RFID “Chip” in Chiappa Firearms-what’s up with that?

Proposed RFID shown on a Chiappa Revolver grip frame

Press Release from MKS Distributing, Dayton OH, July, 2011-Distributor for Chiappa Firearms:  Recently there has been some blogger activity concerning Chiappa Firearms putting a RFID (radio frequency identification) in Chiappa Firearms. Yes, but Chiappa will not be using the RFID system for at least a year.

RUMOR: The erroneous information about some sort of “chip” was put out by a blogger who translated Chiappa (Italian) technical information incorrectly.  The incorrect translation and his interpretation came out as some sort of a GPS type tracking “chip” -which RFID isn’t as it cannot transmit anything-it has NO power source (unlike cell phones).

THE FACTS: Recently several Italian gun makers (not just Chiappa) decided to utilize RFID technology to improve manufacturing and provide more accurate inventory control. We guarantee this technology will proliferate to other gun makers world wide as it is so efficient for everything from production QC control to export/import varification.  Other industries already use passive RFID technology such as on DVDs, sunglasses, clothes and even some food products for example.

Basically Chiappa RFID (again it is radio frequency identification) assists the manufacturing process, inventory control and shipping. The type of information on the RFID ties in the firearm and proof house verification; the latter is required by the Italian Government for all firearms made in Italy. Passive RFID is also a final check that verifies that what is inside the sealed box is the same thing as shown on the box exterior bar code during shipping. Now, it will no longer be necessary to open/inspect hundreds of boxes by hand prior to packing in export containers.

BOTTOM LINE: The Chiappa PASSIVE RFID can be read ONLY when passed within (2-3 inches) of an active (and powered) reader that is dialed in for the particular long antenna radio frequency of the RFID-this is not random.  And it will NOT go into operation for a year or more.

SUMMARIZING: RFIDs have NO power source or GPS locator.  Rest assured they are NOT transmitting your identification and location information to a Chiappa Firearm tasked CIA satellite.

RFID Removal: For those still concerned you can simply remove the grip and remove the hot glued RFID from the frame in the grip area when (over a year from now) these begin to appear.  Others may prefer to wrap the revolver and their head in aluminum foil, curl in a ball and watch reruns of Mel Gibson’s 1997 film, Conspiracy Theory.  Well, that’s a plan too!

25 Responses to RFID “Chip” in Chiappa Firearms-what’s up with that?

  1. Roy

    July 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I think the snide comment implying that those concerned about RFID are tin foil hat wearing “conspiracy theorists” was a poor way to end an otherwise informative article.

  2. shawn w

    July 28, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    gotta agree with roy.

  3. 3 gun

    July 28, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Maybe you should watch the YouTube video of the guy in SF driving around in his car scanning RFID chips on the move, from the street. I destroy every one I find and try to avoid them when possible. Just because the Mfg has a harmless reason to use them does not mean they can’t be used for something else by someone with other motives.

  4. j

    July 28, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    If it is for manufacturing purpouses then they need to “deactivate it” at the time of sale, just like other Vendors do. Example:
    Wal-Mart, Target, k-mart.

    They all disable the RFID tag on ther merchandise when the consumer walks outside of the establishment.

    I (and this is my personal opinion) will not be purchasing firearms with RFIDs on them.

  5. Pingback: SayUncle » RFID chips in Chiappa guns?

  6. Scott

    July 29, 2011 at 8:34 am

    I already contacted Chiappa to inform them I would not purchase their products. Although intrigued by the Rhino and interested in other products, I will not fall for their ‘harmless’ RFID scheme. I also expressed my displeasure at their voting for an ‘assault weapons ban’ equivalent in Italy.

  7. Pingback: Massive PR Fail – MKS Supply « Curses! Foiled Again!

  8. Jake

    July 29, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I have emailed MKS and Hi-Point about this issue. The emails are posted at my blog (http://cursesfoiledagain2.wordpress.com) if anyone else wants to use them.

