Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO, Smart Guns
(Photo by Wired/YouTube)

Ed Stack, Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO, really seems like he doesn’t know much about guns or gun owners. Over the past year, Stack has made numerous announcements that has raised the ire of firearms crowd.

First, Stack said the company would no longer sell “assault” rifles or “high-capacity” magazines. At the same time, he stated that the company was raising the age to buy firearms and ammunition to 21. Shortly later, the company announced it was destroying the remaining “assault’ rifles it had in inventory. Now, Stack is putting the company’s support behind smart guns, according to Reuters.

Problems With Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Announcement

The idea of smart guns has been around for years. The basic concept is a gun that can only be fired by the owner. This can be done via fingerprint technology, RFID chips or other methods. Various movies and TV shows have promoted the idea to viewers, particularly in spy thrillers. Also, anti-gun politicians has long promoted the idea of smart guns. In fact, New Jersey already has a law regarding smart guns.

The idea behind the law was to promote the development of smart gun technology. However, the law has had the opposite effect. According to NPR, this law is actually preventing the technology from becoming available. This is because if a single smart gun becomes available for sale, anywhere in the country, New Jersey law requires all handguns sold within its borders to be “personalized.” Opponents claim that this would effective ban handguns in the Garden State. Additionally, smart gun ideas haven’t kept up with technology.

Smart Gun Technology

A gun that prevents use by an unauthorized person is interesting. Proponents say such a gun could possibly reduce gun violence, as criminals couldn’t use a stolen gun. They also claim it would reduce accidental discharges, such as when children find an unsecured gun. Europe even has these guns for sale. However, the technology isn’t foolproof.

Technology often fails. Batteries lose power and electronic components become damaged. And since handguns are the best self-defense tool available, failure isn’t an option for most people.

“People use firearms for self-defense, and it’s very, very important they operate when it’s a time of need, and a highly stressful situation,” said Lawrence Keane, vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, to Reuters.

Even worse, hackers have shown that the technology is vulnerable. In fact, Plore, a security researcher, found numerous ways to both fire a smart gun without using the personalized device and prevent the gun from being fired by an authorized user. Watch the video below to learn about his discoveries.

Eventually, smart guns might become a viable option. Inventors are working on the technology. However, to be accepted by gun owners, they must be 100-percent reliable. And the technology hasn’t reach that point. Only time will tell if the announcement by Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO helps or hurts the concept, as well as the company’s bottom line.

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