The March 23 Associated Press story, “Boy held classmates at gunpoint,” exemplifies the false sense of security conveyed by trigger locks and other “smart gun” technology.
Recall that the 12-year-old Ohio boy’s father told police that, “the weapon (a loaded 9mm semi-automatic) had been stored on a dresser top with a fully engaged trigger lock.” According to police, “The boy apparently found the key and removed the lock.”
“Smart gun” technology may in some instances cause more harm than good and can be dangerous. Trigger locks cannot only disengage but can cause the gun to misfire. When Beretta tested its own trigger lock (Saf-T-Lok), it not only malfunctioned but caused 18 of 27 rounds to misfire. And, as the case above demonstrated, it can also give parents a false sense of safety that may not be there and of security rather than a sense of responsibility.
Loaded chamber indicators are hazardous because they skip the basic safety rule of looking directly in the chamber. That is how people learn firsthand the old lament, “I didn’t know the gun was loaded.”
Last, “smart gun” technology, including digital fingerprint recognition as well as separate storage of gun and ammunition requirements, is dangerous because it can impair one’s ability, when needed most (and quickly), for self and family protection.
Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.