Gun maker Smith & Wesson announced it would stop selling newly designed semiautomatic pistols in California because of a state law requiring those firearms to imprint a unique, identifying “microstamp” on bullet casings, reports the Los Angeles Times. The law, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007 but not implemented until May 2013, is intended to help police investigators link shell casings found at crime scenes to a specific gun.
Smith & Wesson joins gun maker Sturm, Ruger & Co. in halting the sales. Both companies criticized the microstamping requirement as costly, unreliable and ineffective, saying that there is no evidence that it will help solve crimes. Two organizations representing gun makers, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute, filed a lawsuit in January in Fresno County seeking to invalidate the law.