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More Microstamping Mandates…And ‘Smart’ Guns, Too!

This Week in Gun Rights is TTAG’s weekly roundup of legal, legislative and other news affecting guns, the gun business and gun owners’ rights. 

Federal Bill Would Mandate Guns Be Made “Smart”

Stephen Sliwa, president of Colt Manufacturing Co., holds a prototype of the company’s “smart gun” at the Colt plant in West Hartford, Conn., Friday, Oct. 23, 1998. The small transponder Sliwa holds in his right hand communicates with a small radio transmitter within the gun to operate the trigger. The weapons are designed to be used only by the people who buy them. Sliwa says that production is still at least two years away. (AP Photo/Bob Child)

Ah, the ever-present threat to increase the IQ of our tools. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has proposed a bill that would require all new handguns sold in the U.S., within five years of passage to feature “personalized” technology so only the owner could fire it. That requirement would be extended to older firearms (they’d have to be retrofitted) for sale within 10 years.

We should remember this has already been tried and it was quickly abandoned because signals could be interfered with, rendering the firearms useless. Also, putting an electro-mechanical disconnect in a trigger’s transfer bar, or whatever it might be, is a sure way to wind up with a miserable trigger.

In addition to that, the liability of an electronics-interrupted firearm could create unique and cavernous legal issues for firearm manufacturers.

I’m just trying to imagine a Spanish ruby being brought to a gun shop, with a gunsmith trying to figure out where to shove an Arduino along a two-inch plain steel bar. It’s ludicrous. Plain and simple.

The Sun’s 2020 Biden Interview Reveals Insights on President’s Conceptions on Guns

Joe Biden Gun Pose
Is it duck season yet? (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

The Las Vegas Sun had apparently been sitting on an exclusive interview with then-candidate Joe Biden from January of 2020. They finally published it recently and it covers a range of topics including, of course, gun control.

SPOILER ALERT: Some of the things Biden says reveals an extreme disconnect with how the near-octogenarian perceives gun control and the way the rest of the country sees and uses firearms.

He alludes to his ownership of a “12 and 20 gauge shotgun,” questions the “sporting” utility of certain firearms and tells hunters if you carry a rifle with a 30-round magazine, “You must be a lousy damn shot.”.

It seems Grampy Joe is genuinely of the belief that what he calls assault rifles are a redheaded stepchild that no politician wants to stand behind. This of course, despite the millions of recent gun owners overwhelmingly choosing and buying firearms that he would most assuredly consider assault weapons.

Vermont Legislator Attempting to Repeal Switchblade Ban

Benchmade 4400 Casbah auto knife

Vermont has long been a constitutional carry state, but you’re in deep trouble there if you so much as possess a switchblade knife over three inches. It’s the only knife where simple possession is banned in the state. Vermont representative Patrick Brennan has filed a bill that would repeal that ban.

I’m happy to see these types of laws getting attention, as the right to arms most assuredly includes edged weapons. Plus, switchblades are not only cool, but massively useful. Much like “assault weapon” regulations, switchblade prohibitions target tools for their characteristics, irrelevant to their lethality.

Gun Controllers: Microstamping Technology is Here!

ammunition microstamping
By Microstamper at en.wikipedia, CC BY 2.5, Link

As with “smart” guns, the technology for microstamping is always just around the corner…and likely will be for many years to come. Even so, its proponents have decided that now is the time to push the technology through. How? With the aid of legislation, of course.

Attempting to push innovation via government mandate creates perverse incentives. Rather than coming up with a smooth and safe integration, it encourages firms to come up with a barely workable solution, viciously protect their IP, and then lock the people down with expensive, technically compliant trash.

The proponents of microstamping even recognize this would add significant costs to firearms. To them, that’s a feature, not a bug. But when the people most likely to be violently victimized are disadvantaged by the results of their harebrained mandates, the policy is not only ill-founded, it’s immoral.

Rubio Re-Introduces Gun-Adjacent Terror Watchlist Bill

Does anyone know what this thing is that I’m holding? (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Florida Senator Marco Rubio is, once again, pushing a bill he calls the “Terror Intelligence Improvement Act,” which would have serious consequences for anyone who has ever been placed on one of the government’s numerous and growing terror watchlists, even a decade after inclusion.

Terror watchlists are a constitutional nightmare, as they’re top secret, the government won’t tell you if you’re on or off one, and often the only way individuals find out about their inclusion is after enduring a pattern of harassment at the hands of government actors.

Rubio’s bill would frustrate this massive issue by compelling the consolidation of these lists, and adding one more consequence to the heap: the potential to lose the right to acquire firearms.

Rubio gives lip service to the Constitution by requiring that the subject person actually be notified of a hearing before their right to acquire a gun is suspended. That’s certainly better than we usually see with these kinds of bills, but that’s damning with faint praise.

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