Dueling proposals to identify handgun bullets to help police solve shootings were approved by California lawmakers Thursday, despite concerns the requirements are impractical or would harm law-abiding citizens, reports the Associated Press. Ammunition manufacturers would be required to laser-cut each bullet with a serial number under the Senate bill, while the Assembly version requires guns to stamp identification numbers on bullet casings each time they are fired.
“With a simple magnifying glass (police) can read that identifying number … and determine who purchased that ammunition,” said Sen. Joseph Dunn. “This is a tremendous benefit for law enforcement.” Ammunition manufacturers said Dunn’s bill will either force them to abandon the lucrative California market or force them to install unaffordable technology to mark the 8 billion bullets they make each year. The bill would punish anyone possessing unmarked ammunition outside their home after July 2007. The bill would require purchasers to pay up to a halfpenny per bullet to fund record-keeping by the state Department of Justice on every handgun-caliber bullet made or sold in California.