California Senate Passes "Microstamping" Gun Bill

The bill passed the California Senate 22-18

The California Senate on Thursday passed a bill that would require the "microstamping" of semi-automatic handguns -- giving cartridges fired from those guns a unique imprint, which according to gun control advocates, would help police solve crimes. . . .

But the California NRA Members' Councils says the microstamping would create false evidence trails.

"Micro-stamped cartridge cases fired and abandoned at government agencies facilities or private shooting ranges could be gathered and used to 'seed' crime scenes with the with 'evidence,' implicating law enforcement officers and citizens" in crimes they had nothing to do with, the group said in an analysis on its website.

The gun-rights group also said microstamped cartridges could not be recycled because they might implicate secondary users of reloaded cartridges. "Millions of pounds of metals will be turned into scrap and require expense disposal requirements imposed so it will not enter landfills."

And without the ability to sell and recycle used (microstamped) cartridge cases, the cost of firearms training will increase for government agencies, the gun rights group added.

Second Amendment supporters also note that microstamps can be easily defeated by replacing parts of the handgun that have been stamped; polishing the microstamp with abrasives or modifying the stamp; and in some cases, the stamped markings may be filled in with residue produced by normal firing of the gun.

Paul Helmke, the new president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, applauded the California State Senate for "embracing this innovative technology," and he said he hopes Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger "will listen to a fellow Republican and sign this bill once it passes." . . . .

Another story reports that:

But Fotis, a retired, career police officer, calls the idea of "micro-stamping" shell casings "vaguely described and untested technology."

"This idea won't reduce crime on the streets," Fotis said. "LEAA stands with California sheriffs and other law enforcement leaders who have voiced their clear and strong opposition to AB 352."

Anthony Craver, sheriff-coroner of Mendocino County, Calif., was more direct in his assessment of whether or not the bill would "help police," as Dix claimed.

"With millions upon millions of existing handguns owned in California," Craver said, "the probability of this bill having any positive effect on public safety is absurd."

Orange County, Calif., Sheriff-Coroner Michael Carona agreed.

"I cannot see any benefit," Carona said, "other than the simple act of symbolism in the passage of AB 352."

Technology to "micro-stamp" shell casings in a semiautomatic pistol as they are chambered or fired is not commercially available. Firearms experts argue that normal wear and tear within even a seldom-fired gun would interfere with such technology. They warn that the part or parts used to "micro-stamp" the casing would also be subject to tampering or easy removal.

In a joint letter, Modoc County, Calif., Sheriff Bruce Mix and District Attorney Jordan Funk wrote that the proposal would "unnecessarily complicate and hinder proven crime-solving strategies."

Fotis notes that those "proven crime-solving strategies" require something the California legislature cannot afford to squander: funding.

"California is in the midst of a severe money shortage for fighting crime," Fotis wrote.

"Rather than pursuing AB 352, which is costly, unproven, unnecessary-and would ultimately be shown to be ineffective in stopping crime-law enforcement would rather see the money and legislative effort spent on increasing prison space and helping cops on the street break the back of gangs!" Fotis added.

Fotis concludes that the bill "cannot be expected to provide any measurable impact on major crimes like murder." . . . .


Blogger saturdaynightspecial said...

Whenever the government establishes an objective and pursues it, the opposite usually occurrs; and the result is bad too.

8/26/2006 11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's comforting to know that the California legislature derives such critical policies, regarding 2nd Amendment issues, from such authoritative sources as Sylvester Stallone's "Judge Dredd" movie.

Seriously...this idiotic legislation is a carbon copy of a segment of that movie...except that the sci-fi gun Dredd uses stamps each bullet with the DNA of the person firing it.

All hail the "Judge Dredd Firearms Accountability Act"


8/28/2006 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Brian said...

It's people control, not gun control. The powers behind these laws know full well that crime will not be affected.. they are not trying to control the criminals, and most everyone with a clue knows this.

It's a battle for our nation and our way of life.. but it's a battle being fought out on the public stage via verbal proxies..


8/29/2006 10:19 AM  
Blogger saturdaynightspecial said...

And, it's because too many from the gun-ban crowd watches CSI, Bones and maybe some Law and Order.

8/31/2006 3:08 PM  

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