Federal Microstamping Legislation Introduced

This is a discussion on Federal Microstamping Legislation Introduced within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I hope this is not a duplicate thread, but I ran a search and it did not appear to be, even though the bill was ...

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Thread: Federal Microstamping Legislation Introduced

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    Exclamation Federal Microstamping Legislation Introduced

    I hope this is not a duplicate thread, but I ran a search and it did not appear to be, even though the bill was introduced February 7, 2008:

    News Release: Senator Kennedy and Congressman Becerra

    Washington, D.C. – Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, issued the following statement about the National Crime Gun Identification Act, which was introduced in the Senate by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and in the House by Representative Xavier Becerra (D-CA).

    “This legislation will help law enforcement track down armed criminals and solve gun murders. Our police are working harder than ever to catch criminals and keep them behind bars, yet about 40 percent of homicides go unsolved. Giving police tools like microstamping to help them do their jobs is the common sense thing to do.

    “Last year, California passed a bill to take advantage of this new microstamping technology. Governor Schwarzenegger signed that legislation into law. I want to commend Senator Kennedy and Congressman Becerra for introducing these bills to put this technology to work nationwide.”

    The bills introduced on February 7,2008 would require that all semiautomatic pistols sold after January 1, 2010, be equipped with microstamped identifiers. Internal surfaces of the gun etch tiny characters on every fired bullet cartridge, so that officers who find the cartidge at a crime scene can identify the make, model and serial number of the gun from which it was fired. Microstamping is the next generation in ballistics technology that will give police more precise investigative leads to pursue suspects.

    This is another back door attempt to accomplish what they otherwise cannot.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post
    I hope this is not a duplicate thread, but I ran a search and it did not appear to be, even though the bill was introduced February 7, 2008:

    News Release: Senator Kennedy and Congressman Becerra

    Washington, D.C. – Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, issued the following statement about the National Crime Gun Identification Act, which was introduced in the Senate by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and in the House by Representative Xavier Becerra (D-CA).

    “This legislation will help law enforcement track down armed criminals and solve gun murders. Our police are working harder than ever to catch criminals and keep them behind bars, yet about 40 percent of homicides go unsolved. Giving police tools like microstamping to help them do their jobs is the common sense thing to do.

    “Last year, California passed a bill to take advantage of this new microstamping technology. Governor Schwarzenegger signed that legislation into law. I want to commend Senator Kennedy and Congressman Becerra for introducing these bills to put this technology to work nationwide.”

    The bills introduced on February 7,2008 would require that all semiautomatic pistols sold after January 1, 2010, be equipped with microstamped identifiers. Internal surfaces of the gun etch tiny characters on every fired bullet cartridge, so that officers who find the cartidge at a crime scene can identify the make, model and serial number of the gun from which it was fired. Microstamping is the next generation in ballistics technology that will give police more precise investigative leads to pursue suspects.

    This is another back door attempt to accomplish what they otherwise cannot.

    So...we can bust the Brady Bunch for melting down perfectly good sidearms now?
    and solve gun murders
    Ok I know...Enough wise-arsing. Seriously though, do they actually think crooks won't file off the stamps or make their own ammo or (gasp) collect their brass after a shooting?
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the **** out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

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    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    So here's a question on this note:

    If Heller v DC is found on our side, what are the implications for bills like this. Theoretically, this IS a workaround to a ban on privately owned weapons. While its not an outright law against them, the law would effectively circumvent the court's ruling. Could Heller's victory put a stop to things like this??
    The Gunsite Blog
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    "It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon." - Justice Scalia, SCOTUS - DC v Heller - 26 JUN 2008

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    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by packinnova View Post
    Ok I know...Enough wise-arsing. Seriously though, do they actually think crooks won't file off the stamps or make their own ammo or (gasp) collect their brass after a shooting?
    Or even worse. They could collect the brass from a range and frame innocent people.

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    Distinguished Member Array lacrosse50's Avatar
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    My big worries would be using something like this to implement ever more complicated laws against firearms, and BG's grabbing brass from a range like morintp said.
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    Yea, that will work...


