Biofire won't send out guns to journalists for testing

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File

Smart guns are a contentious topic, to say the least, but while many in the pro-gun camp have no use for them, it’s not because their existence is an infringement on the Second Amendment. Mandating them would be, but a company making them? No.


Biofire, however, says they have one and it’s on the market right now.

The guns aren’t in shooters’ hands as of yet, of course, but they’re coming and they’re taking deposits from those interested in the weapons.

Yet when a new gun comes to market, one of the first groups to get their hands on it are gun journalists. They get firearms for testing and evaluation, which involves a period of time where the writer basically puts the guns through their paces.

Guess what isn’t happening with Biofire?

But what you can’t do is shoot the thing before you plunk down your money, nor can nearly anyone else. Biofire is not allowing independent reviews of its new smart gun, at least not anytime soon.

“In the short term, we’re not doing that kind of thing yet. We’re trying to phase in our engagement with the public on this stuff,” Amy Jasper, Biofire’s communication director said Tuesday. “We’re hosting product demos on Zoom, interviews with the CEO, and then the next thing we’ll host are some onsite range days for folks in the firearm media – allowing folks to put a few rounds through it. After that, we’ll be able to send firearms out to do whatever you want with it. It’s a phased approach.”

Jasper said the company lacks the “capacity” to allow traditional firearm reviews, even though they’re already accepting downpayments for the pistol, which she said should start shipping during Q1 or Q2 of 2024.

For now, you have to take Biofire’s word that the smart gun’s “integrated fingerprint and 3D facial recognition systems” will work as advertised and unlock the pistol when it’s needed, especially in what Mas Ayoob called “the gravest extreme.”


And that’s troubling.

See, one of the biggest knocks on Biofire’s weapon is concern that it can’t be trusted to perform. Having an event where gun writers can squeeze off a few rounds isn’t the same as allowing them to test the guns through hundreds or thousands of rounds.

While they can learn how the trigger feels, how it feels during recoil, how it feels in the hand, and a number of other factors that would go into a buying decision, it won’t tell us anything about the technology’s reliability.

Remember that this is new, relatively unproven technology, and we’re supposed to just take their word that it works as advertised?

I’m sorry, but no.

I get their concern that they don’t have the capacity, but that’s also a matter of concern for me.

To me, it suggests that they haven’t really built more than a couple of the firearms already, which suggests they might not be capable of scaling up production so as to meet any demand.

Especially since sending out guns for testing with gun journalists is a longtime practice for pretty much any firearm company. It’s part of how a gun is marketed in the first place, for crying out loud. It’s where brands first start to develop trust with potential customers.


Biofire’s inability to do that isn’t the kind of thing that should give anyone a warm, fuzzy feeling.

At best, it’s evidence that Biofire doesn’t understand the industry it’s trying to get involved in. At worst, it’s evidence they made a crap product and are hoping no one figures it out until customers’ checks clear.

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