Ninth Circuit Upholds CA Microstamping Law…Although Microstamping Doesn’t Exist

microstamping Shell Casings

On Friday a three-judge panel of the United States Appeals Court for the Ninth Circuit upheld California’s microstamping law – even though microstamping is theoretical at best.

The Ninth Circuit ruling came just over a month at the California Supreme Court ruled that an impossibility of compliance is not a sufficient reason for invalidating a law.

The Ninth Circuit likewise upheld the impractical–and impossible–requirement on Friday. Microstamping requires gun makers to put a special marking on the end of a firing pin so ejected shell casings contain a fingerprint that tells which gun fired them. The technology has proved unworkable to date, and even if it worked it would be easily defeated by replacing the firing pin or filing off the marking.

The Associated Press reports that the Ninth Circuit “also rejected arguments that the stamping requirement won’t significantly help solve homicides.”

Ironically, on November 8, 2015, Breitbart News reported that Maryland canceled their ballistic fingerprinting program for firearms after 15 years with no crimes solved. The cost of the ballistic fingerprinting experiment was five million dollars.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


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