Gun Rights Groups Await Ruling on CA ‘Microstamping’ Requirement


The Second Amendment Foundation and Calguns Foundation are waiting for California Eastern District Judge Kimberly Mueller to issue a ruling in their request to prevent the state from banning the sale of new handguns which lack microstamping technology.

Like “smart guns,” microstamping is a theoretical technology that sounds good on paper but is unreliable and cumbersome in real life. It is an attempt to equip every gun with a firing pin that makes a particular mark on a shell casing similar to a fingerprint–a mark that identifies which specific gun ejected a particular shell casing.

But as the California Police Chiefs Association has made clear, “The technology does not function reliably and … criminals can remove the marking easily in mere seconds.” In other words, criminals could file the special fingerprint off the end of the firing pin in mere seconds or could simply switch the firing pin with one that isn’t marked.

Fox News reports the microstamping requirement went into effect in 2013. And the Second Amendment Foundation and Galguns Foundation argue that the requirement that all new handguns be outfitted with microstamping technology will prove to be a defacto handgun ban in the state because gun manufacturers are not set up to implement the technology in their guns.

Moreover, gun makers have made clear they have not set up their factories to implement the technology because it is “unworkable.” According to Fox News, at least two manufacturers–Smith & Wesson and Sturm and Ruger & Co.–have already said they will no longer sell new guns in California because of the requirement.

In addition to being unreliable, microstamping technology drives up the prices of new guns, thereby making them unaffordable for poorer families.

Microstamping has strong support from anti-Second Amendment groups like the Prosecutors Against Gun Violence, Brady Campaign chapters, and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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