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    From what I have read just shoot it, sounds like the "micro" stamp wears off after a couple of hundred rounds anyway. My Kimber said 500 rounds for break in, and it needed it. I would be willing to bet that any microstamp on the firing pin would be toast after that since they only render a legible result 1 out of 5 tries when they are new.

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    Member Array Knight's Avatar
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    It is always interesting to see what the other side is saying to support this:
    Despite an extensive disinformation campaign by the gun industry, microstamping came
    within a single vote of being sent to the Governor’s desk during the past legislative
    session in California. As legislators around the country consider implementing
    microstamping in their own states, we would like to set the record straight on the
    technology.

    LIE #1: There is “no support” from California law enforcement for
    microstamping technology.
    TRUTH: Microstamping is supported by more than 55 police chiefs, sheriffs and
    prosecuting attorneys across California. Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton
    has stated, “I strongly believe microstamping is a valuable tool that will enhance
    law enforcement's ability to gather intelligence and put bad guys behind bars."
    Microstamping technology is also supported by California State Attorney General
    Bill Lockyer.

    LIE #2: The technology can be easily defeated “in seconds” by criminals
    using “common household tools.”
    TRUTH: Handguns equipped with microstamping technology create a redundant
    system for transferring the make, model and serial number of a handgun to a
    cartridge. The system makes multiple marks and is designed with “anti-counter
    measures” to prevent tampering. Most criminals would not even know how to find
    the technology—it is not visible to the naked eye—never mind defeat it. The firing
    pin on a handgun equipped with microstamping technology is nearly as hard as a
    diamond and impervious to common household tools. And if the firing pin were
    replaced, the redundant markings would transfer the information to the cartridge.

    LIE#3: Criminals will gather used microstamped cartridges at government
    facilities and private shooting ranges and “seed” crime scenes with this
    false evidence to implicate others and cover their trail.
    TRUTH: There is nothing to stop criminals from taking such measures now to
    fool the existing ballistics identification system in the state (the National
    Integrated Ballistics Information Network), but they rarely do, according to law
    enforcement officials. Experience shows that most criminals fail to take even
    modest precautions, like removing license plates from a stolen car or wearing
    gloves during burglaries.

    LIE#4: Microstamping would lead to significant price increases for firearms
    consumers, as much as $150 per firearm.
    TRUTH: Todd Lizotte, the developer of microstamping technology, has testified
    that outfitting new semiautomatic handguns with the technology will cost gun
    manufacturers only between 50 cents and one dollar per firearm. The process is
    analogous to the current laser processes used to create micro serial numbers on
    handguns sold in Massachusetts.

    LIE#5: Microstamped cartridges could not be recycled because they might
    implicate secondary users of reloaded cartridges. This would require an
    expensive and alternative disposal process.
    TRUTH: Trained forensic examiners can easily identify recycled cartridges and
    are called on to do so now as part of their standard operating procedure when
    investigating gun crimes. Microstamping technology will not change this process,
    and examiners will clearly understand that evidence from a recycled cartridge
    could come from two separate firearms. Standard firearms examination provides
    for this type of determination using a series of characteristics, which include
    orientation of markings, the use of reload primers, mismatched bullet/projectiles
    and powder residue. No special requirements are necessary.

    LIE #6: Implementation of the technology would result in a ban on all
    ammunition in California.
    TRUTH: Microstamping imposes no requirements on manufacturers of
    ammunition. The legislation would impose manufacturing requirements only on
    the makers of newly designed semiautomatic handguns sold in the state after
    January 1, 2009.

    LIE #7: Microstamping is a sole-source technology that would create a
    government-sanctioned monopoly for a single company.
    TRUTH: The patent holder of microstamping technology has announced that a
    royalty-free license will be provided to every firearms manufacturer on guns sold
    in California.

