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January 10, 2012

Microstamping Threat Back in New York

For the fourth year in a row, anti-gun legislators from New York City have introduced firearms microstamping legislation (Assembly Bill 1157b) that would result in banning firearms in the Empire State. 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.

If microstamping were to become law, firearms manufacturers would be forced to employ this patented, sole-sourced concept that independent studies, including those from the National Academy of Sciences and the University of California at Davis, found to be flawed and easily defeated by criminals. In fact, an independent, peer-reviewed, 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. That study noted that microstamping can be easily defeated in mere seconds using common household tools and criminals could simply switch engraved firing pins for readily available unmarked spare parts, thereby circumventing the process.

Passage of this bill could result in layoffs of factory workers throughout New York as manufacturers, already being heavily lobbied by tax and gun friendly states, consider moving out of New York. Furthermore, firearms manufacturers could be forced to abandon the New York market altogether rather than spend the astronomical sums of money needed to completely reconfigure their manufacturing and assembly processes. This would directly impact law enforcement, firearms retailers and their law-abiding customers.

Make no mistake, this is an extraordinarily dangerous bill. As legislation that would mandate microstamping not only threatens law-abiding gun owners but our industry’s ability to supply the nation’s law enforcement officers and military with high-quality firearms, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) – the trade association for the firearms industry – is encouraging all citizens of New York to contact members of the Codes Committee and their assembly member and urge them to oppose the bill.

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