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

Justin justin-cypherpunks at
Tue Jan 11 08:02:05 PST 2005

On 2005-01-11T10:07:22-0500, Trei, Peter wrote:
> 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.

from the article:
"Guns taken from a home during a robbery would be rendered useless, too."

The South African Smart gun...

Totally useless.  Failure modes and various other complaints:

-cannot connect to cellular network
-cannot receive GPS signal
-out of batteries
-laser diode craps out
-fingerprint scanner takes more than 0 time to use.
-ammunition is more expensive
-"window" in ammunition can be dirty or fogged, causing failure
-any sort of case failure will probably destroy the electronics
-will never be as small as subcompact firearms
-if smartcard is stolen, gun won't fire (other "smart guns" use rings)
-all the electronic tracing capability requires gun/ammo registration

I'd almost rather have a taser.

What assurance do I have that the circuitry won't malfunction and fire
when I don't want it to?  What if a HERF gun can not only render the gun
useless, but make it fire as well?

"War is the father and king of all, and some he shows as gods, others as men;
some he makes slaves, others free." -Heraclitus 53

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