Sen. Markey Pushes 'Smart Gun' Bill

Thursday, 20 Feb 2014 01:59 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Sen. Ed Markey is set to introduce a controversial bill requiring handguns to be fitted with technology so that they could only be fired by authorized users.

The Massachusetts Democrat wants new guns sold in the United States to have the personalized capability already installed, while older guns would have to be retrofitted within three years, according to Politico.

Aimed at preventing guns being fired by unauthorized users, Markey believes his legislation would prevent accidental shooting deaths of children, stolen guns being used in criminal acts, and law enforcement officials having their own guns turned against them.

"No one wants children to get access to a handgun and hurt themselves or others," Markey said. "This is the type of gun safety legislation that everyone, regardless of political party or affiliation, should be able to support."

But the bill, which would exclude antique guns and military firearms, is likely to draw the ire of gun rights activists in the Senate, such as Texas Republican John Cornyn, who was recently endorsed by the National Rifle Association in his tough primary battle with Rep. Steve Stockman, a tea party conservative.

Markey's bill would also allocate funds for development of the so-called "smart guns," which have recently gone on sale in California.

An example of the smart gun is the .22-caliber, 10-round Armatix iP1, which employs a waterproof watch to turn on the weapon and will not fire unless the user is wearing the timepiece.

The cost of the gun and watch combination is almost $2,000, The Washington Post reported.

In a separate move, Markey has teamed up with Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat, to ask President Barack Obama to add $10 million in research funds into the next budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study "the causes and prevention of gun violence," Politico said.

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