German-designed ‘smart’ guns rerouted after cultural backlash in U.S.

A little over a decade ago, he embarked on a different kind of project. Was it possible, he wondered, to design a safer gun? A gun that could only be used by its owner? In short, a gun that was a little less, well, dumb? “I’m allowed to make that comment,” he says with a smile.

Mr. Mauch succeeded in making a “smart” gun. But the story of why it’s not for sale in the U.S. is a long and strange one. It’s a tale of a cultural clash between Europe and the U.S. – and of an American gun debate so radioactive that even promising new technologies cannot find a way to market.

The controversy is mystifying to Mr. Mauch, a courtly, barrel-chested man from southern Germany. “I was hoping that people understand the potential,” he says. “The only intention [was] to stop and minimize killings of people who do not know how bad these kind of products can be.”

  • simus1

    It also seems likely the technology that could activate such a gun from a short distance would also be capable of broadcasting its location to a more sophisticated system or even be modified to completely override initial activation.

    • It sounds very dicey to me.

      • simus1

        The narrative seems very thin.
        You would think they would want to break into other more lucrative foreign markets first and also lobby to get that stupid NJ law impeding them taken off the books.

    • mauser 98


      San Francisco Cops Jam Cell Phones to Prevent Protest

      • moraywatson

        If you would like to shoot a revolver, press “One”.
        If you would like to shoot a rifle, press “Two”.
        If you are shooting in the course of hunting activities, press “Three”.
        If you are shooting for other recreational purposes, press “Four”.
        If you would like to shoot in self defense or for any other purpose, please stay on the line to maintain your priority sequence and the next available government agent will assist you.

        • mauser 98

          with a heavy east Asia accent

  • moraywatson

    For the Second Amendment to serve its purposes the people must continually resist government attempts to regulate what kind of arms they can bear and how they can bear them.

  • mauser 98

    batteries, batteries
    Taurus Curve

  • b_marco

    Seems like a lot of engineering just for a lock. But in fairness he’s pretty much stuck with a lock. There’s only three types of auth folks: something you have, something you know and something you are. Fancy systems combine more than one of these in what’s called 2 or 3 phase authentication (bank card w/pin is 2 phase). None of this is applicable to a handgun of course, since nobody’s typing in a password, and biometric is too slow and unreliable.

    If he’s truly in it for the philanthropy he needs to open source all of it, hardware docs, firmware, everything — otherwise there’s ZERO CHANCE of trust. From the sounds of it if anyone can get it to work this guy can.

    I’m still trying to figure out what’s the main application. Anti-theft or accidental discharge.. or? Like, what’s THAT much better about a wireless wristwatch than a mechanical lock?

    • Minicapt

      Anti-theft, or to be more precise, it’s for the children. The G&M uses bogus stats from the CDCP to establish the overwhelming and horrifying threat to innocent children; unfortunately for the arc of their story, guns are rather low on the child’s threat list. Beatings by Mom’s boyfriend tend to occur with greater frequency, as do drownings in bathtubs.
      … except in Chicago …


  • WalterBannon

    What we need is smart political offices, that automatically exterminate treasonous left wing politicians

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    A gun with an electronic pin?
    I hope he goes bankrupt.

  • James Hamilton

    My ‘brain’ is quite capable of controlling the actions of my hand, viz. gun, so why would I need a smart device for controlling it?