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CA – GUN CONTROL – Newsom signs bill that compels gunmakers to adopt bullet-tracing technology

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Tuesday that aims to compel gun manufacturers to adopt a bullet-tracing technology they have resisted for more than a decade. AB2847 by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, scales back a standard the state previously adopted for the technology known as microstamping — requiring that semiautomatic pistols sold in the state leave a single unique imprint on bullets that are fired, rather than two, as currently required. The marking, which reveals a gun’s make, model and serial number, is meant to help law enforcement investigations by enabling police to trace bullets to their source and connect crimes where the same weapon was used. “The gun industry has gone to great lengths to avoid implementing microstamping and other life saving tools in California,” Chiu said in a statement. “We finally have a mechanism to hold the industry accountable and reduce gun fatalities.”

Gunmakers argue that microstamping is unreliable because the etching on a firing pin does not provide a legible imprint on every bullet casing and can easily be removed. They also say its investigative usefulness can be undermined by dropping bullet casings from another weapon at a crime scene to confuse officers. California originally passed its microstamping requirement in 2007, calling for gun manufacturers to incorporate the technology within three years. It has never been implemented.  [full article]

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