Senator Ed Markey to push federal gun control bill in 2014

Boston.com is reporting this morning that Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey is pushing for more federal gun control:

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey is planning to unveil a new gun control bill he says will help reduce firearm violence.

The bill will focus in part on requiring handgun technology designed to increase safety. Markey is also planning to call for more federal funding for gun violence research.

The Massachusetts Democrat plans to outline the bill Wednesday at Project R.I.G.H.T., which promotes neighborhood stabilization and economic development in the Grove Hall neighborhood of Boston.

“Handgun technology” suggests that Markey is either attempting to force “smart guns” or  microstamping down the throats of the American people. These are two technologies are so unreliable that no law enforcement agency—local, state, or federal—in the United States will use them on their own firearms for fears they will undermine the reliability of the firearm and compromise officer safety.

“Smart guns” have been the holy grail of gun designers for 50 years, but none have been commercially successful. Various technological solutions have been tried, with the most recent attempts based on proximity-activated RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology. The “most promising” (and that is a very relative term) RFID-based tech only allows the gun to be fired if the user is wearing a special bracelet with an activation chip. currently, it works just 90-percent of the time.

Let me translate that for you: it fails every single magazine. Yikes.

Further, the “smart gun” only works within very close proximity of the bracelet. If the shooter needs to transition to his opposite hand to take advantage of cover, or because of injury, the gun will not work.

Even more disturbing is the fact that if the “bad guy” manages to wrest control of gun in hand-to-hand proximity, the gun can still be used against its owner, defeating the very reason “smart gun” technology was sought after in the first place. While a “Judge Dredd”-style pistol that only works for authorized shooters is a wonderful technology to pursue, this smart-gun technology is not remotely ready to be tested under field conditions, much less mandated by law.

Microstamping is even less mature and is unreliable as a crime-fighting tool, as we’ve discussed numerous times in recent weeks.

There is one possible upside to Markey’s push for another federal gun control law, however.

There are a number of very vulnerable anti-gun Democrats running for reelection in the 2014 mid-terms, and their votes on Markey’s bill—if it comes for a vote—could prove to be a wedge issue in tight campaigns.

We’ll update the story after Markey’s press conference and let you know which of these bad solutions he’s proposing.

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