    I could not find contact info for Chiappa or Tuff1 Grip Covers that didn’t go directly to MKS.

    I had wanted a Chiappa Rhino. Now I won’t get one unless they properly address this insult.

  9. Kristopher

    July 29, 2011 at 10:48 am

    There are already folks out there stealing identity info with RFID readers … just wave a within 6 inches of someone’s wallet, and he’s screwed.

    Add pistols to that.

    Get the serial number, and file a stolen gun report, and finger the actual owner as a suspect in the theft. Watch the fur fly.

    No, Michael. This isn’t tinfoil hat territory. It is happening right now with RFIDs in driver’s licenses.

  10. Kevin P.

    July 29, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I agree with Roy and others above – a good article spoiled by a sneering and obnoxious remark. I am an engineering and IT professional and there are numerous privacy concerns about ID chips that need to be understood and addressed clearly. This is particular so in regards to firearms which are constantly under attack from hostile government.

    Chiappa has addressed this to some extent, but it should go the extra mile to reassure its customers:
    1) Hire a trusted third party to audit the chip and its use and produce a technical report that can be understood by knowledgeable persons, of whom there are plenty in the gun community.
    2) Provide an easy way to remove the tag, and instructions for doing so in a safe manner.
    3) Commit to informing all customers whenever the RF ID technology and practices change, so that customers can reevaluate their comfort with the product.

  11. Tam

    July 29, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Good point. Too bad you couldn’t make it without being a rude jackass.

    I’ll not be purchasing any MKS products, since the corporate culture is one of rudeness to customers. I’d be too afraid that warranty claims would be handled with the same cavalier attitude for customer satisfaction.

    I’ll be sure to let my 100k monthly readers know my feelings out there in “blogger land”.

  12. Rich B

    July 29, 2011 at 11:49 am

    It seems pretty clear that there is an easy solution to this issue. Use the RFID chips in a removable band or tag on the firearm that can be discarded by the dealer or end user.

    If the motivation for using such technology is genuine, then there is no reason Chiappa benefits from having the RFID chip inside the firearm in the first place.

  13. David, Chandler, AZ

    July 29, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Regardless of my feelings regarding RFID, I’d not buy anything from someone with such a condescending attitude.

  14. The other Roy

    July 29, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I guess I forgot that insulting and making fun of potential customers is a great business plan.

    No Chiappa or MKS products for me.

    I don’t give money to people who make fun of me, and insult me.

  15. The Freeholder

    July 29, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    But wouldn’t it be oh-so-cool to have an RFID concealed weapon detector? I mean, we could build detectors into doors and have them lock whenever someone with a gun tires to enter. Officer Harless wouldn’t have to search to find out if the target for this shift’s abuse is armed or not. Why, the possibilities are just endless!

    Good grief. What is MKS thinking? At a minimum, what j says about deactivation should apply at the gun store counter. As 3 gun says, no matter how harmless their intention, those with less scruples are already using RFID tags to their own purposes, and just a tiny bit of research by MKS would have shown them that.

    As far as I’m concerned, they may just be a bit to technically dim to merit dealing with. They sound like they got their talking points from an RFID vendor and are just playing sock puppet. The tin-foil hat crack simply goes in the “uh-huh” category.

  16. Peter in DC

    July 29, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Dear Chiappa

    Let met give you some free advice on how to extricate yourself from the mess you’re in:

    (1) First and foremost. Know your customer. If you’re going to market in the US, you need to make youreself extremely familiar with your customer base, its beliefs, and fears.

    (2) End your business relationship with your US-based distributor. Clearly they do not understand Suggestion #1, or lack a well-rounded education. Either of them is sufficient to end the business relationship.

    (3) Hire a first-class public affairs representative that is familiar with 2A issues. If you do not know who to hire, contact your fellow competitors in the business. I have no doubt that they will direct you to the best. In the end you may be competitors, but you are also allies.

    (4) Can the RFID program for your US sales. Do that now! Put out a press release that reflects such decision NOW!

