The Oak Tree Gun Club in Southern California prides itself as one of the largest in the state. In addition to the usual amenities such as shotgun, rifle, archery, and pistol ranges, Oak Tree also offers two pro shops that sell a wide selection of firearms and ammunition. According to The Washington Post, a new item showed up for sale earlier this year. It was the Armatix iP1 “smart gun,” and Oak Tree was the first retailer to have it. Oak Tree’s owners did not expect the backlash they received from local gun owners—some of whom are longtime customers—when word spread that the club would be selling the smart gun.

Armatix is a German company spun off from SimonVoss Technologies, a firm that specializes in radio-controlled, wireless locking technology. According to the product description page on Armatix’s website, the iP1 is a small semiautomatic pistol chambered in .22 LR with a 10-round magazine. What makes it unique is that it can only be fired when in range of special watch sold along with the firearm. The watch communicates with the pistol via radio up to a range of 10 inches. When the watch comes into range of the pistol, it “arms” the gun and allows it to be fired by the user. When it goes out of range, the gun is locked again.

Oak Tree owner James Mitchel told The Washington Post that “it could revolutionize the gun industry.” That is also what US Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) thought when he introduced a bill in February that would require all firearms to be fitted with smart gun technology by as early as 2016. Markey and his supporters believe that personalized smart guns, or guns that can only be used by their owners, will cut down on the number of stolen guns used in crimes. Many gun owners, however, are opposed to any bill requiring the use of smart gun technology. Pro-gun organizations such as the NRA and National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) say they are not opposed to smart gun development itself, but see any law mandating their use as a violation of the Second Amendment.

Mitchel, who describes himself as a pro-gun conservative, said he saw the merits in the technology and its potential as a compromise between gun rights and gun control advocates. But these days the Armatix iP1 is missing from his store and Oak Tree employees are denying ever having stocked it. According to Fox News, Oak Tree now says that the entire incident was a misunderstanding.

The gun club’s drastic response came after a furious backlash against the sale of the Armatix iP1 on internet forums and social media.

“You have betrayed the shooting community on a national level. Hope you enjoy the 30 pieces of silver you got from Armatix,” wrote one commenter on Oak Tree’s Facebook page.

“Consider me one of the many that will never give business to Oaktree [sic] again due to their stance on ‘smart gun’ tech. Your actions speak much louder than your words and those actions are anti-gun and anti-gun owner,” wrote another.

Oak Tree management also cancelled a television interview with press after protest from gun owners. Armatix’s head of US operations, Belinda Padilla, who was working with Oak Tree to promote their new pistol, said that she is disappointed by the club’s reaction, but added that she understood Mitchel’s situation.

In the aftermath of the backlash, Oak Tree retail sales chief Betsy Mitchel stated on the facility’s Facebook page that there was never any agreement to purchase Armatix products and that the iP1 was never for sale. In a subsequent interview with the Examiner, Betsy Mitchel stated that the interview with The Washington Post was taken out of context.

OutdoorHub contacted Oak Tree and was told that the club has decided not to comment on the issue at this time.

You can see a demonstration of how the iP1 handgun works below. The video is in German.

Image screenshot of video by armatixgmbh on YouTube

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19 thoughts on “First American Store to Sell “Smart Gun” Surprised by Protest

  1. Pathetic of people to complain of smart technology that would stop unauthorized use of a firearm. I love firearms and own many my self but NRA sheep I am not as safety is not much of a concern for them or their lambs.

    1. Yet the sheeple that put people in office that have no respect for, much less abide by, US laws and the constitution “know what’s best” yes? I have a resounding NO for you. Gun owners and especially NRA members are more safety conscious than any of the voter sheeplel. See, we believe learning respect for others and how to safely handle a weapon OF ANY KIND out weighs the nanny sate mindset of sheeple that you represent. Remember outdoorblue, “Life’s tough, it’s even tougher if you’re stupid.” John Wayne

      1. IF alll you folks and organizations are so safety conscious, safely handle a weapon etc, blah blah., How come you all support CCL with NO course on guns or related laws, no rounds fired to qualify or as few a twenty? JW “Stupid” seems applicable,. or hypocrites mouth pieces for gun industry, not concerned with citizen safety to push for real qualifications for CC:.s.

