David Codrea has broken the story that “smart gun” developer Ernst Mauch has apparently been unceremoniously ousted from Aramatix GmbH:

A balance sheet appearing on a German government website for Armatix GmbH, the German company behind the controversial iP1 “smart” handgun, shows significant financial losses. Further, a German journalist has provided Gun Rights Examiner with documents purporting to show gun developer and Managing Director Ernst Mauch is not only no longer with the company, but that he has been banned from its facilities under threat of a criminal complaint…

…New questions about Armatix center not on its controversial product, but on the company itself, brought to this column’s attention by German weapons law researcher, online journalist, and co-owner of a shooting supply firm, Katja Triebel.

“Ernst Mauch (formerly of Heckler & Koch), who lobbied in the US for the Armatix iP1, has been removed as CEO and got banned from the factory,” Triebel claimed. “Here is a copy of this ban signed by CEO [Maximilian] Hefner. A former Armatix manager verified the signature with some colleagues. Mauch is no longer mentioned on the Armatix website.”

“I have also attached the last balance sheet of 2012,” Triebel continued. “In 2011 they had loss of €11.000.000 and had another €3.000.000 loss in 2012. The balance sheet is a copy from an official government site.”

Mauch’s Armatix iP1 (pistol/iW1 (watch) combination was apparently created more out of a need to assuage his personal desires than to meet market demands. Neither government agencies in law enforcement or the military had any interest in a product that added needless complexity to a handgun, and which quadrupled the price of proven conventional handgun systems in the same market space.

Quite literally, the only people who seemed excited about the iP1/iW1 combination were supporters of gun control, who were apparently thrilled that it might trigger a New Jersey law mandating the sale of only so-called “smart guns”  in the state. Others seemed thrilled by the rumor of a “back door” in the technology that would allow the company (or government agencies) simply turn off the gun remotely, rendering the handguns inert and useless.

This change of command may signal the beginning of the end for Aramtix, as a company who makes a single grossly overpriced, under-powered,  and apparently unloved product cannot be long for this world.