An employee of Armatix poses for photographers as he presents the "SmartGun Concept".

N.J. Democrat: We will reverse smart gun law if NRA plays ball


New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said in an exclusive interview Friday with msnbc that she will introduce a bill to reverse a 2002 New Jersey “smart gun” law if the National Rifle Association will agree not to stand in the way of smart gun technology.

The New Jersey law mandates that once guns that are personalized to the user – commonly known as “smart guns” – go on the market anywhere in the country, New Jersey gun sellers have to stop selling traditional guns within three years and shift exclusively to smart guns.

The New Jersey law has been used to oppose the sale of smart guns. In two separate instances – including one this week – gun sellers have vowed to sell the Armatix iP1 digital smart gun, only to reverse course amid death threats and other pressure from those citing the New Jersey law.

“I would never buy a gun from a retailer that does anything to hurt pro 2A causes. These guys do,” wrote one commenter on the Facebook page of Engage Armament LLC, who planned to sell the Armatix smart gun before reversing course Thursday night. “Don’t give them a dime.”

Weinberg said that if opposition to the New Jersey law is stopping smart guns from being sold, she will seek to have it changed – if the NRA agrees to stop standing in the way of smart gun technology.

“If, in fact, the NRA will make a public commitment to not stand in the way of the manufacture, distribution or sale of any gun that is limited by technology to the use of only its owner,” Weinberg said, “then I will ask the New Jersey legislature to amend the law.” 

Weinberg said  she was taking the position in an attempt to meet smart gun opponents “right on their own ground,” since “whatever goalposts they set for you, they move them.”

“I have never been involved in an issue that results in the kind of vitriolic pushback that I get both personally and professionally when I’m involved in something as simple as gun safety,” she added.

The Armatix iP1 smart gun uses a personalized watch that must be held within 10 inches of the gun for it to function.

Tune into “All In With Chris Hayes” Monday night at 9 p.m. Eastern on msnbc for an exclusive, in-depth look at the controversy over smart guns.