Last week, U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. William Siko helped demonstrate for members of Congress a technique called “microstamping,” in which identifying information from a gun is transferred onto bullet cartridges. Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) and Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) want to require semiautomatic pistols to be equipped with microscopic characters identifying make, model, and serial number. These characters would be imprinted onto each cartridge case when the gun is fired, allowing investigators to trace cartridges to a particular gun.
Gun-control advocates said this would cost manufacturers only between 50 cents and $1 per firearm. They said that in many homicides no arrest is made because of lack of evidence. National Rifle Association Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre said that criminals could alter guns or find other ways to evade microstamping.