California has been dealing with the concept of microstamping semi-automatic handguns since 2007. Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the bill requiring microstamping into law as part of an expansion pertaining to the Unsafe Handgun Act of 1999. That law was supposed to make newer handguns meet a stricter list of safety requirements.
Now, microstamping might be coming to New York. It’s part of the 2021 Assembly Bill TextNY S.B. 4116, which would amend the law to require pistols that are newly manufactured to have the ability to microstamp ammunition.
What Is Microstamping?
Microstamping on firearms is the technology that imprints a tiny stamp on a bullet casing that would trace that piece of ammo back to a specific gun because it gives information on the make and model. The goal is to allow law enforcement to trace bullets back to guns easier when they are found at a crime scene. People who are in favor of the microstamping think that it would make solving crimes faster and prevent further gun violence.
The Current Issue With Microstamping
Even though the law has been in place in California since 2007, microstamping hasn’t been in use. The reason being is that one company owns the patent to the technology, Identification Dynamics. The patent protection runs out in 2023, so more companies would be able to use and implement this technology in semi-automatic weapons. They would be forced to comply with the law.
That is probably why New York is pushing to have this law brought into play, since the technology would be available soon for gun makers to use. They also followed California with a microstamping bill in 2007, but it didn’t pass at the time. Many people think that anti-gun rights activists work within the two states to pass anti-Second Amendment legislation that relates to each other.
California has certainly led the charge on microstamping. Since the legislature in New York is predominantly made up of Democrats, it has a good chance of passing this time when it is voted on in the coming months, much to the dismay of pro-gun groups like the NRA and other Second Amendment-loving Americans.
It’s clear that even though the law in California that was passed in 2007 was never enforced due to patent laws, that will change as of January 1, 2023. When that happens, multiple manufacturing companies would be forced to comply with the law since they would have the microstamping tech available for widespread use. One of the biggest issues that gun makers have said about microstamping is that it’s unreliable. Mark Oliva of the National Shooting Sports Foundation went even further to say that it’s “unworkable technology.” Plus, criminals could even sand off the microstamp on the firing pin, so it’s purpose in preventing crime is pointless.
This is just another performative law that will achieve little to nothing — at the expense of taxpayers.