Ready, Aim, ID Check: In Wrong Hands, Gun Won't Fire

Trei, Peter ptrei at
Tue Jan 11 07:07:22 PST 2005

Justin wrote:
> I don't believe the article when it says that smart guns are
> useless if
> stolen.  What do they have, a tamper-proof memory chip
> storing a 128-bit
> reprogramming authorization key that must be input via computer before
> allowing a new person to be authorized?  And what's to stop a criminal
> from ripping out all the circuitry and the safety it engages?

The 'stolen gun' problems most of the so-called 'smart gun' proposals
are trying to address are the situation when a cop's own gun is
taken from him and immediately used against him, or a kid finding
one in a drawer. A determined and resourceful person can, given
time, defeat them all. After all, a 'determined and resourceful
person can build a gun from scratch with a small machine shop,
and many do (its not automatically illegal).

I link below to an absolutely bizarre proposal - apparently real
and claimed to be existing in prototype - by an South African
inventor to make an unstealable gun. Amongst other weirdness,
it fires the specially manufactured cartridges by firing a
laser into the glass-backed primer. As a result removing
the electronics would make it unusable. You'd have to
hack it instead.

This is a typical example of what I meant when I said that
'smart gun' proposals all come from people with zero
knowledge of how guns are used.

I strongly suspect that the gun in the picture is
a non-working prop.

Peter Trei

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