CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Proposed Gun Stamp Law Could Lower Crime

From A proposed state bill requiring all new handguns to be stamped with microscopic identification tags could significantly decrease violence and shut down the illegal gun market if passed, proponents said in a news conference Tuesday.

The Crime Gun Identification Act, AB 1471, would require that lasers be used to create a "microstamp" of each gun's make, model and serial number that would become imprinted onto shell casings when a bullet is fired. The technology was demonstrated Tuesday by its co-inventor, Todd Lizotte, at the Los Angeles Police Academy.

The microstamp is designed to help law enforcement officials trace shell casings back to a gun's registered owner, said Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), who wrote the bill.

Opponents of AB 1471 -- mostly gun lobbyists, according to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa -- believe the technology is vulnerable to tampering and does not prevent unlicensed criminals from using the stamped guns.

"These bills come up every year and are under the guise of lowering crime but don't deal with the criminal element," NRA spokeswoman Ashley Varner told the Pasadena Weekly in March.

In letters to Assembly members, the Golden State 2nd Amendment Councilwrote that microstamping was "unproven technology" that could cause crime scenes to "easily be contaminated by a criminal throwing down a handful of shell casings he picked up from the local gun range." Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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I assume the law also makes it illegal to possess a gun that does not stamp its ID on the shell casing, or to modify a gun to disable the laser. So now, our prisons will be overcrowded with people who possessed guns that didn't ID them on the shell casings.

Posted by: bruce | Aug 16, 2007 5:59:22 PM

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