Tech Startup is Introducing Technology to Allow Guns Locations to be Tracked and Remotely Disabled

May 21 2013
by GSL Staff
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Here we go again. More “smart gun” nonsense. This time the technology isn’t about biometrics and making guns usable only by their owners. This new technology will allow guns to be tracked and remotely disabled using a cell phone app. Yeah, I’m sure there isn’t anything that could go wrong with this in the current age of cell phone hacking.

Yardarm Technologies LLC plans to introduce technology which would trigger an alarm on a user’s cell phone when their gun is being moved and allow them to disable the weapon remotely. The technology would also not only track where a gun is, but maintain a history of where a gun has been.

According to ABC News,

New guns would come with a microchip on the body and antennas winding around the grip. It would add about $50 to the cost of a gun, and about $12 a year for the service.

We have numerous concerns about this technology. Besides the obvious privacy issues there are reliability issues since the technology would surely rely on needing some sort of power source on board the firearm. Even if it was as simple as a small solar power, what would happen to guns that were stored in a safe, or if it’s a battery, what if you forget to change it? Is there a chance the gun would be inoperable if the device wasn’t working? Also, what about security and hacking concerns? How long would it take sophisticated criminals to come up with jammers or hack the accounts of people who use this service so they could disable guns in a home before breaking in?

According to the ABC report, the company is already trying to address some of those concerns,

Stewart said his company has addressed privacy concerns about its system, which would not only include live tracking but also a history of where a gun has been. Yardarm has an exclusive telephony network to avoid hackers and spotty wireless systems, and gun owners could “self-destruct” the technology on the guns themselves if they wish, he said.

Guns are as useful as they are because at the heart of it they are relatively simple machines which require no electricity and can be stored, sometimes for years, until they are needed. Adding computerized technology defeats the simplistic advantages that guns bring to the table. I have a hard enough time trying to remember to change the batteries in my TV remotes, I don’t want my life endangered because I forgot to change the batteries in my gun.

The NRA mirrors our concerns about adding this additional level of technology to firearms. “We believe that the technology does not exist today where a so-called smart gun can operate with 100 percent or close to it reliability,” National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said, “and a firearm that does not function when it is required to is not a smart gun.”

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