    LIE #8: Microstamping would be ineffective because only a small
    percentage of gun crime is committed by criminals using handguns they
    purchased legally.
    TRUTH: The percentage of gun crime committed by legal versus illegal handgun
    owners is not relevant to the effectiveness of microstamping. Microstamping will
    help law enforcement solve crimes committed with new semiautomatic handguns
    by providing substantial investigatory links that can aid in identifying the handgun
    and the perpetrator in handgun crimes. Currently, no arrest is made in
    approximately 45 percent of all homicides in California because police lack the
    evidence they need to identify suspects, and of the approximately 2,400
    homicides in California, over 60 percent are committed with handguns (2004
    California Department of Justice data).

    LIE #9: Microstamped markings would be altered by residue produced by
    the normal firing of a gun, or by owners cleaning and caring for their
    weapons.
    TRUTH: Microstamping technology is designed to withstand even deliberate
    tampering. The structures created by the microstamping process are nearly as
    hard as a diamond. Normal wear and tear and routine maintenance on a firearm
    will have absolutely no effect on the technology’s ability to mark cartridges.

    LIE #10: The technology has not been studied or tested “in the real world.”
    TRUTH: Independent examiners have fired thousands of rounds with
    microstamp-enabled guns and the firearms have continued to produce a
    consistent and observable mark. In a May 2006 test at the California Highway
    Patrol range, California Assemblyman Paul Koretz was unable to damage the
    structures on the firing pin of a microstamped gun using several types of
    household files. The results were verified by a firearms expert at the California
    Criminalistics Institute.
    Produced by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Home - CSGV.org, and the Brady
    Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
    Funny source


    And then there is 'our' side:
    Micro-stamping has repeatedly failed in tests. In 2006, a study by forensic experts and researchers at the University of California (Davis) concluded, “At the current time it is not recommended that a mandate for implementation of this technology in all semiautomatic handguns in the state of California be made.”2 Results of the study were consistent with earlier peer-reviewed tests published by the Association of Firearms and Toolmarks Examiners.3 Firearms examiner George Krivosta, of the Suffolk County, N.Y., crime lab, found that the “vast majority” of micro-stamped characters in the alphanumeric serial number couldn’t be read on “any of the expended cartridge cases generated and examined.”

    Micro-stampings are easily removed. In the tests noted above, firing pins were removed in minutes, and serial numbers were obliterated in less than a minute, with household tools.

    Most gun crimes cannot be solved by micro-stamping, or do not require micro-stamping to be solved. Most gun crimes do not involve shots being fired, thus there are no cartridge cases left at crime scenes for police to recover. Also, a large percentage of crimes involving guns, involve guns that don’t eject fired cartridge cases. Notwithstanding TV shows that portray crime-solving as impossible without high-technology, most crimes can be solved by traditional means. For example, of murders in which the victim-offender relationship is known, 77% involve family members, friends and other acquaintences. Only 23% involve strangers.4

    Most criminals who use guns, get them through unregulated channels. According to the BATFE, 88% of of crime guns are acquired through unregulated channels, and the median time between a crime gun’s acquisition and its use in crime is 6.6 years.5 According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, most criminals get guns via theft or the black market.6

    Micro-stamping may increase gun thefts, home invasions and other burglaries, and expand the black market in guns. Criminals will be further encouraged to get guns illegally, if they believe that guns bought legally will be linked to them in a computerized database.

    Most guns do not automatically eject fired cartridge cases. Revolvers can fire five or more rounds without any fired cases being ejected. Pump-action, bolt-action, lever-action and other types of guns eject fired cases only if the user manually operates the gun’s unloading mechanism. If a fired case is not ejected at a crime scene, it cannot be recovered for examination.

    Only a small percentage of guns will be micro-stamped. There are about 250 million guns in the U.S. already.7 New guns sold annually account for only 2% of that total, new semi-automatic pistols less than 0.5%,8 and guns to which AB1471 applies will account for a tiny fraction, at most.

    Most violent crimes are committed without guns. According to the FBI, ¾ of violent crimes, including 1/3 of murders and 3/5 of robberies, are committed without guns.9

    Micro-stamping wastes money, including that which is better spent on traditional crime-fighting and crime-solving efforts. It will require a costly computerized database to track micro-stamped handguns, costs that will be passed along to all consumers, including law enforcement agencies. It will require a redesign of the handgun manufacturing process, and could require payment of licensing fees to the sole-source micro-stamping patent holder.

