The Armatix iP1 .22-caliber handgun
A Maryland gun shop owner has dropped his plan to be the
first in the United States to sell a so-called "smart gun"
after a backlash that included death threats.
Andy Raymond, co-owner of Engage Armament in Rockville, a
Washington suburb, said he was trying to protect his business
by reversing his decision to sell the Armatix iP1 .22-caliber
handgun, which electronically limits the ability to fire the
"I can't have my shop burned down," Raymond said. "I have
people to look out for."
He said late Thursday (local time) on his Facebook page that
he would back off the planned sales.
The gun is implanted with an electronic chip that allows it
to be fired only if the shooter is wearing a watch that
communicates with it through a radio signal. If the gun is
moved more than 25cm from the watch, it will not fire.
Gun rights activists contend the smart gun violates their
right to bear arms under the Second Amendment of the U.S.
Raymond said he received death threats among the hundreds of
phone calls protesting his decision to sell smart guns.
"You're going to get what's coming to you," was among the
messages he received, Raymond said.
"They told my business partner they would burn down the shop.
I try to be reasonable with people but I guess I made a
The Oak Tree Gun Club near Los Angeles said it would sell the
"smart guns" this year but the weapons were removed from
shelves after protests and threats from gun advocates. The
club owners later denied they ever planned to sell them.
Raymond said he planned to sell the German-made guns
initially "on principle" because he believed in the right of
"You have freedom," he said. "It shouldn't be compromised."
Armatix and the National Rifle Association, the U.S. gun
lobby, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Opponents fear that sale of smart guns would trigger a New
Jersey law requiring that all guns sold in the state be
equipped with smart technology within three years after it
President Barack Obama said he supports smart gun technology
but he has run into criticism from the NRA.
The guns could lead to "a ban on all guns that do not possess
the government-required technology," said a blog by the NRA's