New Jersey Could Soon Enforce Smart Gun Law

In 2002, New Jersey became the first state in the country to require all handguns sold in the state to be equipped with “smart gun” technology that would only allow the owners to fire them.The law was to go into effect within three years after such guns were deemed safe and commercially available.

In the mid-2000s, an Australian defense technology firm Metal Storm and the gun maker Taurus International Manufacturing worked with the New Jersey Institute of Technology to develop a gun that would fire only when gripped by its owner.But when Taurus backed out, the project fell apart, according to the New York Times.

Now the German company Armatix said it has a gun with owner-recognition technology that could be available within 45 days. The gun will only operate if it’s close to a sensor inside a special wristwatch.

Scott L. Bach, executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, is critical of the state’s smart-gun law, saying, “It forces you to use an unproven technology to defend your life, and then exempts the state from liability when the gun goes ‘click’ instead of ‘bang.’”

Gun control supporters say that enforcement of the law, and sale of guns that comply with it, could prevent many accidental shootings, injuries, and deaths in the state.

In particular, the law and the smart guns could prevent some of the accidental shootings of and by children that have been in the news lately.

For example, Lucas Heagren, age 3, died when he shot himself through the eye with a .45-caliber pistol that his father had temporarily hidden under the couch.

According to the Times, accidental shootings of children happen about twice as often as official records indicate, because of how those deaths are reported.The Times identified 259 accidental gun deaths of children in eight states where records were available.The youngest victim was nine months old – shot in his crib.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of an accidental shooting, or if you’ve suffered any other serious personal injury, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C.

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