Friday, February 20, 2015

California Blocks All New Gun Sales with Microstamping Mandate

As of Jan 1, 2015 no Handgun Manufacturer will be allowed to sell any new model handgun in California; the reason being the new Microstamping mandate and the fact that no handgun manufacturer in the US uses the technology. While I'm sure that those that against the lawful ownership of handguns are cheering with delight, the end result is new and safer guns will not be available in California Microstamping is a process where identifying characters are engraved on the head  of the firing pin of a handgun, with the hope that it will leave an impression on the primer of a casing, so law enforcement can identify a handgun that was used in a crime. While the California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA) originally showed interest in the technology,  they now express concern over the "hasty implementation" as  "peer-reviewed studies conducted by independent research organizations conclude that the technology does not function reliably and that criminals can remove the markings easily in mere seconds". California Police Chiefs Association Calls for Firearms Microstamping Study

To date, Glock, Ruger, Smith and Wesson have already said they will not sell new handguns guns in California rather than invest in what is was deemed a faulty technology in 2007 that can be defeated by criminal in seconds (It should be noted that Law enforcement is exempted from the mandate as they are constantly upgrading their officers firearms, which these days are about 80% Glock; apparently civilians don't rank high enough to be able to purchase newer and safer firearms) and there has also been limited research and/or development of the technology. The only reason Microstamping has become mandatory is the patent has run out, while gun manufactures and law enforcement have serious reservations, the California Legislators apparently do not. Further even though that patent has run out, the proprietary machinery owned by the developer, NanoMark of Seattle, Washington, makes it still the only company from which the Microstamping technology can be purchased. "Two trade groups, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute (SAAMI), filed a lawsuit in 2014 seeking both declaratory and injunctive relief against what the groups perceive as an attempt to ban semi-automatic handguns in the state." The court issued a decision on May 21, 2014 that denied NSSF and SAAMI’s preliminary injunction request to stop the state from enforcing the new law. The court found that they failed to establish a reasonable probability that they will success on the merits of their case." However this was before the largest firearm manufactures declared they are not going to build a faulty system into their pistols and have been resigned to the fact that they will not be able to serve the California market with their new and often safer handguns; this may result in another attempt to force an injunction. Now this does not mean that Californians will not be able to purchase handguns, there are hundreds of models on California's Department of Justice (DOJ) gun list, it's just new models that have been made illegal by this law.

Finally it is worth noting that California has dozens of gun safety laws that the legislature simply refuses to fund. Included is a law that allows the California DOJ to track down gun owners that made legal purchases of handguns or assault rifles, but have since become ineligible from owning them due to mental illness or a criminal conviction. Unfortunately of the 20,000 illegal gun owners on the list, with some 40,000  illegally possessed firearms in California, only about 2000 have had their firearms confiscated; and around 3,000 are added to the list every year. California Unable to Disarm 19,700 felons and Mentally Ill People 

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