Gun Laws & Legislation

Global Digital Solutions, makers of “Smart Gun” technology, to buy Remington?

Guns and Gear Contributor

By Alan Clemons, Gun Digest

News broke Tuesday about the proposed purchase by GDSI, which claims it is “positioning itself as a leader in providing cyber arms manufacturing, complementary security and technology solutions and knowledge-based, cyber-related, culturally attuned social consulting in unsettled areas.”

On its website, GDSI also says it has announced “the first in what it intends will be a series of agreements to acquire leading American gun manufacturers and distributors.” A slider graphic states the company “is committed to ensuring these enduring brands continue and continue to be the best America can build,” and then shows logos for Beretta, Springfield Armory, SigSauer, Bushmaster, Windham Weaponry, Heckler & Koch, Smith & Wesson, Remington, Mossberg, Kahr Arms, Colt, Kimber, Savage Arms, Ruger, CMME and one other that was indistinguishable.

According to The Outdoor Wire, Remington called the proposed purchase “attention seeking in its worst form” and said it would respond further today.

Richard J. Sullivan, GDSI Chairman and CEO, said the potential is great for strong revenue growth with Remington and its law enforcement, tactical and recreational divisions. Remington in February announced what it calls “an expansion” from its New York home of almost 200 years to Huntsville, Ala. Reports following the formal announcement termed the deal a relocation, although Remington officials have not publicly stated such.

Government officials in Alabama, Huntsville, Madison County and some outlying areas helped with a major tax incentive package to lure Remington to the city of about 200,000. Officials in Athens, another city about 40 miles west of Huntsville, voted this week to chip in $250,000 to help purchase the new Remington facility.

Sullivan said his company’s business model “takes advantage of market trends, technological advances and industry consolidations to fuel profitable growth, presents a value proposition that is perfectly suited to the military armament industry, an industry that is heavily fragmented and evolving rapidly toward a RFID/WiFi-enabled technology platform.

“In this dynamic environment, we see enormous opportunity to consolidate this market with a program of targeted acquisitions, including the proposed Freedom transaction. Technological convergence is the future in the cyber/smart arms arena and we’re eager to leverage our proven history of success by helping Freedom and others navigate the transition from analog to digital.

Global Digital Solutions also announced proposed purchases of a technology and development services firm with annual revenue of approximately $25 million and a military and law enforcement supply and distribution company with annual revenue of approximately $30 million. The proposed purchases are not final.

What is RFID Technology?

GDSI earlier this year announced GDSI Gatekeeper, which it says is a “suite of technology-enhanced services that offer personalized, digital small arms safety and security solutions in commercial and military-related markets.”

The company says GDSI Gatekeeper combines advanced Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology with web-based wireless capabilities, will provide commercial and military customers with three essential safety and security benefits:

  • Encrypted, password-protected, digital, trigger-locking capability.
  • Secure, real-time online tracking.
  • Encrypted, cloud-enabled databases.

“We’re extremely excited about the potential for GDSI Gatekeeper,” said GDSI’s Sullivan. “This revolutionary suite of services represents a real breakthrough by leveraging the power of web-based, digital technology to enhance safety and security in the small arms arena, both in the commercial and military sectors.

“We think of it as personalized gun control and we believe the accessible worldwide market represents a multibillion dollar opportunity for GDSI” Sullivan said.

Gun control? Bad choice of words right there, Mr. CEO. That won’t go over well no matter how you meant it or how you try to spin it once the poo hits the fan.

GDSI says recent reports from the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms state that an annual average of nearly 3.5 million firearms were manufactured in the United States over the past eight years. GDSI Gatekeeper’s encrypted digital locking device could be easily retrofitted into existing firearms or it could be included in the manufacturing process itself.

The ATF also reports that there are roughly 130,000 federally licensed firearms dealers in the United States, including some 51,000 retail gun dealers, 7,300 pawn shops, and 61,000 collectors.  In addition, approximately one-third of U.S. households currently own at least one firearm.  All told, the manufacturing of firearms and ammunition represents an $11 billion industry in the United States.

The company expects to derive revenue from licensing its proprietary Gatekeeper technology and from monthly database service fees. Authorized dealers would also be able to collect residual fees by enrolling subscribers into the GDSI Gatekeeper safety and security program.

So, a form of gun control and, in effect, registration via the licensing “sign up,” would be available through the company that is proposing to own Remington, America’s oldest gun manufacturer. One of the most hated ideas among the pro-gun group — radio/wireless tracking devices — will be made, licensed and promoted by the company that wants to own Remington, Bushmaster, Marlin, H&R 1871, Tapco, Dakota Arms, DPMS/Panther Arms, Parker, Barnes Bullets, Advanced Armaments, Mountain Khakis and others.

Yep, that should go over real well. Sullivan, in the press release from earlier this year about Gatekeeper, said the use of the encrypted locking device and other GDSI Gatekeeper safety and security features would be completely voluntary on the part of individual small arms owners and authorized dealers.

“Here in the United States, the right of the people to keep and bear arms is constitutionally protected and inviolable,” Sullivan said. “The Gatekeeper program will provide additional safety and security for law-abiding gun owners in the United States and elsewhere. We believe Gatekeeper’s secure locking and tracking features could encourage millions of people who might have shied away from keeping firearms in their homes because of safety concerns to reconsider.  And collectors would be able use make use of Gatekeeper’s tracking and database features to exercise greater control over their prized firearms collections.”

Voluntary? Sure. Until a crazy state legislature like in New Jersey or California or Illinois mandates implementation and then it ain’t voluntary anymore. Then you have a situation like in Connecticut right now where confusion reigns about whether registration is mandatory and if confiscation is on the way.

GDSI says it is confident that its Gatekeeper suite of advanced technology solutions will be successful because the team behind its development has a proven track record of impressive results while leading Applied Digital Solutions and Digital Angel Corporation, including:

  • The first FDA-approved, human-Implantable RFID tags that continue to be used by several foreign militaries;
  • The first proof-wireless tracking device which was successfully implanted in a sheep in 2002;
  • The first-of-their-kind GPS-wireless tracking devices still sold to and used by probation and corrections offices around the country.
Hmmm … RFID tags that can be implanted in humans? Smart-gun tracking technology?GDSI’s purchase of Remington may go through without a hitch. But I’ll bet it doesn’t come without some major outcry from Joe Lunchbucket American who doesn’t see eye to eye with the company’s plans for the future.Information from GDSI’s press releases was used for this report.This report originally appeared on Deer & Deer Hunting, an F+W Media property and a sister publication to Gun Digest. Be sure to take advantage of Gun Digest’s free downloads to learn all about Gun ValuesAR-15 OpticsGlock Accessories and Concealed Carry Holsters.