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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bullet Serial Numbering Bill Gains Support

From latimes.com: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief William J. Bratton added their support Wednesday to a bill requiring gun manufacturers to build handguns that would stamp bullet casings with serial numbers — an innovation intended to speed investigations by making it easier to link bullets to the weapons that fired them.

The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood), would only affect the manufacture of new semiautomatic handguns, but Bratton and others said it would aid officers in investigating gun violence.

Proponents say the etching technology would imprint each gun's serial number on bullet casings when the firing pin of the weapon struck the cartridge. They argue that such microscopic imprinting could not be easily tampered with because other identifying marks would reveal what gun fired the bullet. By cross-checking bullet casings with existing state databases on gun purchases, authorities say they could quickly figure out what gun had fired the bullets recovered from a crime scene.

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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