Among his executive actions to tighten gun controls, President Obama is ordering the federal government to explore developing “smart gun” technology to help prevent fatal violence.
A New Jersey lawmaker has been trying for more than a decade to encourage production of the guns that can be fired only by their owners.
Sen. Loretta Weinberg sponsored a 2002 law requiring New Jersey firearms dealers to sell only smart guns three years after they’re developed and approved. But gun rights activists objected, and smart guns are not available anywhere in the nation.
Obama’s action could change that, said Weinberg, D-Union.
“I think it takes us a giant step forward because he is directing the much larger national bureaucracy to get more involved in the development of the technology and, hopefully, then investing in seeing that technology move forward,” he said.
Weinberg’s new bill would require dealers to have smart guns available as an option within 30 months after a manufacturer develops a state-approved model.
“It’s a technology that should have applications on other things that we probably are not dreaming of today,” she said Tuesday. “The yoke of an airplane so that only the pilot can fly it or the steering wheel of a car so that only the owners can drive it.”