Californians Will Have Fewer Handguns Available to Them Thanks to New Microstamping Law

(Photo: National Rifle Association)

Sailing through the California Senate last Friday, a microstamping bill now heads to the desk of anti-gun Gov. Gavin Newsom to be signed into law.  

This is bad news for gun owners in The Golden State.  

Per the legislation (AB 2847), starting on July 1, 2022, all new handguns sold in the state will need to be microstamped in one place on the interior of the handgun (current law requires two imprinting locations).  

Additionally, for every new gun added to the state’s roster of approved handguns, three firearms that do not meet the requirements for what the state calls a “safe” handgun must be removed by the Dept. of Justice.  

Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco), the author of AB 2847, said the legislation “would require gunmakers to incorporate microstamping technology — to imprint microscopic characters that identify a handgun’s make, model, and serial number on the casing of every bullet that is fired. Having this information is critical to solving countless crimes involving firearms, as well as to reducing the black market for guns.”

AB 2847 is problematic for a number of reasons as Mark Oliva, director of Public Affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, noted in an email to GunsAmerica.  

“This microstamping bill is doubling down an a technology the state knows is unworkable and is easily defeated by criminals,” explained Oliva. 

“The state’s Department of Justice hasn’t even begun to weigh in on how this will be enforced and regulated. There’s no formula for which guns would come off the approved roster and why. This is nothing short of a slow-rolling gun ban that will eventually eliminate Californian’s Second Amendment rights,” he continued.

SEE ALSO: Rittenhouse Speaks from Jail, Plus All the Controversial Memes Appearing on Social Media

Since the original microstamping law was certified in 2013, no new semiautomatic handguns have been added to the state’s roster.  Microstamping has always been a scheme to reduce the number of self-defense options Californians have when it comes to protecting themselves and their families.  

That doesn’t change under AB 2847.  In fact, it only gets worse.  

By saying to the industry that new pistols only need one microstamping location as opposed to two, lawmakers are hoping gun makers will play ball and start selling new handguns equipped with microstamping.

If this happens, the Dept. of Justice can start pulling “unsafe” guns off the market, as mentioned in a 3 to 1 ratio, while also criminalizing the sale or manufacture of those “unsafe” guns. 

Law-abiding citizens caught selling or transferring a once legal but newly designated “unsafe” gun that has been removed from the roster could then be held criminally liable.  

What makes a pistol or a revolver unsafe in California? 

31910. As used in this part, “unsafe handgun” means any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person, for which any of the following is true:

(a) For a revolver:

  • (1) It does not have a safety device that, either automatically in the case of a double-action firing mechanism, or by manual operation in the case of a single-action firing mechanism, causes the hammer to retract to a point where the firing pin does not rest upon the primer of the cartridge.
  • (2) It does not meet the firing requirement for handguns.
  • (3) It does not meet the drop safety requirement for handguns.

(b) For a pistol:

  • (1) It does not have a positive manually operated safety device, as determined by standards relating to imported guns promulgated by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
  • (2) It does not meet the firing requirement for handguns.
  • (3) It does not meet the drop safety requirement for handguns.
  • (4) Commencing July 1, 2022, for all centerfire semiautomatic pistols that are not already listed on the roster pursuant to Section 32015, it does not have a chamber load indicator.
  • (5) Commencing July 1, 2022, for all centerfire or rimfire semiautomatic pistols that are not already listed on the roster pursuant to Section 32015, it does not have a magazine disconnect mechanism if it has a detachable magazine.
  • (6) (A) Commencing July 1, 2022, for all semiautomatic pistols that are not already listed on the roster pursuant to Section 32015, it is not designed and equipped with a microscopic array of characters used to identify the make, model, and serial number of the pistol, etched or otherwise imprinted in one or more places on the interior surface or internal working parts of the pistol, and that are transferred by imprinting on each cartridge case when the firearm is fired.

Alan Gottlieb, Founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, told GunsAmerica via email, “The real intent of this legislation is to make fewer guns available to the public for self-defense by limiting the number of models and making others more expensive.”

“Not if, but when Governor Newsom signs it into law it will allow for a new legal challenge in court,” he added.  

