President Obama’s push for so-called “smart gun” technology took a major step forward today, with insiders saying a major announcement could come as soon as Friday.
In January, the President issued an executive order directing the departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security to study and prepare a report “outlining a research-and-development strategy designed to expedite the real-world deployment of such technology for use in practice.”
White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett spent Thursday reviewing the material with a select group.
Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed to the press corps that the administration would be making an announcement on Friday, but refused to go into further detail when pressed.
“We’ll have more that we can talk about tomorrow,” he said. “…Under discussion was exploring what kind of technology could be effectively used to make guns safer. So this is something that that a variety of federal agencies have reviewed and they’ll have some findings to share.”
Law enforcement has been very vocal in it’s opposition to the unproven technology and to the possibility of federal officers being ordered to carry guns equipped with it.
“Police officers in general, federal officers in particular, shouldn’t be asked to be the guinea pigs in evaluating a firearm that nobody’s even seen yet,” James Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, said.
Yet the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice is announcing in the Federal Register on Friday that it is seeking “an objective demonstration of the reliability of firearms available today with advanced gun safety technology integrated into the firearm.”
Insiders have told reporters that they do not believe a mandate is coming at this time, but Press Secretary Earnest would not say whether the announcement would entail simply findings or some kind of roll-out requirement.
When issuing his Jan. 4 executive orders President Obama falsely claimed that smart gun technology “has not been developed primarily because it has been blocked by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and firearms manufacturers.”
The NRA does not oppose the development of technology, but says private market, not the government, should drive innovation:
“Although NRA is not opposed to the development of new firearms technology, we do not believe the government should be picking winners and losers in the marketplace,” the Institute for Legislative Action said in a statement.