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March 1st, 2015

California Microstamping Requirement Upheld in Court

Californians may be relegated to shooting revolvers soon. On February 27, 2015, a Federal Judge in California over-ruled objections to a California state law requiring that all new semi-auto handguns have microstamping capability. In granting summary judgment to the State, Eastern District Judge Kimberly Mueller halted legal efforts to over-turn microstamping requirements for semi-auto pistols. Unless this District Court ruling is overturned on appeal, this Federal Court decision would effectively ban the sale or possession of most (if not all) new semi-auto handguns in the state.

Editor’s Comment: There is some hope however — the Calguns Foundations said counsel has already appealed the recent ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The ruling was issued in Peña v. Lindley, a Federal case that pitted California resident Ivan Peña and three other individual plaintiffs against Stephen Lindley, the chief of the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Firearms.

At issue was California’s microstamping law, which was signed into law in 2007 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, but which only took effect in 2013. In the two years since the micro-stamping requirement went into effect, no manufacturer has made a new firearm that complies with the requirement. Both Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co., are not shipping their latest (post-2013 design) firearms into the California market because of the microstamping law. Opponents of the law argued that the microstamping requirment was, effectively, a de facto ban on all semi-auto pistols, since not one manufacturer has offered guns that comply with the law.

“This is about the state trying to eliminate the handgun market,” said Alan Gura, the lead attorney in Peña v. Lindley told Fox News last week. “The evidence submitted by the manufacturers shows this is science fiction and there is not a practical way to implement the law.”

The Peña v. Lindley case was argued at the trial court on December 17, 2013. Peña, gun manufacturers, and attorneys for the Second Amendment Foundation and Calguns Foundation argued that microstamping relies on impractical and unworkable technology. The plaintiffs argued that, if guns without the technology can’t be sold in California, and gun manufacturers can’t implement the technology, then the law functions as a de facto handgun ban that violates the Second Amendment.

The Calguns Foundation stated that the group is “disappointed that the district court sidestepped a clear violation of Second Amendment civil rights in its decision today. However, we are absolutely committed to litigating this case as far as necessary to reverse this incorrect ruling and restore the right to keep and bear modern handguns in the Golden State.”

Story based on report in Cheaper that Dirt Shooters’ Log.

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July 5th, 2011

Restrictive Gun Laws Blocked in New York and California

Proposed gun laws based on flawed technology were recently defeated in New York and California. In New York, A1157, a micro-stamping bill, was effectively halted in the New York State Senate. Meanwhile, across the country in California, the California Assembly Public Safety Committee voted down SB 978, a bill that would have required all air rifles to be brightly colored.

Micro-Stamping Blocked in New York Again
In New York, A1157, which earlier this year passed the General Assembly, failed to be voted on in the New York State Senate. This marks the fourth straight year that microstamping has been defeated in the Empire State. The proposed legislation would have required micro-stamping of handguns. This technology has not yet been perfected and it can easily be defeated by criminals. Requiring microstamping of all new handguns would force manufacturers to invest in very expensive machinery (or go out of business). Increased manufacturing costs would be passed on to the firearms consumer. To learn more about microstamping, read the NSSF Microstamping Fact Sheet.

Microstamping New York

Law Restricting Airguns Defeated in California
Last week, the California Assembly Public Safety Committee defeated SB 798, a bill that would have mandated that all airsoft and airguns (included Olympic-grade pneumatic air rifles) be brightly colored. In theory, this would help police officers distinguish airguns from actual firearms. In fact, because anyone can spray paint a firearm a bright color, this law would have jeopardized the safety of the public and especially police officers. AB 798 was defeated in large part because of opposition from law enforcement groups who understood the risk of criminals painting real firearms to disguise the weapons’ lethality. AB 798 is one more example of “feel good” legislation that would do more harm than good.

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June 15th, 2010

Microstamping Threat Looms in New York State

The NSSF warns that New York legislators may soon pass Senate Bill 6005A requiring microstamping on firearms. A vote on S. 6005A in the New York State Senate could happen “at any time”. According to the NSSF, New York City politicians, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, are trying to bully state Senators into voting for microstamping legislation. This is despite the fact that California cannot implement its microstamping law because no reliable, non-proprietary technology exists. We reported in January that California’s microstamping program, slated to take effect New Year’s Day (2010), is “Dead on Arrival” because the technology remains encumbered by patents. Read More About California Microstamping.

Microstamping cartridges
What Can Happen if NY Mandates Microstamping
In New York, anti-gun legislators are trying to force taxpayers to spend millions on expensive new high-tech scanning electron microscopes and patented bar code reading equipment in support of microstamping. Microstamping is a patented, sole-sourced technology that independent studies, including those from the National Academy of Sciences and the University of California at Davis, proved to be flawed and easily defeated by criminals in mere seconds.

