Lawmakers Propose Microstamping Requirement, ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban

Anti-gun politicians in the U.S. Congress have proposed two gun control measures in recent weeks.

One, dubbed the Make Identifiable Criminal Rounds Obvious (MICRO) Act, was introduced last month and would require pistols be capable of stamping identifying characters onto ammunition at firing.

The second proposal has yet to be officially introduced but was advanced on Twitter by Democratic Senator Kamala Harris:

Harris hasn’t indicated whether a renewed “assault weapons” ban is actually in the works, but she appears to be interested in reviving the conversation despite Republican control of both chambers of Congress.

There is no evidence that the Clinton-era “assault weapons” ban had a positive effect on crime, and only about 2 percent of homicides are committed with rifles of any sort. Harris may not be able to convince many of her colleagues that a renewed ban is worth the political capital necessary for the proposal to gain traction.

The MICRO Act could present a more legitimate threat to gun rights in the U.S. The technology required by the bill imprints a microscopic array of characters onto ammunition that identify the make, model, and serial number of the pistol. The characters are etched onto the pistol’s breech face and firing pin, which transfer the characters onto the primer and case when a round is fired.

In theory, microstamping would allow law enforcement to more easily identify and trace weapons used in crime.

“We must do everything we can to ensure gun violence can be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said the bill’s author, U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Md., in a statement. “Microstamping offers law enforcement the chance to track bullet casings to the source of the crime, and is one more step we can take to ensure the safety of the American people.”

But microstamping is less straightforward than Rep. Brown would have his constituents believe.

California introduced the first microstamping requirement in 2007, but the technology was far from ready to be implemented. In 2013 then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris determined the technology had cleared the necessary hurdles, and the law went into effect.

SEE ALSO: California: Microstamping Challenged, Extra Waiting Period Back In

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) disagreed. The groups filed a lawsuit in 2014, which is currently being considered by the California Supreme Court.

“There is no existing microstamping technology that will reliably, consistently and legibly imprint the required identifying information by a semiautomatic handgun on the ammunition it fires. The holder of the patent for this technology himself has written that there are problems with it and that further study is warranted before it is mandated. A National Academy of Science review, forensic firearms examiners and a University of California at Davis study reached the same conclusion and the technical experts in the firearms industry agree,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel.

“Manufacturers can not comply with a law the provisions of which are invalid, that cannot be enforced and that will not contribute to improving public safety,” he continued. “As a result, we are seeking both declaratory and injunctive relief against this back-door attempt to prevent the sale of new semiautomatic handguns to law-abiding citizens in California.”

Since California’s law was implemented the number of approved guns on the state’s handgun roster has been nearly cut in half. A national law would no doubt have an equally damaging effect on the firearms industry.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over two years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco.

{ 39 comments… add one }
  • Beachhawk August 21, 2017, 3:02 am

    I guess Kamala has not yet figured out that those policies are the reasons her party lost the House, the Senate, the Oval Office and control of the U.S. Supreme Court for at least a generation. I expect she is just posturing to please Nancy Pelosi and get fat campaign donations from Michael Bloomberg and George Soros.

  • Bryan August 19, 2017, 1:38 pm

    Kamala Harris, instead of finding BUSY WORK, why don’t you find ways to get us out of this debt YOU caused.

  • BOWHUNTER_75 August 18, 2017, 1:13 pm


    • nunya August 19, 2017, 3:06 pm

      bowhunter…..I hate to be that guy but the the word is OUR not ARE, as in OUR elected officials. I see so many people make the mistake and have no idea why.

  • Richard E Burgess August 18, 2017, 12:11 pm

    How do these idiots manage to get elected in the first place? Are we too busy on voting day to elect pro gun rights politicians?

    • Infidel762x51 August 18, 2017, 12:23 pm

      She was elected in the granola state (aka CA, no one there but fruits and nuts).

      • DaveGinOly August 18, 2017, 1:36 pm

        I know CA is making noises about seceding from the Union, but is there any way to force them out? Too bad the authors of the Constitution never considered that there would be times (like now) in which the citizens of a the majority of States would be better served by being able to force other States out of the Union than being forced to live with their influence.

  • Douglas August 18, 2017, 11:44 am

    If this passes, it looks like criminals will be switching to revolvers.

  • roger August 18, 2017, 11:00 am

    Face it they are pushing for the outright banning of all firearms in the USA.

