The real reason no one wants biometric gun locks

In a recent House Oversight Committee, Rep Katie Porter (D – California) asked Ruger Executive Christopher Killoy why her cell phone has thumbprint recognition technology and Ruger’s guns don’t? She held her older generation iPhone in her hand and attempted to orient it so she could get her thumb into the exact position to unlock her phone.

Killoy, caught completely off guard responded about how the phone doesn’t develop 60,000 pounds of internal pressure the way a gun does. Wrong answer in my humble opinion.

He missed the real reason no one wants biometric locks on guns. And more importantly, why they will pose a greater danger to legal law-abiding gun owners and most certainly end up with more innocent people dying.

Rep Porter fiddled with her phone while asking the question. She grabbed the phone in her left hand, oriented it in such a way that she could then carefully place the thumb of her right hand on the thumbprint reader of her iPhone and unlocked her phone. Both hands were occupied for 3 seconds while she prepared to demonstrate how she unlocked her phone. Her eyes were trained for the most part on her iPhone while they jutted occasionally up at Killoy whom she continued to talk to while facilitating this example. Her full attention also was on her phone so she could make sure she placed her thumb in exactly the right spot with the correct orientation that her phone would “accept” to unlock. This should have been Killoy’s focus in his response. Her eyes would not have been on the person attacking her. Her hands were exclusively on her phone along with her full attention. If this were a real attack she’d be dead.

In the event a gun is needed, those seconds focusing on getting your thumb into exactly the right position to make your gun able to fire is an unnecessary distraction that will cost you your life.  Seconds the person firing on you will have to their advantage to kill you before your gun will even allow you to defend yourself. A gun is not a cell phone Rep. Porter.

A gun is more like a fire alarm, fire hose, or AED Defibrillator. It’s an emergency response device. It’s a device that when needed must be deployed and ready to go in a fraction of seconds. We put glass on fire alarms and place AED’s in cases on walls so they won’t be tampered with. But we make breaking the glass or opening the case easy, and certainly don’t create restrictions to its unhampered deployment. Imagine a person is on the ground actively having a heart attack. You need to unlock the. AED with your handprint. You’re nervous hands are sweaty and shaking and your handprint isn’t recognized. You can’t get the case opened. Meanwhile every second counts in this life or death situation. If that’s a life or death gun situation you’re dead.

And what if your gun is home and a home invader breaks into your home. Your wife is closest to your gun. But her handprint isn’t your handprint and as she attempts to fire your gun she’s killed by the perpetrator because your gun doesn’t recognize her hand?

Let’s not forget that the iPhone thumbprint recognition fails periodically requiring you to re-present your thumbprint several times before it unlocks your phone. To answer Rep. Porter’s question an iPhone isn’t an emergency response device used exclusively in life or death situation. Your iPhone is a casual-use electronic device. If it doesn’t open quickly you can wait.

But most importantly, bad guys (the ones doing the gun crimes Rep. Porter rattled off) won’t be using biometric recognition on their guns either . Your suggestions will only hurt legal law abiding gun owners. And this is why no legal law abiding gun owner wants any device that hampers or slows his or her response to a deadly situation.


You can watch the video here on the Washington Post IG page