In the latest salvo fired by two firearms industry groups against California’s microstamping mandate the groups maintain the state wants something that just isn’t available.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation and Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute argued to the California Supreme Court in a filing last month that the state’s 2007 law requiring new semi-auto handguns sold in the state to have the capability to permanently mark shell casings fired through the gun with an identifying mark asks for something that cannot be done. As such, the state has whittled down the number of pistols certified for sale to the point that the industry has lost $183 million annually since 2013 in missed sales to California’s gun owners.
The groups point to the fact that the roster of approved handguns as of late July contained just 504 models of semi-auto pistols, compared to 867 in early 2014 when they first filed suit against the provision of the state’s Unsafe Handgun Act. As old designs are decertified, and no new ones are approved as they lack the capability to stamp their ejected shell casings, the roster contracts. Manufacturers such as Smith & Wesson have publicly stated they will not include microstamping in their firearms.
A key sticking point with the California doctrine is that it requires “dual placement” of the microstamp on the cartridge case, a concept that requires two separate internal parts of the pistol to apply stamps to the case in order to defeat the possibility that a firing pin could be filed down or swapped out for a different one in an attempt to spoof the system. The industry contends there is no expert that can be found “to show that dual placement microstamping technology can ever be developed for semi-automatic pistols.”
by Chris Eger