    (5) Become a full-fledged partner with US 2A organizations. That means not only the major players such as trade groups, or member groups (re: NRA), but also with the well-established, state organizations (re: State pro-2A internet forums). You need to earn their trust.

    Failure to do any of the above will result in a quick and painful end to your business hopes in the United States.

    p.s. And keep the BATF at arm’s length.

  17. Six

    July 29, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Count me as another tin foil hat blogger who will not only not recommend MKS products Or Chiappa but will actively warn potential purchasers away. Not just because of the RFID but because of the attitude. It’s instructive how often that type of mindset emanates from the top and is indicative of a company not exactly devoted to customer service. I’ll be waiting and watching for an updated press release containing an abject apology to both the shooting and gun blogging communities but I won’t be holding my breath.

  18. SPritom

    July 29, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    That was a very condescending press release by MKS. In addition, it also had some fallacies about RFID technology.

    In any case, the main issue is that they’re thinking/planning on using RFID devices. That’ll save them some real money, which is good stuff. The bad part is that the devices will be hidden and one would have to take things apart to find them.

    I choose not to do business in this way. I like Chiappa’s product line, but I am looking elsewhere.

  19. Nylarthotep

    July 29, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    I’m with Tam, the writer of this piece is a jackass. Thanks for proving to the gun-blogger society that you are unable to be civil.

    Oh, and by the way, RFID chips have been read remotely up to distances of 63 FEET. No doubt your outstanding research and corporate inventiveness has led you to believe the buyer is an idiot.

  20. Tam

    July 29, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Once upon a time, Tompkins PLC thought that they needed to settle a lawsuit to make a US subsidiary salable…

  21. John Stephens

    July 29, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    “Others may prefer to wrap the revolver and their head in aluminum foil, curl in a ball and watch reruns of Mel Gibson’s 1997 film, Conspiracy Theory. ”

    You are a pack of assholes. No money for you.

  22. Chris Meissen

    July 30, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    That “tinfoil hat” comment brought back memories of an SBE (Society of Broadcast Engineers) meeting I attended in St. Louis back in ’85. An engineer from Motorola gave a presentation on the (then) new cellular telephone technology just beginning to be implemented. As he described the process of handing off a given conversation from cell-to-cell, several of us in attendance expressed concern that the location and movements of individual users could and would be tracked and recorded. Our concerns were dismissed as pure paranoia in the same manner as this press release from MKS.

    Today, less than thirty years later, not only are cellular phone records being used to establish the locations of people under criminal investigation but court cases have revealed that the phones’ microphones can be activated without the users’ knowledge turning them into de facto monitoring devices. Those “paranoid” concerns expressed at that broadcast engineers’ meeting have been far exceeded by today’s present reality.

    Even the most gullible person should see that they’re being lied to by MKS. If the planned RFID chips are expected to verify inventory and the contents of shipping containers then those chips will need a range considerably greater than two to three inches. At minimum, given a standard 48″x48″ shipping pallet, the chip would need to be readable at a distance of five feet or more. If MKS would tell that easily discredited lie, how can they maintain any credibility whatsoever?

  23. Terry

    August 3, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Conspiracy theory comment aside the article made sense. But the author(s) last comment was uncalled for. It seems those who wrote the artice are the ones need to come back to reality. Since 1968 the attack of gun possession in the USA has not let up and in other countries they have suceeded. Tracking or finding an RFID tagged weapon outside of the plant may seem to be sci fi now but is it really RFID readers already control and track large shipping containters that flow in and out of ports and other shipping facilities. So whats to keep a government from placing readers at highway access points or bridges to look out for firearms being transported. Right now I am not aware of a reader being powerful enough to look into a house and read RFID inside but I may be wrong. But would I put it passed a government to use that technology if it existed. No.

    To those who keep their head in the sand vigilance is paranoia.

  24. Pingback: New Worry: RFID Tracking Chips in Firearms? | Publius Forum

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