NSSF sues state over microstamping mandate

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) filed a lawsuit on behalf of their members against the State of California in Fresno Superior Court challenging the state’s microstamping law.

For those of you unfamiliar with this law, passed a decade ago but only implemented last year, it mandates that makers of all semiautomatic pistols use technology that stamps an identifying number on the primer of the ammunition when it’s fired. The theory is that crime scene investigators would be able to scoop up the brass and trace it back to the person who bought the gun and go arrest the criminal.

The problem is that the technology doesn’t work. If the firing pin is made so it makes a readable impression 100 percent of the time, the gun jams much of the time. Even then, the identification is quickly warm off the firing pin so the brass is untraceable. If a crook wants to make sure he doesn’t leave behind brass that can be traced, all he has to do it take a file or emery board to the tip of the firing pin. But the state AG’s office said the technology was viable last year and available to manufacturers. This means that no new models of pistols can be approved for sale in this state without microstamping.

California’s moronic laws have already made in impossible for makers to get new handguns approved for sale in this state. (I think two have been approved in the last five years, and none in the last two years.) Now, no new models of semi-autos will ever be allowed.

NSSF and SAAMI realized this was both an infringement on gun owners and gun sellers rights and went to court to seek to “invalidate and enjoin enforcement of provisions of state law.Ö requiring that all semiautomatic pistols sold in the state not already on the California approved handgun roster contain unproven and unreliable microstamping technology.”

Lawrence G. Keane of the NSSF said manufactures can’t comply with the law because the technology is flawed, therefore law enforcement can’t enforce it, and it wouldn’t improve public safety anyway. They went to court with studies from the National Academy of Arts and Sciences and work done at U.C. Davis proving each of their points.

“We are seeking both declaratory and injunctive relief against this back-door attempt to prevent the sale of new semiautomatic handguns to law-abiding citizens in California,” said Keene, getting to the bottom line of the legislation.

It would eventually ban the sale of pistols in California. How? Because as manufacturers upgrade their produce lines and cease production of currently “approved” models, the new models could and would not be approved by the state. Eventually, new semi-auto handguns would simply not be available. The legislators knew that. It was a back-door gun ban.

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