N.J. Smart-Gun Report Pleases Brady Campaign | Courthouse News Service
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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Wednesday, November 29, 2023 | Back issues
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N.J. Smart-Gun Report Pleases Brady Campaign

(CN) - Though the Brady Campaign sued New Jersey for not complying with its own gun law, a report by the state attorney general has prompted the group to drop those claims.

At issue was New Jersey's childproof handgun law, codified as N.J.S. 2C:58-2.3 in December 2002 by then-Gov. Jim McGreevy. The law sought to foster development of "personalized handguns," weapons designed to automatically limit operational use so that they may be fired only by an authorized or recognized user.

The law states that "technology limiting the handgun's operational use may include, but not be limited to: radio frequency tagging, touch memory, remote control, fingerprint, magnetic encoding and other automatic user identification systems utilizing biometric, mechanical or electronic systems."

Though the law also called for biannual reports by the state attorney general about any available guns that fit these criteria, the Brady Center claimed that such reports ended in 2003.

The Brady Center's Mercer County, N.J., chapter sued the state in May 2014, seeking a court order for the acting attorney general to comply with reporting requirements of the smart gun law. The attorney general moved the case the case to the Appellate Division and issued the sought-after report in late November.

Aside from noting that "personalized handguns are not available for retail sales purposes within the meaning of those terms as set forth in the law," the report itself contained little substantial news on the "smart gun" technology.

It notes that the only gun available for sale with any type of smart-gun technology in the state is the Armatix iP1 handgun. The report explains that this gun "incorporates in its design technology that automatically limits the weapon's operational use" by having "a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip inside a wristwatch that enables the functioning of the iP1 pistol."

New Jersey cannot include this gun under the law, however, because "as long as the pistol is situated within 10 inches of the enabling wristwatch, it may be fired by anyone - the authorized user or any other person who is able to pull the trigger," the attorney general wrote (emphasis in original).

The Brady Center was nevertheless pleased with the progress. "While it is unfortunate that it took a lawsuit to force New Jersey officials to obey its own law, we are happy that as a result of our case the state has finally begun to implement this important, hard-fought public safety measure, which will lead to safer guns and fewer gun deaths and injuries," Brady Center director Jonathan Lowy said in a statement.

The group's attorney, Gregory Little of White & Case, echoed these remarks.

"We are pleased that the attorney general recognizes his legal responsibility to issue a report on the status of personalized handguns in the marketplace and we look forward to the Attorney General delivering timely reports in the future as well," Little said in a statement.

New Jersey's attorney general has until May 2015 to deliver the next report about smart guns.

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