    • Bob August 18, 2017, 11:43 am

      Micro stamping a waste of time & money. How many rounds will it take to obliterate the characters on the tiny tip of a firing pin? Or a firing pin could simply be swapped out for one without stamping

    • Bill August 18, 2017, 11:54 am

      We will just turn some cities into ‘sanctuary cities for gun owners’. Doing the same as liberals and ignore Federal Laws.

    • Michael Keim August 18, 2017, 1:44 pm

      That’s what they’ve always wanted. None of them has the guts to admit it.

  • MJ August 18, 2017, 10:35 am

    Always a liberal, definitely a democrat who comes up with laws that punish only the law abiding? CA is the leader when it comes to making laws that cannot be enforced. But just in case, let\’s make theories that have no proven technology law. CA is a one party government which cannot be reasoned with. Fortunately, the rest of the nations representatives aren\’t that stupid. Yet.

    • BluNos August 23, 2017, 12:50 am

      Washington, Oregon, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey……..

  • Charlie August 18, 2017, 10:28 am

    If we had these people in this country when it was first settled we would not have a country. God ,Guts and Guns. These stupid people would have had up in bondage. More people are protected using the so called assault guns than are harmed by them in this country. I know many shooters that have the AR-15 type firearms none of them have assaulted anyone with them nor has the firearm itself assaulted anyone. When the second was placed in the Constitution it was for the protection of the people.(Intent- the people shall own same as, or equal to firearms of the military)

  • Billy August 18, 2017, 10:22 am

    Now that will probably drive up sales and posession of ar15 brass catchers. They might even come up with a better design. Just silly. Never seen a micro stamp function, I am no mechanical genius but seems like this stamp would reside on the BCG an easily swapped part? I must be missing something. Bad idea anyway.
    Better yet let’s put a mega stamp on all the violent criminals that still be locked up, right on the forehead. HEAD STAMP it’s only fair that if the government wants to scrutinize the good guys they help identify the targets they turned loose

    • Davud August 18, 2017, 1:13 pm

      the microstamping language in the bill only applies to pistols.

      • David Telliho August 19, 2017, 1:35 am

        so what ? it should only apply to politicians. yes. microstamp THEM ! I`ve no tolerance for a stance that might declare “it don`t apply to me,cause I don`t have a pistol” or ” I don`t own a high capacity magazine” etc.. Small minded people think like that. An assault on our rights,no matter how minute, needs addressed firmly with no compromise.

  • Mister Ronald August 18, 2017, 10:11 am

    What are they talking about, Guns have identifying marks on the actual projectile “NOW” It is uncovered by ballistics.
    Marking the primer is kind of stupid because the criminals would just use a wheel gun or pick up the casings
    Marking the casing is the dumbest idea I have ever heard..

  • Tim S. August 18, 2017, 9:50 am

    What happens when a bad guy pics up some random micro-stamped brass left on the range and tosses it out the window at the scene of a crime (i.e. drive-by)? Now some random good guy’s “micro-stamped” shell casings are going to be at the crime scene misleading and throwing off the fuzz. BAD IDEA. Some criminals aren’t as dumb as people would have them think.

  • Roger August 18, 2017, 9:38 am

    Thank God we have Trump in office and For such in the Supreme Court.

  • Mario August 18, 2017, 9:38 am

    Here’s another danger of an assault gun ban. Anti-gun regulators will define what an “assault gun” is. In California they’re trying to expand the definition to include magazine-fed shotguns. You know where this will lead. Then they’ll define any firearm with a military pedigree as an “assault gun” and this would then include 1911s, all military-surplus guns, bolt-action rifles with Mauser actions, and even Single-Action Armys! And then they will define any gun that fires “military ammunition”–9mm, .45acp, 5.56, 30-06, etc., as an “assault gun.”

  • Kenny Smith August 18, 2017, 9:18 am

    In a way this is not a bad idea, it will show that the law abiding citizens are not the ones to blame when it comes to shootings . Not to mention the majority of people in commufornia are to ignorant to own weapons. You know the ones to whom I refer. This woman being in this category, AR style rifles or assault rifles as the lib morons call them are use in a very small percentage of the crimes to which she refers to. I leave you with this, we don’t need another ban on any kind of guns, we need a ban on idiots like to be in a position of any kind of authority to where she can speak her nonsense.

