Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

Dimwitted microstamping law goes into effect in California

Written By: Bob - May• 18•13

Politicians love to pass laws they ascribe to theories, and a 2007 California demand to implement microstamping has finally cleared enough of the technological hurdles to be implemented… but to what end?

A hotly contested gun-control law that was passed in 2007 is finally ready to be implemented, Attorney General Kamala Harris said Friday: a requirement that every new semiautomatic handgun contain “micro-stamping” technology that would allow police to trace a weapon from cartridges found at a crime scene.

The law, signed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, made California the first state to require micro-stamping, which engraves the gun’s serial number on each cartridge. But the legislation specified that it would take effect only when the technology was available and all private patents had expired.

…Implementation of micro-stamping “moves California to the forefront of the nation in combatting gun crime,” said the law’s author, former Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, who attended the news conference and is running for city attorney.

C.D. Michel, the NRA’s West Coast regional attorney, had a much grimmer prediction.

“This is not going to help solve crimes,” he said. “It’s easily defeated, easily wears out and can be used to lead police down false alleys” if the serial numbers are altered.

Worse yet, Michel said, manufacturers will be unwilling to add this expensive feature to guns sold in a single state, and will instead keep manufacturing weapons for the other states, where demand already far exceeds supply. The effect, he said, would be a ban on new semiautomatic handguns in California, which the NRA will challenge in court.

Microstamping “works” by turning the firing pin into a stamp. When the hammer comes down and the firing pin moves forward, it imprints a serial number on the primer of the cartridge.

This is great… in theory.

In reality, firing pins are easily replaceable, inexpensive parts that can readily be swapped out by any end user in less than ten minutes by any career criminal. This microstamping also wears out quickly, or can be defeated with a file or a grinder in about 30 seconds.

In short, the technology is a gimmick. So why pass it?

Democrats will claim that “any little bit helps,” and we must concede that microstamping may work on some occasions, but they didn’t push microstamping to solve crimes.

California Democrats passed microstamping for the same reason they’ve passed every gun law: to increase the cost of firearms, hoping to force the economically disadvantaged out of the market. At it’s core, in every culture, the intent of gun control is to target minorities for disarmament in order to better control them.

To it’s heart, gun control is racist, designed to disarm minorities.

This law is is just one of many confirming that fact.

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  1. Right_2_Bear says:

    Even if their intention was to make things “safer”, this will never work as intended. What happens when someone reloads a “microstamped” casing? What happens if a perp deliberately uses a previously “stamped” casing (once-fired range brass) and then uses it in a crime with a gun not microstamped equipped? This dumb law actually will make crime easier if not more attractive once the bad guys figure this out – which won’t take long.

    • Bob says:

      It doesn’t stamp the casings, just the primer. Reloading is a non-issue.

    • Learn2Reload says:

      That’s not how reloading (or ammo) works. To successfully re-use a piece of spent brass, you have to de-cap the brass by using a sizing die to knock the old primer out in order to replace it with a new primer. It’d be easier to pick up brass at the range that was microstamped and leave it at a crime scene having picked up the brass used in the crime to pin it on someone else.

  2. Klingonwork says:

    Once again the red line has been crossed…

    I will not move an inch, will give any more ground to a single gun law, I will not comply. My Constitution has been stomped on too often.

    Molon Labe

  3. The aim of this and other laws is not to disarm minorities, but to disarm everyone. Progressive politicians in this state would pass legislation banning possession of firearms and require them to be turned in for destruction, if they could.

    But they can’t, so they come up with creative ways to make firearm ownership expensive and aggravating in the hopes that people simply don’t bother with it. Take a look at this page to see some of proposed bills:

  4. lineman says:

    Why do minority’s always vote for politicians that want to make them more vulnerable….I guess its like the Jews who vote for more gun control…Its the gas chamber mentality…

  5. Aharon says:

    I suppose a small plastic baggie can also be attached to the slide to catch the ejecting spent shells? :)

  6. SteveP says:

    A form of “microstamping” has existed as long as cartridge arms have been around
    Every case left at a shooting scene has the thumbprint of whoever loaded the magazine. This information is commonly used to solve shootings. Also, while not yet in common use, it has been found that the natural acids in fingerprints micro-etch the print onto the case and technology has recently been developed that can read it even if the case is wiped down with oil or solvent.