REPORT: California Supreme Court rules on lawsuit challenging unusual bullet identification law
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SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court threw out a lawsuit Thursday that sought to block an unusual law requiring new models of semi-automatic handguns to stamp identifying information on bullet casings when shots are fired to make it easier to solve crimes.
The court ruled unanimously that gun rights groups could not overturn the requirement by arguing it was impossible to comply with the law that supporters touted as a first in the nation. The groups argued that the technology did not exist, and a law could not mandate something that was not possible.
Attorneys for the state acknowledged that microstamping technology is “emerging” but said lawmakers often enact laws to force industries to innovate.
The article goes on to state the following:
The California law requires new-model pistols to have a microscopic array of characters in two spots that identify the gun’s make, model, and serial number and are imprinted on the casings when the weapon is fired.
Gun rights groups say it is not possible to “microstamp” two areas of a firearm. Only the tip of the firing pin can be microstamped, and current technology doesn’t allow the stamp to reliably, consistently, and legibly imprint on the cartridge primer from that part of the gun, they say.
The law, which Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed in 2007 and took effect in 2013, doesn’t affect guns already on the state’s official firearm roster. Only new or modified semi-automatic handguns sold in California must be equipped with the technology.
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