If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again! This is the attitude several New York state lawmakers have taken with respect to microstamping.
For four years in a row now lawmakers have introduced firearms microstamping legislation. Clearly, they are undaunted past failures and determined to see microstamping instituted.
The latest iteration is Assembly Bill 1157b.
If passed, it would require “semiautomatic pistols manufactured or delivered to any licensed dealer in this state to be capable of microstamping ammunition; establishes fines for violations of this requirement and provides for an affirmative defense if the dealer had a certification from the manufacturer.”
Gun microstamping is a technical process that uses laser technology to engrave microscopic gun information such as make, model and serial number on the tip of the gun’s firing pin. Desired information can also be engraved on the breech face or other parts of a firearm.
When a microstamped gun is fired, the stamped etchings are transferred onto both the cartridge casing and the round. In theory, law enforcement can then trace spent casings and fired cartridges to the “smoking gun.”
As the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) correctly pointed out in a recent article, the efficacy of microstamping has been highly debated.
Several independent, peer-reviewed studies have found microstamping to be a flawed process, one that is easily circumvented by criminals.
One study published in a scholarly journal for forensic firearms examiners showed that criminals could use common household tools to switch firing pins with unmarked spare parts rendering the microstamping useless.
Critics of microstamping also argue that if a bill like A.B. 1157b were to pass, it would compel gun manufacturers to leave the state, taking with them precious jobs (New York is home to Remington).
“At that point, we and other firearms manufacturers doing business in Connecticut would need to seriously consider whether we should completely move ourselves out of Connecticut and relocate to a friendlier state,” Carlton S. Chen, a VP at Colt, wrote to state legislators on the topic of bringing Microstamping to Connecticut, this past summer.
One can reasonably assume that New York gun makers would echo Chen’s comments.
It should be noted that last June, the New York State Assembly passed a microstamping measure in an 84 to 55 vote.
However, when it came time for the Senate to vote on the measure, the Senators pulled the microstamping bill off the floor before a vote could even take place.
It was a win for gun owners in the Empire State.
But that was last year. One can assume that the pro-microstamping crowd will be better prepared this time around (more ads, similar to the one posted below). The battle rages on.
If you live in New York, you may want to – as the NSSF recommends – “contact members of the Codes Committee and their assembly member and urge them to oppose the bill.”