Gadgets Magazine

GPS Tracking Devices on All Firearms? Pure Science Fiction. Try Again Politicians.

Posted on the 18 January 2013 by Easytracgps @EasyTracGPS
It is extremely doubtful that anything said in this article will become a reality anytime soon but, the simple fact that the politicians are publicly suggesting this course of action is a bit alarming and is something that strikes me as very premature. Not that public safety shouldn’t be of utmost concern but, there are serious doubts as to the amount of due diligence they’ve done on what they are suggesting. To the politicians in question, are you really going to go on record making an uninformed declaration regarding using GPS tracking to help ensure public safety on a mass scale, without knowing the limitations of available GPS technology first?! I guess the answer is “yes”.  What was talked about in this article is, at present, pure science fiction.


To clarify, we GPS tracking providers love smaller form factor devices. More so in wireless devices, and devices that are
going to be deployed in covert applications; undercover law enforcement for example, private investigations, tracking security guard personnel, etc. Size isn’t as much of a consideration in fleet tracking devices since, in almost every case, no one is going to see them. GPS fleet tracking devices are predominantly installed discreetly, within the dashboard of the vehicle, much like in a car stereo installation.  However, when broaching the subject of wireless devices, especially really small wireless devices, battery life has been, and still is, the chief consideration. The smaller the device, the smaller the battery, and the smaller the battery, the less tracking life it will offer on a single charge. That’s why most of us offer extended battery options for our wireless devices but, of course, those extended batteries increase the size. There really is no way around it.

GPS tracking devices are essentially GPS receivers with an integrated cellular radio and bunch of other smaller components. If you removed the housing of a GPS tracking device you would find a circuit board inside, with all of these little components attached to it.  The two main components are the GPS receiver and the radio. The point is, they are little!…and with little batteries as well! And these small GPS tracking devices with their little batteries transmit all sorts of data regarding the location and movements of the receiver, i.e. latitude & longitude, time, speed, direction, altitude, etc. It takes power to transmit all of that data, and each transmission further drains the battery life of the device.

Now, what is being suggested in this article is a GPS tracking device that is small enough to attach to a gun, with a battery of sufficient enough power to be reliable over the long-term. To be sure, this would be an application whereby the device WOULD NOT be turned on all of the time. It would remain in a deep hibernation mode until the device was “polled” for its location. However, irregardless of the attempts made to conserve battery life, a tiny little GPS “chip” and it’s tiny little battery would operate for 10, maybe 20 minutes at the most.  Not to mention that it would need to have the capability to track in impaired environments (indoors) without having line-of-sight with the sky, which requires either assisted GPS (AGPS) or simply reverting to cellular triangulation…both of which draw even more power than a standard GPS pulse. If this technology existed in some capacity today, it would be far from perfected. An issue as critically important as gun control deserves a dependable technology, one with an almost 100% success rate. Now, if they wanted to consider using RFID technology to track handguns and other firearms, that might work….albeit much less effective than GPS tracking would. But the GPS technology they are suggesting in this article simply doesn’t exist yet.

Just to reiterate, we are firm believers in using ALL of the capabilities of GPS technology to protect the public from harm. But there are certain things that are simply outside of realm of the capabilities of today’s GPS tracking devices. Sorry politicians, give it another 5 years and try again. And, next time, be responsible enough to DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST! Especially when speaking on a subject as critically important as Gun Control.

Daniel – EasyTracGPS

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