SAF, along with other gun-rights groups, had sued the state before over its microstamping mandate but lost on a technicality. Looks like they’ll get another chance to set things straight. Stay tuned for updates.  The battle over microstamping is heating up once again!  

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 59 comments… add one }
  • Tom Robison September 10, 2020, 1:44 pm

    I don’t agree with micro stamping criminals wouldn’t care about it in fact it adds confusion they will shoot any gun and if it’s micro stamped for someone else all the better. All of that aside it’s just part one for taking all of the guns which the goal of the communist Democratic Party.

  • BBwithAW September 9, 2020, 6:11 pm

    Grew up in Kalifornia; moved out after the L.A. Riot: Best decision of my life as the state keep sinking into the Kommunist utopia abyss (Game of Thrones with the High- and Low-Borns always comes to mind).
    With my CCW, I sometimes felt unnecessary, but always feel I really need one while visiting Riot Town even though my family and friends live in “better” neighborhoods…

    May I propose a new constitutional amendment (28th?): Sell (or give) Kalifornia back to Mexico so the rests of 49 states can get our fruits and nuts (and vegetables) even cheaper while unloading a good percentage of social, welfare, DACA, etc. burden.
    Anyone wishing to immigrate into any of the 49 states must speak English, re-take Civic classes and pass an examination on core US founding values, i.e. self-reliance. Oh, also read, write, and speak English.

  • PAT J September 9, 2020, 12:59 pm

    What a paradise for a horse and rider.
    But that was 25 million people ago.
    But what days those were, in the hills, with a good horse, a good rifle, and at the end of the day, a good whiskey.
    As miserable and sissified as men and good places are now, I got to ride through that country when it was clean and manly.
    It’s a poor old dog laying in the corner now waiting to die. Like America.

  • Anne September 8, 2020, 1:57 pm

    All the reasons you stated and more are the Reason, that at 69 years old, after living in California for 55 years, I FINALLY MOVED! As a disabled senior I could get No Help and I am not wealthy. However, I know of several Illegals who while collecting Welfare, were working for cash and in 3 instances, were paying cash to build their homes. When I brought this to the attention of someone I know who works for the Welfare Department. I was told that if I got these individuals Social Security numbers they could look into things. Hell, I gave them names, addresses and phone numbers! Bottom Line, is those of us born in the USA AND Paying all the bills, DO NOT COUNT! So California can take it, fold it and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine!!!

    • leonard September 14, 2020, 5:12 pm

      if the government takes your money by threat of force or violence it is no longer legit and it then becomes YOUR responsibility to bring it back, in line by resisting the paying of a single cent to their tax revenue. YES, i am advocating for crushing the states income stream (taxes). work only for cash , accepting no checks or digital money. costing the state as much in expenses as you can. when entering a tax supported building go to the restroom and turn on all the water that you can. in the toilet stall open the lid and reach for the toilet paper, put around 20 sheets in the basin without tearing from the roll and start flushing. the suction of the toilet will suck the whole roll down the toilet. you just cost the state the cost of 1 roll of toilet paper, the cost of the water to flush that roll and the cost to.if you mail random people magazine subscriptions using the bill me later option on the business reply cards the corporations put in the magazines the publishing company will take the expince off their taxes as a loss, thus paying less taxes to the state,

  • Someolboy September 7, 2020, 7:43 am

    California is unsustainable. With more illegals moving in everyday, the medical system, welfare and housing are shrinking in capacity everyday. This is why they keep trying to raise your taxes to care of the poor. The Democrats do not care about your well being, all they care about is money and power. They continue to turn the State into a sh!thole, while they reside in secure protected luxury. San Francisco is one prime example, where one can obtain “poop maps” so as to avoid public places where human excrement is abundant. Thank you Mayor and Senator Harris. Californians have become to busy to vote? Or the State is outnumbered by Democratic voters, so nothing good is likely to change in the near future. And Gruesome Newsome mailed out vote by mail ballots to every address in the postal system, irregardless of legal status? This act alone should put the validity of the California vote in question and needs to be challenged in Federal court. The Southern region of the State is extremely over populated thanks to gross Democratic mis-management of immigration. The pacifist attitude of Californians is astounding, as they assume everything is OK and the Government will take care of everything… Unsustainable

  • Jim September 6, 2020, 10:10 am

    Just how do they intend on enforcing this law? Are the Police supposed to sieze any firearm they come across and test fire a blank and see if it imprints this Micro imprinting? Does this mean tht ALL firearms tht have already been manufactured will be illegal as they don’t have that micro imprinting? Come on Ca., you are just trying to find ways around the 2nd Amendment and that is flat wrong!

