Lawyers for the Brady Campaign attempted to claim that the Armatix iP1/iW1 gun-watch combination met the definition of a personalized handgun under a 2002 New Jersey law. The retail sale of a a personalized handgun anywhere in the United States would trigger the New Jersey law that would then require all handguns in the state be sold with similar technology if a true personalized handgun made it to market.

After careful examination of the Armatix design, the Attorney Generals’ office reached the same conclusion that we did long ago: this smart gun technology is anything but smart (PDF):

After careful consideration of the iP1’s design, we have determined that it does not satisfy the statutory definition because, as a matter of design, the pistol may be fired by a person who is not an authorized or recognized user. That is, 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. While the system does incorporate a PIN code or a timer to disable the handgun, when the weapon is enabled, there is nothing in the technology which automatically limits its operational use so that it may only be fired by an authorized or recognized user (so long as the pistol is within a 10-inch proximity to the wristwatch component).

Situations may readily be envisioned in which an unauthorized individual gains access to the pistol in close enough proximity to the wristwatch component (by either maintaining possession of the pistol within 10 inches of the authorized user’s wrist on which he or she is wearing the watch, or by forcibly taking possession of the wristwatch), and therefore would be able to fire the weapon, despite the limiting technology. Accordingly, we are unable to conclude that the iP1 design meets all the elements of New Jersey’s statutory definition of a personalized handgun under
N.J.S.2C:39-1(dd), and therefore its availability for retail sales purposes will not trigger the operation of N.J.S.2C:58-2.4 (requiring the promulgation of a list of personalized handguns) and N.J.S.2C:58-2.5 (prohibiting the sale of non-personalized handguns). We note that, as a result of this determination, it was not necessary to consider whether the iP1 meets reliability standards that the manufacturer may require for its commercially available handguns that are not personalized.

The Armatix is grotesquely over-priced, laughably under-powered (it is only available in .22LR), fragile, and as the Attorney General’s Office notes, fails to keep unauthorized users from firing the handgun.

We’ll gladly stick to “dumb” guns less expensive that actually work, and so will the citizens of New Jersey.