I took some time to think about these and do some more research, just to see the issues.
Various groups tout smart guns as the solution to end use of the gun by someone else to shoot someone. Without even going into the gun itself, the owner could still shoot someone. The previously mentioned company had a gun that says it will only shoot at regular targets, but I can tell you just how willing I would be to test that, even on someone else.
The first problem is the guns will only recognize their magnetic ring or their radio watch, not the owner. Nothing prevents someone from just taking the ring or watch and the gun and using it.
Secondly, let’s look at cars. Security systems get ever more complex and yet car theft has never gone away. Electronic systems, especially using software have vulnerabilities, although some are a matter of just spending enough time to crack, while others are simpler. So saying that owner identification would stop stolen guns is a lie. People would still steal the guns and then break them so they could use them, or just steal the watch and use the gun.
Third, some groups want YOUR gun to fail safe if there is an issue, yet they want the guns of POLICE to fail deadly. That means an issue in your OIF (Owner Identifying Firearm, since these guns aren’t that smart yet) means the gun will not shoot. Fair enough, in an engineering situation you’d want a device to fail safely. Yet, a police gun should fail deadly so that it could still be used. That means that it is either in software, meaning you could make your gun fail deadly, or someone who somehow gets the gun of an officer (which happens) now has a gun they can break the identification electronics on and the gun will now function normally.
Fourth, ignoring things like biometrics and fingerprints (especially since the Mythbusters could open a fingerprint door with a photocopy image of the fingerprint) the only way to truly prevent the gun from being used by someone else would be to lock it to one owner, forever. Of course, there would still be software vulnerabilities and such, but let’s handwave those away. Basically, it means that you could either never ever sell the gun since nobody else could sue it, you could never give it to a family member or pass it down or anything. Or, to do so, you’d have to send it to the factory or to a gunsmith to have it programmed to accept the new owner, meaning that someone could steal your gun and re-program it to accept them instead.
Long story short, what I’m trying to say is that OIFs won’t reduce guns being stolen or made from trash or people getting shot or anything like that, and saying they will is dishonest. Having a gun that identifies the owner isn’t the problem, even though the tech is currently near worthless. it’s the fact that saying it will prevent gun crime or that you’re essentially a second class citizen compared to police is the issue.
making a gun identify the owner and the fact that it is being held, and you’ve made a gun that could even do away with the safe action trigger Glocks have. If the owner of the gun isn’t holding it, it won’t shoot. If someone else is holding it, it won’t shoot. You could make a gun that as soon as the person who owns it grabs it in need the gun is instantly ready to go, no training on thumb safeties and seating a magazine to avoid the disconnect safety and all and you have a good self defense gun.
But the tech is being used in a dishonest way that doesn’t help protect people. Also, that previously mentioned pistol is about $10,000.