Gun manufacturers Smith and Wesson and Sturm Ruger have decided to nix selling firearms in the Golden State after the implementation of a state law that would require the company to essentially make guns specifically for California.
According to Fox News, the law would require gun manufacturers to put a device inside some handguns that would imprint a tiny stamp on the bullet so that the bullet can be traced back to the gun if necessary.
The companies, and many gun enthusiasts, both believe that this so-called “microstamping” technology is “unworkable in its present form” and can actually hinder a gun’s performance.
“Smith & Wesson does not and will not include microstamping in its firearms,” the Massachusetts-based manufacturer said in a statement.
“A number of studies have indicated that microstamping is unreliable, serves no safety purpose, is cost prohibitive and, most importantly, is not proven to aid in preventing or solving crimes.”
“The microstamping mandate and the company’s unwillingness to adopt this so-called technology will result in a diminishing number of Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistols available for purchase by California residents,” the statement continued.
While the original law requiring the firearm microstamping was first passed in 2007, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger promptly placed a hold on its implementation. Bloomberg reported that the provision was supposed to take effect in 2010, however it was delayed until the state felt the manufacturers had the technology available to them to carry out the law without dealing with patent infringement. Calguns Foundation, a pro-Second Amendment organization, paid to extend the existing patent on the technology to delay the law’s implementation.
California’s law is the first to be implemented in the nation, however Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York are also reportedly considering similar measures, Fox News reported.
Critics of the law argue that tracing a bullet back to the registered gun owner doesn’t necessarily stop gun violence, as it is very common for criminals to use stolen handguns while committing a crime. As a result many people, like Chuck Michel, the West Coast Council for the National Rifle Association, believe that having the ability to trace bullets was never the real intent of the law in the first place.
“This is the latest attempt to undermine the Second Amendment in California by politicians with little to no knowledge of firearms, who seek to impose their liberal values upon those who choose to protect their families with the constitutional right to own a handgun,” he told Fox News.
The state assembly member who introduced the bill, current Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, argues that the case against the microstamping boils down to “baloney” and “posturing” by gun rights supporters.
“This law is about solving gun crimes, and it’s a law that would be effective in doing that if only the gun lobby would step aside,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “Their posturing doesn’t surprise me. We all know that the gun lobby has no problem innovating when it comes to making guns more lethal,” he added.
Firearms used by law enforcement officials are exempt from the microstamping requirements.
In addition to the announcement by the two gun manufacturers, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute filed lawsuits against the state challenging the law.