NSSF On the Moronic Myths of Microstamping

By Larry Keane

Microstamping has reared up as gun management schemers elevate it as a classy technique of “gun safety,” a sly euphemism for gun management. Proponents of the unworkable, unreliable and ineffective idea preserve their heads within the sand relating to the feasibility of microstamping mandates as a result of they will’t face the reality. It doesn’t work.

Boondoggle Backstory

Microstamping is unproven and unworkable know-how, utilizing a laser to imprint a shallow distinctive figuring out code on a handgun’s firing pin, transferring the mark to a spent cartridge casing as soon as it has fired. Gun management politicians push the “technology” to “reduce gun violence.” In their minds, microstamping connects the dots on crime, a criminally misused firearm and the felony. Except that’s not reasonable and forcing gun producers to implement microstamping on new weapons, or retrofit present firearms, solely limits lawful firearm possession.

Todd Lizotte, who holds the patent for the sole-source microstamping know-how, recognized this actuality in a peer reviewed research. “Legitimate questions exist related to both the technical aspects, production costs, and database management associated with microstamping that should be addressed before wide scale implementation is legislatively mandated.”

Third-party researchers agree. Forensic firearms examiner Professor George Kristova wrote, “Implementing this technology will be much more complicated than burning a serial number on a few parts and dropping them into firearms being manufactured.” The University of California at Davis, hardly a gun rights redoubt, reported, “At the current time it is not recommended that a mandate for implementation of this technology be made.”

A National Academy of Science study concluded that “the durability and survivability of markings on the bullet are still major concerns. Bullets would also be likely to suffer the corrosive effects of blood and other substances.” An Iowa State University study said that “legitimate questions exist related to the technical aspects, production costs and database management associated with microstamping that should be addressed before wide scale implementation is legislatively mandated.”

That backside line is microstamping doesn’t work. Lizotte himself agreed that alphanumeric codes are sometimes illegible below even good circumstances. Electron microscopes couldn’t detect legible codes in testing. Even below good circumstances, it will take no less than 10 spent cartridges make an “educated guess” to piece collectively a legible code. More virtually, this know-how can simply be defeated with sandpaper or a nail file because the microstamping mark is simply 25 microns (half the diameter of a human hair). Criminals already obliterate serial numbers etched right into a firearm body.

Little Digits, Big Problems

California ignored these impossibilities and handed a dual-placement microstamping mandate in 2007, regardless of the firearm trade testifying the know-how doesn’t work. Then-California Attorney General and now Vice President Kamala Harris licensed the legislation in 2013, together with California’s Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale. Since then, firearm manufactures have introduced no new handguns to California. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 2847 into legislation in 2020, lowering the microstamping requirement to a single place, however speeding up the variety of handguns falling off the listing of these permitted on the market in California. For each new handgun added to California’s Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale, three older fashions have to be eliminated. When the preliminary microstamping legislation took impact, there have been 953 pistols on the roster. As of November 2020, there are solely 497, as any modification to a mannequin even to enhance the security and reliability of a handgun constitutes a brand new mannequin requiring microstamping.

California Dreaming

California is the one state to enact microstamping, however different states are contemplating it. Connecticut tried as soon as earlier than in 2009 however the invoice was defeated. Democratic state Rep. Jillian Gilchrist launched HB 5584, attempting to require the inconceivable know-how in her state once more this yr.

California’s contemplating going again to dual-placement necessities, which it simply rolled again a yr in the past. Democratic Assemblyman David Chiu, who wrote the single-placement legislation, launched a bill simply weeks in the past to up the requirement again to 2 locations on a cartridge. It’s nonetheless unworkable and the requirement to hurry up the elimination of handguns off the roster stays. It was by no means about fixing crime. It has all the time been about eliminating handguns.

On the federal stage, microstamping laws was launched within the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008 by then-Congressman Xavier Beccera (D-Calif.), who turned California’s legal professional normal after Vice President Harris gained through a win election to the Senate. Becerra is now President Joe Biden’s Health and Human Services Secretary nominee awaiting U.S. Senate approval. He would be part of an administration itching to throw roadblocks in entrance of the firearm trade and deprive law-abiding Americans the flexibility to train their Second Amendment rights.

Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.


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