.
      • More importantly, you need a bigger gun!
      • nah, the EMP power-up is hidden on the top of the level, behind the bell tower. you just need to worry if they have double damage and lightning gun. Bzzzzt.

        Head Shot

        djdavetrouble is on a killing spree !
      • Re:No Thanks (Score:3, Insightful)

        by RedBear (207369)
        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.

        Not necessarily. If this law goes through, within a few years any person can be certain that most of the guns in any "law abiding" neighborhood will be these "smart" guns. A single individual or a group of people with ill intent can turn an entire neighborhood of armed individuals into disarmed individuals with a medium-sized homemade EMP. That's just no
    • Heh heh, true enough.

      Some people might be interested. People living around children, perhaps.
    • Re:No Thanks (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TFGeditor (737839) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:22PM (#11342621) Homepage
      " 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.
  • As Charlton Heston, president of the National Rifle Association says.

    Come to think of it, is he still alive?
  • Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by ikkonoishi (674762) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:17PM (#11342531) Journal
    I for one welcome our sentient weapon overlords
  • by zoloto (586738)
    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? (Score:2, Funny)

      by grub (11606)

      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.
    • 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.

    • 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 wou
  • by Bucket Truck (788240) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:18PM (#11342560) Homepage
    ... 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?
    • by harrkev (623093) <kfmsd@harrelsonf ... minus physicist> on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:23PM (#11342641) Homepage
      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.
      • by Lord Kano (13027) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:25PM (#11342665) Homepage Journal
        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
        • Police won't touch them. *ANY* firearm with a less than 99% success rate will be refused by any and all law enforcement personnel anywhere in the country. More likely, LE officers would personally want nothing less than 99.99% success rate. Any second-hand piece-of-shit Glock will probably give you an even better reliability rate, assuming no one has tampered with it.
    • Of course it will recognize someone trying to help the owner. Otherwise they wouldn't call them smart guns, would they?
    • a cop's partner ...

      Not to worry, law enforcement and the military will not be issued "smart guns", there will certainly be a loophole for them to use non-enabled (crippled) weapons.

      Now if I were a conspiracy theorist, I'd ponder the mandating of smart guns, the issue of EMP devices to police (to stop car chases) and the need for revolt.

  • "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.
    • by ikkonoishi (674762) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:37PM (#11342811) Journal
      Ah-ah, I know what you're thinking punk. You're thinking are his hands sweaty enough to mess the sensors? And to tell you the truth I've in all this excitement I'm not feeling too fresh. But being this is a .44 Magnum - the most powerful hand gun in the world and will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question--Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk!
  • 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
  • Predicting Defeat (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) *
    "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, b

    • 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?
    • by rbird76 (688731) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:31PM (#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.
  • by AndyCap (97274) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:20PM (#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?
  • 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? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rahvin112 (446269)
    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?
  • Smart guns don't kill people, Smart PEOPLE kill people.
  • Bad, bad BAD idea. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kronovohr (145646) <kronovohr@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:21PM (#11342604) Homepage

    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.

    • by Psychotext (262644)
      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?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    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
  • 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 e

  • Bad Idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheUrge2k1 (835954)
    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
  • Contradiction in terms...no matter how you look at it.
  • ...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

    • by harrkev (623093) <kfmsd@harrelsonf ... minus physicist> on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:38PM (#11342820) Homepage
      I think that legislation for waiting periods and against concealed-carry is a great idea

      Good idea. Criminalize carrying a gun. That will stop the criminals -- they always obey the law. If this actually works, I say that we pass a law requiring all criminals to report to their nearest police station for arrest. That will clean up the streets.

      People who fill out the paperwork for a conceled permit, take the manditory safely training course, pay the rather large fee, and get fingerprinted (I have been through this process) are the ones most likely to obey the law. A criminal will NOT go through all of this trouble, and a criminal would not be stopped by a law criminalizing concealed carry.
  • 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
  • by ptbarnett (159784) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:24PM (#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.

  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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!!!"
  • by MLopat (848735) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:28PM (#11342692) Homepage
    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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:29PM (#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.
  • 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 excelle

  • by HiThere (15173) *
    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.)
  • 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 e

  • 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.
  • by ShamusYoung (528944) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:32PM (#11342759) Homepage
    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?

