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Tipsheet

FLASHBACK: Uncle Joe Led Obama's Gun Control Task Force But Missed This Memo On Smart Guns

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

During last week's Democratic debate, former Vice President Joe Biden touted his record as a strong gun control advocate. 

"I'm the only person that's beaten the NRA nationally. I'm the guy that got the Brady Bill passed, the background checks, number one. Number two, we increased that background check for everyone during the Obama-Biden administration," he explained. "I'm also the only guy that got assault weapons banned – banned – and the number of clips in a gun banned. And so, folks, look, and I would buyback those weapons. We already started talking about that. We tried to get it done. I think we can be done and it should be demanded that we do it and that's a good expenditure of money."

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Biden also took aim at firearms manufacturers because smart gun technology isn't the norm on the market.

"And last thing, we should have smart guns. No gun should be able to be sold unless your biometric measure could pull that trigger. It's within our right to do that. We can do that. Our enemy is the gun manufacturers – not the NRA – the gun manufacturers," he explained.

Biden has been at the forefront of pushing smart gun technology for years. Back in 2012, President Obama appointed the vice president to lead a gun control task force. During that time, the task force suggested Obama take 23 executive actions, one of which was to "direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies."

The National Institute of Justice released a study on smart guns in 2013 and found that none of the models were successful. And they spent a whopping $12.6 million over 15 years to study the very technology Biden is pushing for.

"While none were successful enough with their designs to bring models to the marketplace, the initial R&D [research and development] has provided a wealth of knowledge and experience on which to build," the report stated.

The unreliability factor is what makes gun owners uneasy. How many times have you attempted to use your smart phone and your screen doesn't recognize your finger movements or patterns because they're sweaty, sticky or you didn't push hard enough? Too many to count, right? The same thing applies here. When a person's body goes through fight or flight, adrenaline is pumping and hands are likely to be sweaty or clammy. The last thing a person wants when they're needing to defend themselves is having to worry about whether or not their firearm will read their fingerprints. 

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A recent study conducted by the Center for Gun Policy and Research at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that only five percent of gun owners would consider purchasing smart guns. Of those who were surveyed, 70 percent of gun owners were very concerned or somewhat concerned that smart gun technology would work if needed. It's these uncertainties and unreliabilities that make smart gun technology unreliable. 

What's even more interesting is Biden flip-flopped on how he feels about gun manufacturers. Right now he's pandering to his base but back in 2012, following the Newtown shooting, Biden met with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and praised the firearms industry association for Project ChildSafe, a program that provides free gun locks to 15,000 law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. 

"You guys are doing a lot of good things, including the gun lock thing, and this isn’t just Joe Biden blowing smoke. I mean it," he said in 2012.

To date, more than 38 million gun locks have been distributed to law enforcement agencies to hand out to gun owners. And guess who makes up the NSSF? That's right, firearms manufacturers. Not only that, but gun manufacturers frequently provide gun locks with new firearms purchases. Since 1998, 70 million locks have been handed out, which has an estimated value of more than $140 million. 

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Gun manufacturers aren't your enemy, Joe. Your own lack of education is.

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