A dream of gun-control advocates for decades, the Armatix iP1 is the nation’s first smart gun, reports the Washington Post. It is seen as a landmark in efforts to reduce gun violence, suicides and accidental shootings. Proponents compare smart guns to automobile air bags — a transformative add-on that gun owners will demand. Gun rights advocates are already balking, wondering what happens if the technology fails just as an intruder breaks in. James Mitchell, an “extremely pro-gun” owner of the Oak Tree Gun Club near of Los Angeles, isn't one of the skeptics. His firearms shop is the only place selling the iP1. “It could revolutionize the gun industry,” he says.
The implications of the iP1's introduction are potentially enormous, both politically and economically. New Jersey passed a hotly contested law in 2002 requiring that only smart guns be sold in the state within three years of a smart gun being sold anywhere in the U.S.; Rep. John Tierney (D-MA) has a similar proposal in Congress. The National Rifle Association opposes “government mandates that require the use of expensive, unreliable features, such as grips that would read your fingerprints before the gun will fire,” adding that “the 'smart guns' issue clearly has the potential to mesh with the anti-gunner's agenda, opening the door to a ban on all guns that do not possess the government-required technology.”