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How Obama's edict will resurrect smart guns

Lucas Mearian | Jan. 11, 2016
The federal government could become the biggest buyer of smart gun technology.

"We would continue to oppose mandates for this technology, particularly since there are well-proven existing methods to secure firearms, and firearms accidents are at historic low levels," the NSSA statement read.

Oppenents' concerns over mandates are not without merit.

More than a decade ago, New Jersey enacted legislation that requires smart gun technology once the state's attorney general determines a prototype is safe and commercially available.

New Jersey State Senate Majority leader, Loretta Weinberg (D-District 37), who originally sponsored the New Jersey bill while serving in the State Assembly, has said she would consider repealing the law if, after doing so, the NRA would agree not to impede smart gun development.

In 2014, Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass) introduced the Handgun Trigger Safety Act, which would require all handguns manufactured, sold or imported into the United States to incorporate smart gun technology within three years of the law being enacted.

"In the 21st century, we should use research and advances in technology to our advantage and save lives from senseless gun violence," Markey said at the time.

The law has yet to pass.

Markey applauded Obama's executive action, saying it's a step that he'd been fighting for with his own legislation.

"Smart gun technology has the potential to save lives by keeping guns literally out of the hands of those who should not have them," Markey said in a statement.

Moshbacher said that when he has spoken to smart gun designers, most believe it would only take a few million dollars to go from prototype development to a marketable weapon, so $20 million would fund several technology development efforts.

"Which is peanuts in comparison to the federal budget," he said.


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