Home>Articles>Firearm Microstamping Bill Passes Senate, Awaits Governor’s Signature

San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Firearm Microstamping Bill Passes Senate, Awaits Governor’s Signature

AB 2847 would also limit the number of compliant handguns in California

By Evan Symon, August 31, 2020 9:29 am

On Friday, the California Senate passed a bill that would require newer model handguns sold in California to be microstamped, moving the bill to the Governor’s desk to await his signature.

AB 2847 and microstamping

Microstamping on a bullet cartridge. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Assembly Bill 2847, authored by Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco), would require microstamping in at least one place in the interior of any new handgun starting on July 1, 2022 in addition to current 2 microstamping markings needed on interior parts of firearms. This would mark the first time that microstamping, which imprints tiny markings on cartridges that had been fired from the weapon in question for quicker police identification, would be expanded on in California since AB 1471 came into law in 2013.

In addition to the new microstamping measure, the number of types of gun-law compliant handguns in California would be reduced as AB 2847 would introduce a system of removing three handguns from the current handgun roster that are non-compliant with current laws for each handgun added.

Assemblyman Chiu had written AB 2847 to reduce the number of black market firearms in the state, as well as help police solve firearm related crimes quicker.

“AB 2847, would require gunmakers to incorporate microstamping technology — to imprint microscopic characters that identify a handgun’s make, model, and serial number on the casing of every bullet that is fired,” said Assemblyman Chiu earlier this year. “Having this information is critical to solving countless crimes involving firearms, as well as to reducing the black market for guns.”

Supporters praise Senate passage

Supporters of the bill , most notably numerous gun control groups such as the Brady Campaign and law enforcement organizations, celebrated the bills second-to-last hurdle on Friday.

“In recent years, we have seen the rate of unsolved firearm assaults and homicides increase nationwide,” stated Brady Campaign President Kris Brown in a statement. “Assemblyman Chiu’s bill, AB 2847, is an elegant solution to this pressing problem, using the latest technology to respect the rights of gun owners while making California safer. This bill, soon to be law, will provide a new and much needed tool to California law enforcement in their efforts to solve crimes involving a firearm and will help to make all California communities safer.

“That this legislative victory comes over a decade after the state first passed a microstamping requirement that was met with resistance from the gun lobby cannot go unsaid. Crimes could have been stopped, solved and lives saved but for the gun lobby’s meritless opposition. This victory is long in coming.”

Opponents warn of negative AB 2847 consequences

Those who opposed the bill, including gun rights groups such as the NRA and gun manufacturers denounced the passage, saying that it would only lead to an increase in black market and untraceable weapons into California, as well as not improving  public public safety.

“The LA Times said it best a few years ago when microstamping had come up before, pointing out that not only would more microstamping not lead to less crime, but it would make guns more expensive and deny personal protection to those with less money,” explained Bill Kirk, a California lawyer who has represented gun stores in the past, to the Globe. “So there’s no real benefit to it besides  a possibility that police find a an intact and non-damaged microstamping at the scene of the crime, but even then the gun that fired it may not belong to the person who had it.

“What this bill will do, besides making guns more expensive, is scare gun makers from coming to California. They freaked out when the law was upheld two years ago, and now some of the top handgun companies won’t even sell in California. So it’s costing the state money. And who knows how many of those guns would have saved lives? The evidence that this is a bad bill has piled up, but now it’s close to being law.”

AB 2847 has moved through the Assembly and Senate almost completely along party lines since being introduced earlier this year. Following Friday’s Senate passage, the bill now awaits Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature.

Governor Newsom, who has signaled support for the bill, has until the end of September to sign the bill into law.

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16 thoughts on “Firearm Microstamping Bill Passes Senate, Awaits Governor’s Signature

  1. Browning 22 cal target pistol has already been pulled from California market because of micro stamping. How many more guns will be eliminated from the market because sales are not great enough to warrant the extra cost to manufacturers. Browning makes a real nice competition target pistol which I am unable to buy in California. Time to sell out and move from Communistfornia.

  2. Just another ineffective gun law that will do nothing to reduce crime or keep guns out of the hands of criminal felons who are prohibited from possessing guns. Of course it will be signed into law by Grusom who never saw a gun law he did not like. It will dwindle supplies of guns even more for law abiding citizens who have been buying guns in record numbers over the last few months. Been to a gun store lately? The shelves are mostly empty and this law will make it worse.

    1. This is very naive. Do they really think that criminals are going to the gun store, buying their gun, and then using them to commit crimes? They are stealing their guns! Cop of 21 years here.

  3. How will this law assist police if the handgun used in a crime is a revolver and the spent brass is retained in the cylinder? If brass fired from a micro stamped gun is retrieved from a range, many leave their brass behind, then distributed at a crime scene and you and your gun where nowhere near the crime scene will LE confiscate your handgun as evidence? Will you become a suspect?

  4. A job transfer forced me to move to Texas from Sacramento in the early 90s. California is a very nice place but you do have too many people. I can see why rich people want it all for themselves. New laws, higher taxes, housing prices are all part of the plan to force you all poor people out. I just hope that the Democrats voters that are forced out go someplace other than Texas. The weather sucks here. If we had to pay your cost of living I would have to move again.

  5. Micro stamping is a great way to frame someone. The police will stop looking for a suspect until the innocent the owner proves his innocence at great expense. By then the offenders gun has changed hands several times.
    In you want to cut gun crime, cut social spending on illegals, welfare, and homeless and invest it in police and sheriffs. 41% of the budget is “health and human services” – IOW, medical care and welfare for illegals, and the jobless poor they have replaced.

  6. “Supporters of the bill , most notably numerous gun control groups such as the Brady Campaign and law enforcement organizations”

    I generally Back the Blue, but when their “organizations” come down on bills designed to make it even *harder* for citizens to take control of their own safety, it makes it very difficult to continue doing so.

  7. Can the Ca. gov. find anymore ways to waste tax payers money? Now that’s a stupid question. Of course they can and will. What makes the DA’s that come up with this idiocy think a perp won’t just simply police the brass or use a revolver. If the Commifornia law makers would spend half the time trying to figure out how to solve our homeless problem and other important issues maybe we could get something important done..

  8. Micro stamping another useless law.
    So some one goes to the range picks up a handful of spent cartridges and throws them down at a crime scene. Or you simply change out or file the firing pin down. I guess they think the criminals are as Stupid as the law makers are. What a joke.

  9. Absolute stupidity, stop making laws that hinder lawful gun owners, as if it’s not super easy to just sandpaper off the marking, making this law pointless and everything harder for lawful gun owners.

  10. All they want is a way to get your guns. It starts with one law….. micromanaging …leads to your right to own a gun.

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