  • joefoam August 18, 2017, 8:33 am

    I’m quite sure every criminal will run out and buy the new technology. These people just don’t get the fact that criminals don’t obey the laws, no matter how many they pass.

    • JoshO August 18, 2017, 10:38 am

      They know. That’s not their end-game though. These are all just attempts to take guns from you and me.

      • BluNos August 23, 2017, 12:58 am


  • ja vanhorn August 18, 2017, 8:29 am

    Don’t this dumb bitch read ? It’s been tried. Please run this fool for president in 2020 !

  • Infidel762x51 August 18, 2017, 8:03 am

    Harris is one of the biggest idiots to come out of Commifornia. Give me 20 seconds and a sharpening stone and the stamping is gone. Or you could just replace the firing pin.

    • Mauser6863 August 18, 2017, 8:35 am

      Maybe new Senator Kamala Harris can ask the Attorney General to investigate California’s defacto One Party State, further cemented by the new open primary laws that guarantees 100% democratic control of all state wide offices.

      Nah, this fine election law was the reason that she got elected. Kamala, Harris just wanted to send out a Tweet for some left wing media attention, so her “ala Barack Obama” presidential bid in 2020 gains some traction. No bills will be introduced, as that requires too much work, etc.

      Nothing to see here.

  • Wayne R Cook August 18, 2017, 7:52 am

    Interesting point, though it does place gun owners with the same perspective on a questionable basis…do I support the law, or only the good ones? I tend to agree with you in theory, but err on the side of caution for myself…

  • Robert August 18, 2017, 7:00 am

    Another “ban.” Will increase SALES of the banned item……Must own some stock in the manufacturers of assault rifles.

  • Micus August 18, 2017, 6:47 am

    How about we abide by The Constitution for the United States of America?!

  • Jack August 18, 2017, 4:54 am

    How about we ban “criminals using any weapon or force” to assault or conduct crimes against person or property?
    No guns left, they will resort to edged weapon as they “do” in prisons. You are uninformed, or, a communist attempting to subvert the 1st, 2nd, and 10th amendment in your pacification attempt. 5 cities are responsible for the majority of crimes on persons. Shame on you and pray you are in a gated community.

  • Linc August 18, 2017, 3:40 am

    No thank. Don’t ban my ak-47 because it’s defend myself. If banned. How i can do defead myself without gun ?? It is stupid

    • Daniel W. Block August 18, 2017, 11:16 am


      I am in complete agreement with you,the political Liberal Left people,have nothing better to do,than attempt to take away Our 2nd Amendment Rights! NOT EVER GOING TO HAPPEN,EVER!!!

  • Mark N. August 17, 2017, 7:16 pm

    The California statute requires that the identifying mark be imprinted on two places on the case; the existing technology imprints a mark solely on the primer–and the mark wears down so as to become essentially illegible after a few hundred rounds. .No one has a machine that will build a gun that will leave an impression in two places. Which means that Ms. Harris lied through her teeth when she certified that the technology complying with the statute existed. This was to be her lasting legacy against guns in California, and so far it has worked. Because of her certification, the law went into effect in 2013, and just now the case challenging it is being briefed in the California Supreme court, not on the merits, but as to whether Plaintiff NSSF even gets a hearing in the trial court. It will be years more before this case is finally resolved. which I am sure is just fine with the powers that be, since no new semiauto pistols have been offered on the market in four years, and many older models have been withdrawn because another model replaced it.

    Currently there are 767 handguns of all types on the California roster, the majority of which are semiautos, but the only ones being added are revolvers while old models fall off and are not replaced. Colt is completely history.

    • Wayne R Cook August 18, 2017, 7:50 am

      Very well said…thank you for your lucid comment!

    • Mauser6863 August 18, 2017, 8:43 am

      All True.

      Plus the California Roster of Safe Handguns has proven to be completely useless and has predictably failed to increased “safety” or reduce crime. Don’t let that stop good liberals from supporting it though. With the micro-stamping requirement now in-place, the state has essentially frozen firearm technology for all. That was really its true purpose of the law to begin with, as it is just another useless gun ban. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Marcus August 17, 2017, 11:00 am

    Yea good luck with that one when I was in CA I violated state gun laws on a daily basis and will have no problem doing the same anywhere in the name of freedom.

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