      2. All the efforts in the world to protect people from themselves ever add up to is a loss of freedom for all of us. It is not the job of a government to protect the people from themselves. Everyone I know supports proper training and use of weapons before using or carrying them and engages in proper training of youth and others before allowing them to handle their weapons so I do not understand your “comments” completely. Given the PC correct status of the sheeple in the US and their buy in to the propaganda spouted by the msm I doubt I ever will. One has to think first and thinking is in short supply…… 😉

      3. SImply put, machines guns are not available for public, slavery is not legal, various drugs are illegal, speed limits and driving laws-licensing/insurance protect drivers, DUI is illegal, This is tiny part of how government protects us. child protections, etc.

        I serously doubt most as you claim “support proper training etc” as if they stood up and demanded real traiing class, real shooting qualifications, we would not have the horrors of CCL laws on books where NO class needed, no shot fired or less then 25, in some cases none,. These mysterious folks would NOT support reciprocal permitting.

        The whole gun thing has got way our of reasonable and sane, now there for sell any gun to anyone and warped from a shooter orientation to a political vote direction for them mindless, the latter proven by the nra lemmings and assoc whom have, at least five time, rushed out and cleaned gun shops for rumored evils which never even came close to happening. Their end impact was record profits for gun/related manufactures. Those are sheeples and their response to what is finally a really safe gun for home use, and thieir more the bizzare remarks border on serious dumb or paranoid.

        As said, am long time with all types of guns, to include competition handguns. Am very embarassed and actually scared how some posters go off deep end and all of these “safe gun” blah blah do not ever object in any meaningful way to the wild west attitude now way to prevalent, more so in CCL farces and insult to hunters with the “silencers needed to protect hunter hearing” which was only to increase silencer sales as one big inslut and lie to us hunters to claim our hearing damaged. Kind of weary of sane responsible gun owners being made fools of by a small number of raving fools.

    2. Most gun enthusiasts like myself, know that this is the foot in the door to for big government to say this the only firearm you can possess legally. Only cops and criminals will have the ability to use non smart guns which isn’t smart at all. Smart technology should be an option, not mandatory.

      1. slight correction to your post in CAPS “Most PARANOID gun etc etc, Grown weary of the “well they might of if we do sane stuff they will, etc’ types, Same fools that stripped gun stores guns/ammo, drove up prices and record profits for gun industry on the many “Obama or //// Will take ur guns so buy now, and all five or so reiterations of NRA spin to sell guns at record rates, NONE of which had one bit of truth., Am long time gun owner, but now nearly embarrassed at what passes for gun owner in some of posts.
        PS for those the Ref John Wayne” ask vets what a “John Wayne” type is in military and why most do not want to be around them!

  2. Outdoorblue how long until they mandate that cops have the ability to disable guns remotely? And the government too? Or just a satellite signal that disables all civilian guns in the whole country? And how long after that do the criminals get the technology too? Part of the 2nd amendment is to keep the government in check. I’m not someone that fantasizes about an armed revolution, but an armed populace is one that can’t be oppressed as easily.

  3. Screw this smart gun technology! There’s nothing more a PITA when handing a gun over to a friend or relative at the range for target practice, only to have to hand over a wrist watch too! Just because crooks and idiots out there misuse guns, doesn’t mean that the “majority” of gun owners should be forced to wear a “muzzle,” “blinders,” “chastity belts,” or…..a smart gun wrist watch transmitter! There are soooo many “wrongs” with this idea, that it outweighs the “rights.” For instance, what happenes if a family only has this one gun to defend their home? What if the husband goes down and the wife needs to pick up the gun to thwart off an attacker? Does she have to remove the wrist watch from dead hubby in order to utilize the weapon for her own self defense? How’s that going to work quickly and smoothly? Since the gun is controlled by radio RF, there is more than likely someone to come around and devise a means to jam or disable the RF signal between the watch and the gun itself. My ham radio still jams portable radio signals and home stereo equipment within not only my house, but my neighbor’s house as well! I guarantee it could be jammed rather easily. I for one do not want a gun that has the potential to be misused by perhaps the government simply by flipping a switch when they feel like it, effectively turning “off” my guns. Imagine them launching a drone, flip a switch and then all smart gun’s become disabled and shut down.