  • Mac September 6, 2020, 9:39 am

    Agree up to/except for the very last word: not “demise”…never…but rather, …TARGET…!

  • Ronnie Maeker September 5, 2020, 10:17 pm

    This could become very interesting.
    What if, someone swapped out their firing pin with someone else’s?
    What if a gun failed to fire due to firing pin failure?
    Do criminals really care about any law?

    Enough for now.

    OH, what about the Second Amendment of the Constitution?

  • Panama September 4, 2020, 5:39 pm

    A recent article revealed that Ghost guns were found in a shipment coming from China. California can forget about gun control once those get into the market. You won’t even know the name of the manufacturer. Newsome and company had better worry more about becoming the target rather than thinking they will be prosecuting citizens for this made-up crime.

  • Michael J September 4, 2020, 4:04 pm

    These slimy vermin will remove every new gun from existence in California. Most manufacturers have given this state the middle finger. Stupid democrats and stupid laws is now our demise.

  • James Logue September 4, 2020, 1:59 pm

    when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have them !!!!!!!!!!!
    take any mass shootings in this country and if the public was carrying concealed weapons they may have been one or even to people killed not 20 and 30.
    California Democrats are against public defending themselves while they are surrounded with armed guards. The X Dianne Feinstein carried a snubnosed 38 in her purse when she was in office. I bet she still has the gun.
    If and only if we do not change from a Democrat state you can expect more of the same.
    Sincerely
    JD

  • mike September 4, 2020, 1:50 pm

    commiefornia can drop into the ocean

  • Jon Leone September 4, 2020, 1:38 pm

    Guess these idiots have never heard of a brass catcher or picking up spent brass.

    • ted September 4, 2020, 4:28 pm

      It is much simpler than that, just run some fine grit sandpaper over the microstamp and it is gone ! If it is on the firing pin, just change the pin, and it is gone. All this is is about CONTROL, nothing more ! We had what they called COBIS in NY state for 10 years. They basically took a spent casing from every pistol and scanned it into a database the State Police maintained. In 10 years, and HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF SHELLS SCANNED INTO THE DATABASE, ONLY A FEW POSITIVE HITS . One was a permit holder that had a drug arrest, Suffolk County never revoked his permit or took his firearms. He robbed a Drug store and killed someone. He was on Video AND left his finger prints all over the scene. Some other”HITS” linked a crime to reported, STOLEN WEAPONS !

  • David j September 4, 2020, 1:31 pm

    I wish California would secede from the Union.

    • Charlie Brown September 4, 2020, 10:33 pm

      As much as I would like that it would be a bad bad idea China is already influencing and buying their way into California lawmakers wallets and any succession from the country would give China absolute full access to our soils imaging Chinese military setting up shop on our soil bringing in Troops setting up an airfield or having safe passage to California’s many ports it would be the perfect staging ground for an invasion of the lower 48 and nothing we could do about it. Best thing to do is run those assholes out of office but we know that’s not gonna happen. Those people are ate up with the dumbass. We are in for one hell of a ride the rest of this year with the insurrection getting ready to take place in all these Marxist run city’s and the threat of overrunning the White House. Buckle up.

  • Easy Eddie September 4, 2020, 11:43 am

    Might be interesting to see the reaction if gun manufacturers announced a ban on all civilian and law enforcement guns to California. Would the state suddenly go to federal court to ‘compel’ manufacturers to sell guns in their state?

    Or, perhaps Elite Politician is walking down the sidewalk and suddenly feels a sharp pinch in his back…Looking down, he sees an arrow protruding from his chest. Do you think he’s see the irony?

