White House Shuns ‘Wild-Eyed Conspiracy Theories’ on New Obama Gun Standards

After President Barack Obama announced guidelines and standards for “smart gun” technology, White House spokesman Josh Earnest dismissed criticism as “wild-eyed conspiracy theories.

Obama announced that the federal government would work to identify requirements that “smart guns” would have to meet for law enforcement agencies around the country to use them. Smart guns contain certain technologies designed to prevent accidental shooting and can track down a missing gun.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest gestures as he talks about the Islamic State group during the daily press briefing, Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) AP Photo/Evan Vucci
White House spokesman Josh Earnest (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

When a reporter asked if this was a way to mandate gun buyers to buy a technology they weren’t interested in owning, Earnest was dismissive.

“This is consistent with the kind of wild-eyed conspiracy theories that we’ve heard on this issue for years now,” Earnest said, adding that gun makers are the only industry that doesn’t seek to improve the quality of the product.

“I think what is true is that I couldn’t think of another industry off the top of my head that isn’t interested in looking at new technology that could make their product safer,” Earnest said. “Just about every other industry that I can think of, that’s what people do. That’s what manufacturers do. That is a source of innovation in a variety of fields. I think the best example of this is in the auto industry. Auto manufacturers actually market the degree to which they use new technology to make their products safer, to make cars and trucks safer. It is surprising to me that so many gun manufacturers shirk that responsibility.”

Earnest said its possible that since “the federal government is a bulk purchaser of fire arms” there is potential to have more federal law enforcement use smart guns.