Smart-gun inventor Bill Gentry of Kodiak Industries threatened in a closed 2013 meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder to “burn it down” if his new technology is mandated by gun control laws. Gentry’s “Intelligun” includes a patented trigger-lock device that can be unlocked only by a fingerprint, much like how iPhones are often locked or unlocked with fingerprints.
Gentry is a strong defender of the Second Amendment, but his product caught the eye of the gun-grabbers in Washington. “This interested Eric Holder,” Gentry told National Review of the April 2013 meeting with Holder. “He wondered how we might be able to control who was or wasn’t authorized. I stopped him right there. I looked right across a table at Eric Holder — yeah, the attorney general of the United States — and told him, ‘If you try to mandate my smart-gun technology, I’ll burn it down.’ The Intelligun is designed to save lives, not restrict freedom.”
“Our industry is committed to providing extensive education and training for responsible gun ownership,” Gentry said in a press release on the company website. “While we intend to continue researching, producing, and distributing the most innovative products for our customers, we also remain committed to the Second Amendment rights of all Americans. We oppose the idea of mandating such technology through political means. Not only is such legislation misguided, it’s also realistically impossible to retro-fit all firearms currently in circulation today.”
The Salt Lake City, Utah, company’s $399 accessory is currently available only for model 1911 guns, which typically involve the .45 caliber model made famous by Colt. The lithium-ion battery that powers the electronic device is expected to last about a year, or less if used regularly. It’s unclear if the gun would work if there were a power surge such as a lightning strike or EMP detonation.
Kodiak initially sold his accessory only to law enforcement, but has now opened sales to the general public. Interestingly, the whole “smart-gun” idea started with a 1994 grant under the Clinton-era Justice Department, according to the NRA:
FBI statistics show that during the decade 1987-1996, dozens of law enforcement officers in the United States were killed by criminals who wrested their firearms away and then shot them or other officers. To decrease the chances of officers being feloniously shot with their own guns in the future, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funded a “Smart-Gun Technology Project” in 1994.