A poll conducted for the National Shooting Sports Foundation has found Americans are highly skeptical of the reliability of user authorized technology for firearms. They also say overwhelmingly that they would not be likely to buy a so-called “smart gun” and overwhelmingly oppose any government mandate requiring the use of this technology should it become available.

Asked “How familiar are you with efforts to develop a firearm that will only fire for a specific authorized person(s)?”, only 20 percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat familiar with the concept of “smart gun” technology. When told that such firearms would incorporate biometric or radio frequency identification (RFID) with an activation system that would rely on battery power, 74 percent of respondents said that these firearms would not be reliable at all or very reliable. Gun owners overwhelmingly (84%) believed a smart gun would not be reliable, while a clear majority (60%) of non-gun owners also believed they would not be reliable.

These findings were among the results of a national scientific poll of more than 1,200 Americans conducted in October by McKeon & Associates and released today by the NSSF. Although attempts to develop and market firearms equipped with authorized user recognition technology have been discussed for many years, the topic has been revived in recent months by some gun control advocates, remarks by President Obama and by the depiction of a smart gun in the latest James Bond movie.

An overwhelming 74 percent of respondents overall said that they would not buy or would not very likely buy such a smart gun. Some 70 percent of the survey sample said that they did not believe that government should mandate that all firearms produced incorporate smart gun technology should it become commercially available.

You can read the press release for more details.

While I like the sci-fi promise of smart guns as much as anyone, the technological reality of smart guns is that they are grossly over-complicated, fragile, and unreliable; the German-made Aramatix that so arouses the nether regions of gun controllers, fails every single magazine, and cannot be fired by the non-dominant hand of the authorized shooter.

Smart guns are dumb policy, and nothing in the foreseeable future changes that harsh reality.