ORANGE (CBSLA.com) — Smith & Wesson says a state law that requires them to add microstamping to its weapons will stop the gun manufacturer from selling their new semi-automatic handguns to California.
Microstamping is the latest battleground in the national debate over gun control. The law requires guns to mark the bullet casings with a serial number imprinted in the firearm.
Ruger is another gun maker claiming they won’t sell their semi-automatic handguns to The Golden State because of microstamping.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer says microstamping gives law enforcement a new tool top fight crime, but some are saying it’s a thinly-veiled attack on Second Amendment rights.
“I think it’s harassment — period,” said Emily Atkinson, who owns a gun shop in Orange. “They’re making it just impossible for the avid shooter, who just wants to go plink and have some fun, they’re making it impossible.”
Feuer, who wrote the law when he was a State Assembly member, says it has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. It’s about giving law enforcement the tools they need to determine who fired a weapon in a crime.
“Under microstamping, those shell casings contain the information necessary to determine who purchased the weapon in the first place. When we know who bought the crime gun that’s a significant lead for law enforcement,” said Feuer, who wrote the law while serving in the State Assembly.
Smith & Wesson says microstamping is not only expensive but unreliable.
Atkinson says it may end up forcing gun buyers underground, obtaining these semi-automatic handguns through illegal means.
“If you truly want a gun you’re going to find it. And if you can’t find it at a local shop where you can legally purchase it the right way, they’re going to find it the wrong way,” Atkinson said.
Feuer says a microstamping gun was tested at an LAPD event in 2007 and it performed exactly as expected. He says the law has been endorsed by more than 60 California police chiefs and sheriffs.
“This is effective technology, it’s available technology, and the fact that the gun industry and the gun lobby are attempting to thwart what otherwise would be a significant public safety help here in California is appalling,” Feuer said.