[This is the second post in a 5 part series] – The first bill I’m going to talk about is being proposed by Assemblyman Mike Feuer (42nd district in West Hollywood), unfortunately the name or text of the bill hasn’t been released yet but NBC4 says that it “would require all new semiautomatic handguns to be equipped with microstamping technology by the start of 2010.” Since Feuer took the seat previously occupied by Assembly Member Koretz, and Koretz introduced a mictrostamping bill in 2005 it’s probably a safe bet that much of this bill is a carry over from that one. Koretz’s AB 352 was rejected by the Assembly, in fact the co-author of that version, Assemblyman Yee, helped burry it. In part because the proven technology it requires doesn’t exist.
The argument for this is that shell casings found at the scene of a crime would contain a stamp (imprinted by the gun at the time the bullet was fired) that would tell law enforcement who owned the gun that fired it. The short version of the argument against this is that the technology for this does not currently exist – that’s right there is not a single working prototype of how this would work. Yet, even if it did it would be extremely easy to defeat. If you assume it existed and worked, it would rely on extremely small parts that could be easily changed or modified (criminals regularly file off serial numbers on guns, why wouldn’t they file off these stamps?), and parts that would wear over time making the markings unreadable or worse, incorrect. It would also require significant funding to train people how to work with and store this info since nothing currently exists along these lines. And that’s assuming you have a shell, revolvers do not leave shell casings and shell catchers are readily available. Even worse, since shells can be reused (meaning multiple stamps on a single shell), and empty shells are easily obtained at gun ranges the chance of false/planted leads is very high and would waste a lot of time and money researching those bad leads. Additionally, this bill would create a whole new black market for guns from neighboring states which do not require this technology.
Of course, criminals are already buying guns out of state so this bill would have no impact there. In fact, the extremely anti-gun Violence Prevention Coalition of Los Angeles cites a US Department of Justice survey from 2000 stating that 80% of criminals obtained guns from illegal sources,
and another 12% obtained them from including friends, family, or a purchase on the street. If 92% 80% of criminals use guns not purchased though registered, legal gun dealers, then where is the logic that adding more regulations to what those dealers can sell will reduce crime? This bill will not effect criminals at all, but what it will do, is negatively impact the legal, law abiding gun owners in CA who would be forced to pay the cost passed down to them by gun manufacturers being forced to make special products only for California, as well as the tax payers who will be forced to pay the cost of training officers and maintaining databases of info that will be largely useless in actual crime solving.
Other Posts In This Series
Part 2: Feuer’s Microstamping Bill Is Pointless
Part 3: California’s CCW Licenses Are Too Easy To Fake
Part 4: The Art of Turning Victims Into Criminals
Part 5: de Le√≥n’s Bill is Misdirected – Who Can Buy Ammo Is More Important