    And hey…how about those spud guns, California?

    • Rattlerjake September 4, 2020, 2:54 pm

      That would be loss of revenue to gun manufacturers, they won’t do it! When it comes to money most of the gun manufacturers would chose money over the 2d amendment!

  • JonsOn September 4, 2020, 11:41 am

    I left California for just this reason. The available guns at the time I left was rapidly shrinking and getting smaller all the time. I left just before they banned semi-auto rifles with bullet buttons. I have since removed the bullet buttons which is something I couldn’t have done (legally anyway) had I still lived in California. Also there are some firearms I had wanted but couldn’t get in CA that I now possess. It’s a shame that a bunch of wanna a be nannies can take a beautiful state and turn it in to a shit hole.

    • Charlie Brown September 4, 2020, 10:36 pm

      They’re trying their damndest to turn the rest of the country into a 3rd world Marxist shithole.

    • Give Me Freedom September 7, 2020, 11:37 am

      After I left California over ten years ago I have not voted Democrat in my new state. I never did while I was in California either. Vote for liberty!

  • Erwin Lang September 4, 2020, 11:23 am

    Just another step towards eventual total gun control. Other restrictions will continue. Just wait and see. And if you believe it’s so they can catch criminals think again.

    • ted September 4, 2020, 4:30 pm

      It is NOT about Gun Control, it is about PEOPLE CONTROL !

  • adrian September 4, 2020, 10:17 am

    maybe californians should protest daily in front of nancy pelosi house.
    maybe discourage her body guards,
    why should she have protection from crime but wont allow you to be protected

    • Bob September 4, 2020, 12:27 pm

      Same as her walking around the inside of a hair salon without a mask…Elite hypocrite.
      Just a few more years, at most, and Cali. will be essentially gun free at least for legal guns. The Powers-to-be are chipping at it little by little.
      Move to NC and bring your guns.

      • bison1913 September 4, 2020, 4:41 pm

        Bob… not just California, but all fifty states.

    • Jesse September 4, 2020, 12:28 pm

      BINGO!

  • adrian September 4, 2020, 10:14 am

    what would happen if gun manufacturers just refuse to obey the law, we all know what it is about, and the time will come when gun owner will have to refuse to obey these b.s. laws that are only made to make gun owners defenseless against the nwo and all its supporters
    where will the american armed forces stand when the s—t hits the fan
    where will the police stand
    where will you be

    • Rattlerjake September 4, 2020, 3:21 pm

      Remember, the police and the military both have a large percentage of leftists in their ranks who will follow orders no matter what, add to that to a good number of conservatives who will not buck their orders either. People who think that being a veteran/soldier or law enforcement automatically makes you a patriot are fools.

      • Charlie Brown September 4, 2020, 10:41 pm

        You are absolutely correct if joe and the ho get in there it will be us against them these same police we’ve all been backing during this Marxist revolution will be the same cops and guard troops that will come for the American gun owners it will be a bad deal all around when guns become outlawed We’ll be an outlaw

    • ted September 4, 2020, 4:36 pm

      The flaw in your plan is that they still have to go through a FFL in the respective state to get to the end consumer ! Most FFL holders wont disobey the law, since it could result in CRIMINAL PROSECUTION for the license holder ! SO, while the Gun manufacturer can legally make anything it wants under Federal law, it then needs to be sent to an FFL for transfer to the end consumer in that state, and they are obligated to follow state law as well as federal law.

  • StevO September 4, 2020, 8:31 am

    I guess theses idiots don’t realize that you can buy after market parts, or take a Drumal Tool and buff it away.
    A revolver doesn’t eject the brass so that blows away marking a revolver

    • Rattlerjake September 4, 2020, 3:24 pm

      Revolvers will be the ‘three’ they take off the list when one is put on.

  • Gerald Brickwood September 4, 2020, 8:14 am

    Time for the “Gun Makers” to invoke a boycott of California. No sales fo ANY firearm, repair parts, warranty service or ammunition to ANY California police agence and no sales to any “jobber’ or distributor under contract to supply a police agency.

