New Microstamping Law Halts Some Gun Sales in California

By:  Bob Adelmann
New Microstamping Law Halts Some Gun Sales in California

Requiring microstamping on new guns sold in California is a way for anti-gunners to ban handguns without actually banning them.

Following Sturm, Ruger & Company's announcement last month that it would no longer be selling its semi-automatic handguns to California residents because of the state’s new microstamping law, Smith & Wesson announced on Wednesday, January 22, that it was following suit. From its press release, the company said:

Smith & Wesson does not and will not include microstamping in its firearms.

A number of studies have indicated that microstamping is unreliable, serves no safety purpose, is cost prohibitive and, most importantly, is not proven in preventing or solving crimes.

This will not totally remove either company’s products from the California market, however:

The microstamping mandate and the company’ unwillingness to adopt this so-called technology will result in a diminishing number of Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistols available for purchase by California residents.

Previously, Sturm, Ruger said, "The ill-conceived law requiring the incorporation of microstamping technology into semi-automatic pistols is forcing Ruger pistols off the [California market]."

Microstamping has been promoted by anti-gun politicians ever since 1969 when then-president Lyndon Johnson recommended “a system of giving each gun a number and the development of some device to imprint this number on each bullet fired from the gun.” In simple terms, each gun and each cartridge fired from it would have a “fingerprint” which would then be entered into a national database which would be used, allegedly, to help police solve crimes. Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld said the new microstamping technology recently developed “would just take us from the Stone Age to the jet age in an instant.”

But only if it worked, and only if it is constitutional. It doesn't, and it isn't.

The technology which would use lasers to imprint a code on both the firing pin of a pistol and also in its breech (the rear of the barrel holding the cartridge). Upon firing, the pin would imprint this unique alpha-numeric code onto the primer and onto the cartridge as it expanded during firing. Recovered cases from a crime scene could then be cross-checked with a national registry to determine the owner of the gun.

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