    Problems for law enforcement. Micro-stamping exposes police departments to lawsuits if officers fire “unsafe handguns” at suspects. Departments will have to spend money destroying all cases fired in training, to prevent cases from being reused at crime scenes. Criminals can obtain fired cases from practice ranges, and use them to “seed” crime scenes, to confuse investigators.

    1. Gun control supporters have also advocated empowering the Consumer Products Safety Commission or BATFE to dictate firearm manufacturing standards that no manufacturer could achieve, advocated prohibiting the manufacture of guns that do not possess gadgetry intended to identify whether the person holding the gun is its owner, and try to bankrupt gun manufacturers by suing them for damages caused by criminals who misuse guns.
    2. David Howitt, et al., What Laser Machining Technology Adds to Firearm Forensics: How Viable are Micro-Marked Firing Pins as Evidence?, 2007.
    3. George G. Krivosta, “NanoTagTM Markings From Another Perspective,” 38 AFTE Journal 41, 2006.
    4. FBI, Expanded Homicide Data Table 9 - Crime in the United States 2006 .
    5. BATFE, Crime Gun Trace Reports 2000, National Report, www.atf.gov/firearms/ycgii/2000/highlights.pdf .
    6. Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Firearm Use by Offenders,” www.ojp.usdoj.gov./bjs/pub/pdf/fuo.pdf .
    7. National Research Council, Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review, National Academies Press, 2005.
    8. BATF, “Firearms Commerce in the United States 2001/2002,” ATF Online - Firearms .
    9. FBI, Violent Crime - Crime in the United States 2006.
    NRA
    Oh, look! Our response cites actual sources! Surprise

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    The bills introduced on February 7,2008 would require that all semiautomatic pistols sold after January 1, 2010, be equipped with microstamped identifiers.
    Criminals can use one of those evil black rifles, shotguns, only semiautos made before 12/31/2009, or revolvers can make a hugh come back.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by SixBravo View Post
    So here's a question on this note:

    If Heller v DC is found on our side, what are the implications for bills like this. Theoretically, this IS a workaround to a ban on privately owned weapons. While its not an outright law against them, the law would effectively circumvent the court's ruling. Could Heller's victory put a stop to things like this??
    No. They're just going to regulate and litigate them out of business, just like they're doing with tobacco (bad analogy, I know...LOL).

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    Senior Member Array bobcat35's Avatar
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    wouldn't existing antitrust laws come into play. they used such against microsoft and it should feild the same.
    "Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result."
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    The California law is really a joke. At best it would take decades to implement. It grandfathers existing gun designs (as in every gun already for sale in CA) and allows it to be manufactured and sold with no changes. Think about it, you can pay more for a gun with more regulation, or you can just buy one of the hundreds of types of handguns designed before 2009.

    Removing marking via files, diamond grinding tools, or even acids is no trouble at all.

    Maybe i should invent a "micro stamping proof patriot ammunition" that has hardened surfaces that will not accept a stamp. Better yet, we could pre-stamp cartridges with a few dozen stamps in order to obscure which is which.

    Maybe I should build a cartridge-less handgun. The technology exists, but has never really caught on.

    The New York State ballistic database was supposed to be the same sort of powerful crime fighting tool. It hasn't helped in a single case.

    sigh, I better go buy a few more handguns for my grandkids just in case (I am only 25!)
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobcat35 View Post
    wouldn't existing antitrust laws come into play. they used such against microsoft and it should feild the same.
    It's not a matter of anti-trust, but a matter of control, limitations, and attempting to impose unreasonable restrictions on the industry.

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    Senior Member Array rmilchman's Avatar
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    PA is attempting to sign a bill that would require the Åmmo be serialized, and a 5 cent per round tax to support the database.

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    WE, the gun-owning public has got to stop putting up with the political representatives from city to national that do this sort of thing to us. It is at best useless and at worst un-constitutional. VOTE THEM OUT!
    But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself...
    "Baa."
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