‘The Apple Effect’ Coming to Guns?

Let us say upfront, in language our members won’t misunderstand, that Law Shield does not support the notion or execution of “smart guns” — that is, technology that prevents a gun from being used by anyone other than its owner. We think each individual gun owner is solely responsible for what comes out of the muzzle — certainly that’s true legally — but it’s also true morally and tactically.

The 1911 has multiple “off” switches already — grip safety, thumb safety, and trigger. And, a gun safe prevents unauthorized use of firearms pretty darned effectively. Ultimately, the “on” switch is the shooter’s mind, which engages the trigger to produce deadly force in a justified circumstance, or in any other less-grave circumstance.

But is the trend moving in the direction of some sort of owner-enabled gun technology? Inexorably, it seems, if we look at innovation in products other than firearms.

For instance, NEXT Biometrics Group ASA announced it has recently received a number of orders within a range of new high potential fingerprint sensor markets. According to company documents, NEXT offers an area fingerprint sensor for smartphones, tablets, PCs, doors, time registration systems, payment terminals, flashdrives, USB-tokens, key fobs and many other uses. But here’s what got our attention about the company:

Tore Etholm-Idsøe, CEO of NEXT Biometrics said, “The ‘Apple Effect’ is starting to make a significant impact in multiple new market segments. The general acceptance of fingerprinting is increasing fast. All of the customers requesting our products in January have made it clear that they need the quality of a large-area fingerprint sensor at a very low price.” NEXT Biometrics Group ASA is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, with sales, support and development subsidiaries in Seattle, Silicon Valley, Prague, Taipei, and Shanghai.

For those shooters of a certain age, we remember Remington’s Model 700 EtronX, a rifle introduced in 2000  with an electronic fire control, with no moving parts other than the trigger. It was chambered for three cartridges in the company’s bolt-action rifle line.

It isn’t hard to imagine that pairing the EtronX action, or something similar to it, with a NEXT Biometric sensor produces a lockable iPhone that shoots bullets.

Again, that’s not a future we endorse, but it’s a future we can see our members having to contend with — and maybe sooner rather than later.

What do you think?