The NSSF Cautions: “If Senate Bill 6005A passes in New York, firearms manufacturers would be forced to abandon the New York market rather than spend the astronomical sums of money necessary to completely reconfigure their manufacturing and assembly processes. In addition, this bill could result in hundreds of layoffs for New York workers as firearm factories consider moving out of the state. With Mayor Bloomberg and his cronies ratcheting up the pressure on key Senators, it is imperative that sportsmen, hunters and gun-owners [contact] their state Senator and urge him or her to oppose Senate Bill 6005A.”

Learn more about microstamping by viewing the NSSF Microstamping Fact Sheet.

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January 6th, 2010

California Microstamping Law Status — DOA for Now

California Microstamping lawA new California law requiring that all new semi-auto handguns sold in California incorporate microstamping technology was to go into effect on January 1st, 2010. Many readers are concerned that this law will make it illegal to purchase new, self-loading handguns in California. However, because the law mandated technology which, thus far, has NOT been made available to pistol manufacturers, the law is NOT being applied for now. This was the case of misguided legislators passing a gun law requiring technology that didn’t really exist.

The NSSF reports: “Firearms microstamping, signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.) in October 2007 and slated to take effect New Year’s Day (2010), is not in effect since the technology remains encumbered by patents.” Microstamping is the process by which firearms manufacturers must micro-laser-engrave a gun’s make, model and serial number on two distinct parts of each gun, including the firing pin, so that, in theory, this data is imprinted on the cartridge casing when the pistol is fired. By its terms, the microstamping law required that the technology be “patent-free” (as determined by the California Department of Justice) before the law could go into effect.

The one company which has pioneered micro-stamping technology for pistols has NOT released its patents. Hence, by its own terms, California’s micro-stamping law is “dead on arrival”. However, last month the California Department of Justice nonetheless proposed new microstamping regulations, a move that was questioned by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) — the trade association for the firearms industry.

“In the midst of California’s budget crisis and despite the possibility this law may never go into effect — as the technology remains encumbered by patents — one has to question the decision by the California Department of Justice to spend its time and limited resources on drafting regulations for the flawed technology,” said NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane.

Opposition to microstamping has intensified as manufacturers have indicated the new law would force them to raise prices of guns significantly. Estimates of price increases go as high as $200 per firearm, as the unreliable technology would require a complete reconfiguring of the manufacturing and assembly processes.

CLICK HERE for more information on Firearms Microstamping.

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June 23rd, 2009

Remington CEO Attacks Micro-Stamping

microstampingJoe Gross, chief operating officer for the Remington Arms Company, takes on microstamping in an op-ed piece published in the Utica Observer-Dispatch. “Microstamping,” writes Gross, “is a concept where a manufacturer incorporates the firearm serial number onto the firing pin of the firearm such that the serial number is imprinted on the cartridge when it is fired. The objective is to aid law enforcement in investigations to trace firearms used by criminals. Simply put, microstamping does not work. Microstamping is an idea put forth by those who wish to legislate burdensome, unreliable and unproven controls on an industry to drive up costs, increase burdens and force manufacturers out of business. They do this under the guise that this will help solve crimes.” Remington has a manufacturing plant in New York state, where anti-gun legislators have introduced and strongly support microstamping legislation.

CLICK HERE to read full article by Remington CEO.

In the video below scientists and leading Forensic Examiners explain the shortcomings of what the media has called “ballistic fingerprinting”. The experts conclude that the creation of a national database of firearms’ markings would not only be impractical, but it would also make it MORE difficult to identify guns actually used in crimes. Why? Because the amount of data would overwhelm those tasked with evaluating it.

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This report courtesy NSSF

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February 1st, 2009

Concerns about Federal Gun Laws — Lou Dobbs Report

CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight” featured a segment on gun-owner concerns about the Obama administration, bullet serialization and firearms microstamping. As a state Senator in Illinois, Obama supported a 500% increase in taxes on bullets and ammunition. NSSF Senior V.P. and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane was interviewed for the segment. Keane expressed concern that the Obama Administration favors microstamping of bullets and/or cartridge cases. Though scientists have declared that microstamping is not a viable technology at present, Democrats are still pushing for it. Keane worries that mandatory microstamping could make the shooting sports prohibitively expensive.

CNN’s Lou Dobbs also interviewed Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, a vocal critic of Obama’s selection of Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General. Barrosso noted that Holder has stated that the Second Amendment does not recognize an individual right to “keep and bear arms”. While Holder has declared that the Obama administration “has no intention of doing anything that would affect a state’s regulation of firearms”, Dobbs pointed out that Holder left open the question of FEDERAL (as opposed to state) regulation of firearms.

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