    • Slim September 5, 2020, 2:39 am

      Just like someone else above said the same thing you did and someone else replied basically no gun manufacturers will not send their guns and parts to Cali since they are all greedy and aren’t making so many crap guns just bbecause they believe in the second amendment so much! I heard a good saying about AR’s a few weeks ago which was basically that every company out now is in a fight for the bottom. Meaning every AR builder seems to be making the cheapest crap out and not trying to make the best gun, but the cheapest! So pre covid an average junk upper I got myself for $199 shipped to my door. In 556 and 762×39 AR uppers with BCG and all. Not great of course, but for sure will do the job they are built for! a decent barrel alone will cost a couple hundred not than I paid for compete uppers with complete BCG! So sadly they won’t even though I agree if Cali bans a certain gun then nobody especially hypocritical cops should have them either! If we don’t need them, why do they?! And for all who sees what’s coming about lots of other guns like AR’s especially will be banned as well soon enough so get what you can while you can including all things you’ll ever need for those guns! Funny thing is nobody mentions AK’s that have to be the most sold semi auto rifle in the literal world and it never comes up ever! I’m an AR guy for sure even though I own an AK or few and guess it’s because the AR is used in every movie in the past twenty years or so as the “bad guys” gun and due to the fact the AK’s don’t look as scary as the all black AR since lots have the ugly wood grip and forend. Also since the AR’s have been so cheap that’s what everyone’s using for their mass shooting and further screwing us legit owners from keeping them in the future. If they want my guns they better have a big stack of cash! All mine are customised and upgraded so they aren’t some cheap standard AR or other, so a standard pay day if they offer one at all(the gov)won’t be close to any of the prices of the guns I and family members own. But like bump stocks they’ll simo!y label any gun they want and will ban as a destructive device or how ever they worded the B.S. for the bump stocks and then since its legally a what ever they labeled them as they won’t legally have to pay us crap for our legally purchased, owned, used, etcetera! Biden already said he’s getting rid of semi auto rifles like the AR which he named specifically and others he too dumb to know the name of since he never had to worry with his army of secret service who already watch his back! And sadly he’s better than the guy who’s in film saying “grab bit¢hes by their pu$$y” who has been accused by his ex wife and many others of rape and probably everything least you to that sick crime we all know this guy committed with thoughts like he said ON CAMERA! Remember the days when Clinton was trying for office and someone told the press he smoked POT ONCE in college and Clinton replied “I did, but didn’t inhale.” Around twenty years later and we elected a guy who said the above in camera and was proud of it and we still had enough Americans that said. .. “Who cares!” Trumps had five, six, seven months to get SOME kind did plan together about this covid nightmare and STILL NOTHING! America sure is in the crapper these days! Keep em loaded my friend’s!

  • Daniel North Sr. September 4, 2020, 7:16 am

    Look at all the crime leaking out all over New Hampshire THEY DON’T HAVE GUN PERMITS and THEY DON’T HAVE GUN CRIME !!! Because they don’t know the Who’s Who of the Packers,,, so assume everybody is “‘ that’s the way it ought to be”‘ touching another man’s Gun is like touching his wallet HANDS OFF SUMBITCH !!! Sincerely,, Doc’

    • Ti September 4, 2020, 2:45 pm

      Finished a book about the Pony Express last year. Thats the US roughly 160 years ago. You were either armed or a fool west of the Missouri river at that time.

  • Michael September 4, 2020, 5:41 am

    Are the police departments supposed to have this done as well in the state if so I’d say the gun manufacturers should try and put a strangle hold on all police departments in the state and refuse to do any and all modifications or make it so ridiculously expensive that the state would not be able to afford new weapons and see what happens next

    • Rattlerjake September 4, 2020, 3:29 pm

      Most gun manufacturers will not boycott because it means a huge loss of revenue, and money is always more important than the Constitution to them. I seem to remember ?Remington? siding with the ATF on the bumpstocks or something, of course now they went bankrupt.

