A proposed California law bill requiring new handguns to be stamped with microscopic identification tags could significantly decrease violence and shut down the illegal gun market if passed, advocates said yesterday, reports the Los Angeles Times. The proposal would require that lasers be used to create a “microstamp” of each gun’s make, model, and serial number that would become imprinted onto shell casings when a bullet is fired. The microstamp is designed to help law enforcement officials trace shell casings back to a gun’s registered owner.
Opponents believe the technology is vulnerable to tampering and does not prevent unlicensed criminals from using the stamped guns. “These bills come up every year and are under the guise of lowering crime but don’t deal with the criminal element,” said a National Rifle Association spokeswoman. The Golden State 2nd Amendment Council said microstamping was “unproven technology” that could cause crime scenes to “easily be contaminated by a criminal throwing down a handful of shell casings he picked up from the local gun range.”