  • by vyrus128 (747164) <gwillen@nerdnet.org> on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:38PM (#11342832) Homepage
    If this technology worked perfectly, I would absolutely agree that it should be mandated, and I'm sure most everyone would agree with me. The fact, though, is that it won't. Previous technologies, relying on palmprints and the like, would likely fail if, for example, your hand was covered in blood. Whoops. This one, which claims to be "dynamic" and take into account things like grip pressure, succumb to a different problem; if I have trained my firearm to recognize my normal target-practice grip (already with a small, some would say unacceptable, false negative rate), it is likely that the rate of false negatives will rise precipitously if I am nervous/fearful for my life, because the character of my grip will completely change.
  • by Ruprecht the Monkeyb (680597) * on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @08:40PM (#11342858)
    Quoth Lautenberg: "On any given day people across the country can turn on their TV news or read in their local paper the sad story of a child taking another child's life because they got their hands on a loaded gun."

    In 2001, a total of 72 children (under 15) were accidentally killed by firearms. That includes self-inflicted wounds and those where someone else discharged the firearm. And the numbers declined quite convincingly on their own -- the 20-year average is over 200, and the 5-year average over 100. For comparison, in 2001, 11 children died in skateboard accidents.

  • by dfenstrate (202098) * <dfenstrate@ g m a i l . com> on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @09:02PM (#11343182)
    ...New Jersey's police are not exempted from this law. IIRC, they currently are, reflecting their confidence in the functionality of these weapons.

    When a gun has to work, it really has to work. This is true in the hands of private citizens or police officers. The two seconds it takes for the computer to boot up and you to find the right spot on the grip, or whatever, may be one second too long.

    Most anyone who uses guns will tell you that the most important safety is the one in your head. This includes storing firearms appropriately and schooling your children in proper handling of them.

    If New Jersey is so hell-bent on reducing accidental deaths, they'd be better off banning swimming pools or doctors, as they kill far many more people accidentally- or purposely, for that matter- than guns do.

    We've all read how to get past biometric security- sometimes fingerprint pads wear so much they take any fingerprint, or pictures used for iris scanners, or rings can be taken from their owners.
    On the other hand, Metal Storm's technology is incredibly cool. I just don't want anyone telling me I have to use it. (And in NH, I don't!)
  • by zorander (85178) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @09:20PM (#11343383) Homepage Journal
    First of all, more points of failure makes for a less useable/reliable weapon. Second of all, it supposedly verifies you partially by the way you pull the trigger. This sounds like the worst poossible idea. Isn't that going to change appreciably when you're nervous, pursued, in an awkward situation, etc? I mean a person on the test range will fire it the same every time within measureable deltas, but in a real life-or-death situation? No thanks.

    The criminals will still have non-smart guns, with the serial numbers filed off just like they do today. Citizens should be prepared to counter whatever they should expect to run into in a self defense situation.

    The past forty or so years of data have shown us that an encounter with one gun is significantly more likely to result in a casualty than an encounter in which both parties are armed. Also keep in mind that most incidents that are terminated without shots fired go unreported.

    Also keep in mind that when Florida changed their laws to allow concealed-carry their murder rates went down about as much a the rates in the rest of the country went up. If you're concerned with protecting children from the hazard of a gun in the house, keep in mind that many more children per year die in plastic buckets of water then due to a gunshot wound.

    Can someone explain to me why this is a good idea?
    • by BCW2 (168187)
      Don't forget the big one: this will be hacked! On guns or anything else, if code is involved, it will be hacked. I think events of the last ten years prove the point.
  • by urlgrey (798089) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @10:03PM (#11343844) Homepage
    What happens if:

    it's freezing cold and you're wearing gloves

    it's pouring down rain or snow

    the gun gets dropped and/or the sensors get damaged

    your hand and/or the gun is soaked in blood / sweat / sand / a mixture thereof, etc.

    you're firing the gun from a compromised position (i.e. with one or two fingers)

    your partner's gun jams and you're incapacitated and unable to fire your own

    I read through the article, and I saw zero mention of any of that stuff. They state:

    "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."
    Huh. Doesn't seem to address any of the above issues....
  • Thank God (Score:5, Funny)

    by The AtomicPunk (450829) on Wednesday January 12, 2005 @11:46PM (#11344790)
    As long as this stays in New Jersey and doesn't come to the United States, I think we're safe.
  • oh I can't wait (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xyde (415798) <slashdot AT purrrr DOT net> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @05:05AM (#11346473)
    I can see these being hacked and used for homocide, all while having the owner being pinned as the criminal because the gun obviously won't fire for anyone else, so who else could it be?

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