NSSF is the trade association for America's firearms industry.
Our mission: To promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.
NSSF is the trade association for America's firearms industry.
It's mission: To promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.
Search NSSF


Safety
-
Shooting
-
Hunting
-
Research
-
Government
-
News
-
Blog
-

Microstamping

PDF Download of this Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet . . .

What is Microstamping?

Microstamping is a patented process that micro-laser engraves the firearm's make, model and serial number on the tip of the gun's firing pin so that, in theory, it imprints the information on discharged cartridge cases.

Microstamping Does Not Work

An independent, peerreviewed, study published in the professional scholarly journal for forensic firearms examiners proved that the concept of microstamping is unreliable and does not function as the patent holder claims. It can be easily defeated in mere seconds using common household tools or criminals could simply switch the engraved firing pin to a readily available unmarked spare part, thereby circumventing the process.

Independent Studies Conclude Microstamping Should Not Be Mandated

"Further studies are needed on the durability of microstamping marks under various firing conditions and their susceptibility to tampering, as well as on the their cost impact for manufacturers and consumers."
-- National Academy of Science Study

"Implementing this technology will be much more complicated than burning a serial number on a few parts and dropping them into firearms being manufactured."
-- Professor George Krivosta, The professional scholarly journal for forensic firearms examiners

"At the current time it is not recommended that a mandate for implementation of this technology be made.  Further testing, analysis and evaluation is required."
-- University of California at Davis on Firearms Microstamping

Experts at the University of California studied microstamping and concluded that microstamping is "flawed" and that "At the current time it is not recommended that a mandate for implementation of this technology [is made]. Further testing, analysis and evaluation is required."

NSSF and other groups, including major law enforcement organizations, are opposed to mandating this unproven and unreliable concept. The cost of microstamping is a great concern to firearms owners and taxpayers alike. Microstamping legislation in California would not only have forced consumers of firearms to pay exorbitant price increases -- well over $200 per firearm -- to cover the increased cost of microstamping, but substantially higher taxes for the cost of microstamped law enforcement guns.

Action Needed

NSSF supports legislation (sample bill included in packet) that would direct the U.S. Attorney General to work with the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a comprehensive study of firearm microstamping. Historically, studies mandated by Congress on other unproven schemes endorsed by gun control supporters have concluded that such concepts were (or would be) ineffective or counterproductive. Though some states have given credence to the independent studies that concluded microstamping should not be mandated, groups remain intent on pursuing this concept. A national study, building upon these earlier studies, is exactly what is needed to demonstrate why tax dollars should not be wasted on a flawed concept that is being pushed as a backdoor way to ban handguns.

The Patent Holder's Dream -- Our Nightmare
"Once it's implemented, further research would be warranted."
-- Todd Lizotte, Patent Holder, New Haven Register, March 18, 2008

 

Resources

To learn more about microstamping and specific threats, please visit the following links:

NSSF Backgrounder on Microstamping and Cost

NSSF Backgrounder on Microstamping and Crime

NSSF Backgrounder on U.C. Davis Study

NSSF Backgrounder on Professor Krivosta Study

 

PDF Download of this Fact Sheet