Breitbart's Hawkins: 'Smart' Mandate Makes Guns 'Rich Man's Game'

Image: Breitbart's Hawkins: 'Smart' Mandate Makes Guns 'Rich Man's Game'

Monday, 12 May 2014 03:26 PM

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If New Jersey proceeds to mandate "smart guns" and prohibit the sale of regular firearms, it will price law-abiding, lower income Garden State residents out of protecting themselves, Breitbart's AWR Hawkins writes.

With one such weapon — the $1,800, .22-caliber Armatix iP1 — poised to reach the market, a statewide ban on existing guns would put lawful self-protection beyond the reach of people who can't pay that premium, Hawkins writes.

Existing .22s — which don't have fingerprinting or password technology to prevent firing by unauthorized users — typically cost $400 or less new. A mandate for sidearms costing more than four times as much "will effectively turn gun ownership into a rich man's game," writes Hawkins.

New Jersey passed its smart-gun law in 2002 with a provision that it be enacted when technologically feasible smart guns went on sale anywhere in the United States. Once that happens, the law forbids legitimate gun dealers in New Jersey from selling any other kind of weapon.

The Armatix iP1's path to market is far from certain. Two U.S. firearms dealers, in California and suburban Washington, D.C., shelved plans to retail the high-tech pistol after a backlash from gun owners and the National Rifle Association. Smart-gun critics said the sale would trigger New Jersey's ban and set a precedent for restricting gun owners' Second Amendment rights.

The furor even prompted some Democrats in New Jersey to rethink their strategy. The heavily Democratic state's Senate majority leader said she would introduce a bill to repeal the law if the NRA would, in return, agree to let smart guns circulate.

The NRA responded with a statement calling for "a full repeal of New Jersey's misguided law" but didn't elaborate on any deals.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post urged New Jersey to keep, and begin enforcing, the smart-gun law.

"The more smart guns that take the place of old, unsafe, and outdated firearms, the better," said a Post editorial last week.

Breitbart's Hawkins responded that a mandate would mean "only the wealthy will able to afford guns, while the poor will be left to hope the locks on their doors are strong enough to keep home invaders out."

"There is nothing smart about pricing guns out of the reach of a single mom, raising two children in the inner city," he wrote.

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