Montgomery County store drops plans to offer ‘smart guns’

File - Michael Recce, associate professor of information systems at New Jersey Institute of Technology and inventor of a "smart gun" technology holds a prototype of the gun with grip recognition technology, during a news conference in Newark, N.J., Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2004. New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey and other Democratic elected officials gathered at the New Jersey Institute of Technology Tuesday to announce a $1.1 million federal grant in a pending federal appropriations bill to help refine what they hope will become the first commercially marketable smart gun technology. (AP Photo/Mike Derer)

ROCKVILLE, Md. — A firearms shop in Rockville has dropped plans to offer the nation’s first “smart gun” after a huge backlash this week.

Andy Raymond, co-owner of Engage Armament, released a video on his store’s Facebook page Thursday and confirmed he was no longer interested in selling the weapons.

“I thought that we could get anti-gun people or people who are fence-sitters actually into guns, that was my intention,” Raymond said in the video on his Facebook page.

Smart guns will only fire if the shooter is wearing a special wrist watch.

While some believe the weapons may be safer, many gun-rights advocates strongly oppose the technology.

They worry it might fail when they need a weapon for protection. Also, they have voiced concerns about such guns setting a precedent for laws regarding the technology.

Raymond received numerous death threats in response to his interest in offering the guns at his store.

He lashed out against critics in his video message, saying “we’re supposed to say that any gun is good in the right person’s hands. How can they say that a gun should be prohibited? How hypocritical is that?”

Raymond cited business interests as the driving force behind his decision to keep smart guns off his shelves.

Supporters of gun control believe the high-tech firearms will be available in stores in the near future.

“I think it’s inevitable,” says Ladd Everitt, spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

“This is something that, if implemented, would undoubtedly save lives.”

Everitt’s national group disagrees with the notion that smart guns would be unreliable.

“This is a technology that has been tested for quite some time,” he says. “It is technology that is routinely used in other industries.”

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