3 years ago
The California gun store that put the nation’s first smart gun on sale is facing a furious backlash from customers and gun rights advocates who fear the new technology will encroach on their Second Amendment rights if it becomes mandated.
Attacks in online forums and social networks against the Oak Tree Gun Club have prompted the store to back away from any association with the Armatix iP1 smart gun. The protests threaten the nascent smart gun industry, which received a jolt of support recently when a group of Silicon Valley investors offered a $1 million prize for promising new technology.
The vitriol began almost immediately after The Washington Post reported last month that the Armatix iP1 smart gun was for sale at the pro shop. Electronic chips inside the gun communicate with a watch that can be purchased with the gun, making it impossible to fire without the watch. Gun control advocates, who believe smart guns could reduce gun violence, suicides and accidental shootings, marked the moment as a milestone.
“These people are anti-gunners,” someone said of Oak Tree on the store’s Facebook page, adding, “I will never step foot in this dump.” On Yelp, a user wrote, “If you care about the ability to exercise your [Second Amendment] rights, I would suggest that you do not continue to frequent this place.”
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Gun rights advocates and Armatix executives have been mystified by the store’s response, which has been to deny ever offering the gun and apologizing for any confusion in several places online, including to a gun rights advocate at Examiner.com.
The denials come despite Oak Tree owner James Mitchell’s extensive comments about why the gun was put on sale there. Armatix executives also provided The Post with two photos of the gun for sale in a gun cabinet at the facility, as well as multiple photos of customers shooting the iP1 at an event in a specially designed firing range with large Armatix signs.
Like I’ve said before, spend all the money you want on “smart guns,” advertise it until your heart is content, and talk it up big. The gun owner market will determine how it does. Bring your wallet and join the fray, if you dare.
And it doesn’t. That’s the end of the story. Wasted money. Wasted because no one who understands anything about machinery – and I do because I’m a registered professional engineer – will pay one cent for a monstrosity like that.
That doesn’t even touch on the issue of inhibiting the ability to resell, becoming a de facto universal background check for gun owners (which is itself evil), and being able to identify to the .gov where you are at any given time.
And like I’ve said before, gun owners rarely forgive and rarely forget. We reward those who are friendly to us, and punish those who aren’t.
See also Kurt Hofmann’s latest article on this, Backlash against gun shop shows gun owners smarter than ‘smart gun’ pushers, where he says “gun owners, and more specifically, gun buyers, wield enormous power over the gun industry, and thus enormous capacity to punish collaboration with the forces of “gun control.”
Prior: Smart Guns Tag