WASHINGTON – Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) said the development of smart guns should be part of the gun-control conversation, arguing that a gun owner should not be able to fire a gun without some sort of verification like a thumbprint that’s needed to unlock a smartphone.
Deutch also said that there are efforts underway to require gun manufacturers to incorporate smart technology in firearms but that the NRA is standing in the way.
“Yes, there are absolutely efforts. The technology has advanced where we’ve seen this kind of technology using guns,” Deutch said during a conference call briefing with the Jewish Democratic Council of America this spring.
“It’s a good thing to point out. People get it – when you just simply hold up your phone and show them that you can’t get into your phone without a thumbprint, you shouldn’t be able to fire a gun – you have an opportunity to save lives this way and this needs to become part of the conversation again … the technology is there, it’s the NRA who doesn’t want it,” he added.
There are currently a few fingerprint locking systems available on the market from brands such as Intelligun and Identilock.
A representative from the Jewish Democratic Council of America said the group is working to elect Democratic candidates to Congress in the midterm elections who support the creation of new gun-safety laws.
During the call, Deutch said the Parkland student gun-control activists have helped the general public realize the NRA is not “standing up” in support of gun owners.
“The bullying that we’ve seen from the NRA and their supporters of these kids has completely backfired and they’re now on the defensive. And more and more there are people willing to acknowledge that the NRA hides and for years has hid behind its membership on behalf of the gun companies who really contribute millions of dollars every year, directly, millions more through advertisements, a percentage in many cases of each sale going straight to the NRA,” he said.
“People now see through that and understand that they are the lobbyists for the gun companies. They are not standing up for gun owners. If they were, they would support universal background checks and the other kinds of things that gun owners support as well,” he added.
Deutch said it’s clear that there are “limitations” to gun rights. He said gun-control advocates are on “firm constitutional footing” to argue for more “gun safety” laws.
“The court has already made clear that there are limits to the Second Amendment – that’s not a question. And because of that we are on very firm footing in arguing for all of the things we know need to be done. What the NRA does is try to distract from the legal precedent and the rational discussions in ways that we have for too long allowed them to get away with,” Deutch said.
“They want to engage in a conversation about what the Second Amendment means – we don’t have to do that. We already know that the Second Amendment is limited and you can’t own a tank, you can’t own a machine gun but for some very narrow regulations, you can’t own an aircraft carrier. There are limitations and you can’t own an assault rifle in many states around the country now,” the congressman added.