  • John September 4, 2020, 4:21 am

    Gunsamerica.com is bullshit pussies too.
    They never post what is real, they pick and choose, or do what the Feds tell them.
    Either way. Fuck them. You’re a bunch of pussies

    • Meredith Snow September 4, 2020, 7:19 am

      John what is with you? If you can’t see this only hurts the good guys then you are definitely anti guns. Our 2nd ammendment cannot be infringed apon!! This is definitely infringement!

    • Mark H. September 4, 2020, 9:03 am

      John, What are you trying to say? I read your words, but I don’t understand a thing that you are trying to say.

      • Ray September 4, 2020, 11:03 am

        If u didn’t understand what was written u are one of very few Demorats the understands JOE WHEN he speaks and forgets what he’s talking about.

    • D.J. September 4, 2020, 10:18 am

      John ,
      ” I do not understand your brand of stupid , but I admire
      your dedication to it . “

    • Jessd September 4, 2020, 12:27 pm

      seriously, Guys like you do a lot of “Talk” but will be quick to throw someone under the bus to get out of a situation! You would most likely do it to your own family. I have encountered guys like you during situations that brings out the individuals true colors. You sir, are the pussy. Plain and simple obvious.

      • Ti September 4, 2020, 2:59 pm

        We had a ‘protected class’ fruitcake here in CO get us a Red Flag law enacted. The said individual was an unhinged attorney and protected class. Acting out, police had plenty of reason to mental health on the FIRST call, but NO, police officers had to be killed and wounded first.

    • Don September 4, 2020, 2:05 pm

      You should shut up.

  • John September 4, 2020, 4:19 am

    then why doesn’t it show it

  • John September 4, 2020, 4:17 am

    When are we going to stand up and fight?
    It can’t get much worse, if we don’t stand up and fight now, we won’t have guns to fight with, or we’ll all be locked up under this new one world government that stripped us of our second amendment rights.
    Time for a revolution
    Front Line Soldier
    Unites States Freeman’s Army
    Waiting for orders

    • Shan September 4, 2020, 3:00 pm

      I think we are fast approaching a time where we will have to stop examine our lives and make a choice. Either fight, possibly go to prison, die, lose everything we care about. Or except tyranny and loss of liberty.
      I am still out here behind enemy lines. It’s getting real spooky. We have zero representation and zero support. We need a Trump in California.

  • Jay September 4, 2020, 3:33 am

    A little firing pin polishing would remove the microstamp making the fired rounds untraceable anyway. Granted that would be highly illegal but since when did that bother criminals anyway?!

    (quote) But then, solving crime is not the goal of California politicians… (end/quote)
    AMEN BROTHER!!!

    • Jason September 4, 2020, 7:30 am

      It’s all about power and control.

  • TommyT September 3, 2020, 1:07 pm

    Microstamping also makes it easier for criminals to frame others for their crimes. All they have to do is gather brass from a range, reload it, and fire those reloads that were previously microstamped during their crime! But, then, solving crime is not the goal of California politicians…

    • FAL Phil September 4, 2020, 8:48 am

      Just wait until someone gathers that brass up from a police range…

    • PB- dave September 4, 2020, 9:21 am

      what keeps some crafty counterfeiter from adding micro stamps to a gun ? could be another gun’s ID, or a completely bogus one.
      Then by changing firing pin and or slide, evidence of true shooter is unknown……. sadly the criminal element will always try and be a step ahead of the law…..
      And the law-abiding public is punished.

      • Ted September 4, 2020, 4:41 pm

        That can be quickly refuted when they look t all the other markers like the breech face, extractor, ejector , firing pin and chamber markings that are specific to that weapon.

    • ted September 4, 2020, 4:49 pm

      Lets take that by the points and debunk it. if the micro stamp is on the firing pin, then when you reload it, the old primer with the microstamp is replaced with a new one. If it is on the slide face, when you refire the brass, it may REMARK over the microstamp, or alter it in a way to show that it was reused. If it is on the extractor, then it will show a second extractor mark on the rim. SO, NO, reloading the brass probably wont work. However, throwing a handful of spent shells that you collected at a range onto the floor at the crime scene would throw a monkey wrench into the investigation.

      • MaxPete September 5, 2020, 3:15 pm

        All very good points! Looks like CA wants to kill off legal sales, while crime issues are unaddressed yet again!

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