New Gun Technologies are Coming to America

German firearms manufacturer, Armatix GmbH is targeting the U.S. market and will likely begin selling their ip1 pistol in America by the end of 2013. The ip1 gun is one of the few personalized weapons that will soon be coming to market. When the gun-owner is ready to fire the weapon, a code must be entered into a wristwatch-like device to unlock the gun; in order to fire; the pistol must remain with 10 inches of the wristwatch.

The nearly imminent arrival of this gun in the U.S. will bring a decade old New Jersey law to the forefront of current gun laws. The law, promulgated in 2002, says that once personalized gun technology is available in the U.S, only that type of gun may sold in the state. This gun control measure gives vendors three years from the time the weapon is available to begin selling the gun exclusively. Guns purchased before the three year time limit are exempt.

Even if the Armatix gun’s foray into the American market is delayed or blocked, other guns that use similar technology are not far behind. An Irish company has begun making another radio-frequency pistol and a Utah company has begun developing an unlocking mechanism based on biometric (fingerprint) technology.

The Armatrix ip1 model and the wristwatch together cost almost $1,800. Compared to current handgun prices that are around $500, the ip1 is a considerably more expensive gun. Supporters of gun rights are afraid the law will limit citizens’ right to bear arms; while supporters of gun control laws are hopeful that New Jersey’s law will spark similar laws throughout the country as New Jersey is currently the only state that has such a law.

The Wall Street Journal