    I hope this company goes bankrupt due to a lack of sales in the USA and abroad. It’s nothing more than a gun controller’s tool to push more RESTRICTIVE measures on responsible guy owner’s 2nd Amendment rights. I for one am boycotting any “electronic and/or radio controlled” firearm (chastity belt) device.

  4. Stomping on the rights of the many because of a few whack jobs is a bad idea. It is a gigantic waste of time and money.
    I am stunned that any gun shop owner wouldn’t see the repercussions of joining in to infringe upon our rights.

  5. There is no need for “smart” guns! Guns don’t have a brain to begin with. Its pathetic to see The Oak Tree Gun Club try to kiss so much government ass! Gun laws and “smart guns” are being shoved down our throats because the U.S. Government’s court systems have failed and they are trying to make up for it and divert attention away from the real problem…..Liberal Judges and no real consequences for criminals….John C. Stowers, MD…..Great Falls, MT.

  6. California is a lost cause. They keep voting in the same people over and over! Look a t Feinstein she’s been plundering and stomping on the rights of AMERICANS for how long?! California is the birthplace for some of the more idiotic anti-gun legislation I.E microstamping..no lead ammo..it goes on and on! I personally think CA is a lost cause and should suceed and become there own DAMNED NATION!

  7. Coming to these forums uncovers one of the last vestiges of the American spirit. It always perks me up to hear the unshackled voices of those freedom defenders willing to speak as they will. Our country is still a great country with many realist and other people who only seek to make this place right. There are those who keep throwing those darned old dead trees in the road, but I believe our rights will be retained, sense will win over sentiment and right will take the day over theoretical/pipedream utopias, with no guns or “smart guns”. Please hold strong, lovers of the American way….our way. We can keep what we have if we remain vigilant and do not surrender to the temptation of compromise to the seemingly pleasant or innocent masses – who of course, are usually anything but that in the end.

    Joel,
    Texas CCL Holder

  8. I have and maintain my guns loaded and ready about my home. People who enter are informed. They are at their full disposal for should the need or desire arise.
    That is as it should be
    Do you lock your knives up, or have you gone to government approved safety spork?
    We live in a Constitutional republic, a series of absolutes that the gov may not write laws to regulate.
    Vote to reduce government 80% in my life time

    1. TSA took my spork….but they did keep the St Patricks day parade safe….hey wait a minute, some one is knocking at my door….hey their kicking it in….something abut crystalnacht or something ahhhhhhhh…..

  9. Pathetic spinless people being prodded along a loading shute just like cattle off to be slaughtered. People had better start pushing back in a big way or guns will be banned.

    1. Dear “tiredof extremes” Yes, I actually am slightly inclined to agree with (some) of what you said.
      However, as your screen name implies you are tired of all the extremists. Well Sir, so am I. Extreme liberals who are unsatisfied with how conservatives live, therefore cannot be tolerated. You see if there was any true discussion regarding firearms there might be some common ground we could all find. But to make this a law in 2 years is a simply veiled attempt to confiscate or make guns illegal. Did you see the Connecticut response to “registration” thousands said. NO not on my watch. It seems individuals on both sides of this argument are unwilling to settle for anything other than complete victory. Regarding making the gun industry “rich” so be it, at least one of the few remaining industries surviving in the US is making money. Conversely, who is getting rich from the millions nanny Bloomberg, George Soros and their ilk are spending?
      And lastly John Wayne (never served in the military) did you?

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