SB 452 Seeks to Improve Crime-Solving and Reduce Gun Violence in California.

Washington, D.C., February 14, 2023 – Today, California Senator Catherine Blakespear introduced SB 452, which would soon require all new semi-automatic handguns sold in the state to be equipped with microstamping technology. Co-sponsored by Governor Gavin Newsom, Brady Campaign, Everytown, and Giffords, this legislation will help law enforcement solve crimes and protect California families from gun violence, and ensure that this technology, which the industry has willfully boycotted in California for more than a decade, is finally introduced into the state.

Microstamping is a reliable, cost-effective tool that imprints a unique code on shell casings fired from a firearm, providing law enforcement with valuable information to identify shooters and gun traffickers. This innovative technology enables law enforcement to identify the source of a crime gun and would allow for more effective investigations into homicides and other firearm-related crimes.

Gun-related incidents are driving the increase in violent crime within the state and across the country. In 2021, the percentage of statewide gun crimes solved by law enforcement was only 40%, including only 55% for homicides. SB 452 will help state and local law enforcement solve crimes, break cycles of gun trafficking, and increase trust in law enforcement by ensuring investigations are based on evidence rather than potential bias. Between 2019-2020, California experienced a 52% increase in firearm homicides and a 64% increase in gun-related aggravated assaults.

Kris Brown, Brady president, said:

We are proud to co-sponsor SB 452 and support Sen. Blakespear’s and Gov. Newsom’s commitment to making California safer for all residents. Microstamping is an available, reliable, feasible, inexpensive, yet powerful tool that will help law enforcement solve crimes and prevent senseless violence. It’s time for the firearms industry to embrace this technology and put public safety first.
“California has been leading the fight for over 15 years to implement microstamping. However, despite passing a microstamping law in 2007 and strengthening it as recently as 2020, the gun industry has consistently stonewalled the implementation of this lifesaving technology, putting countless California families at risk and leaving crimes unsolved. Brady, alongside our California chapter of activists and survivors, has been leading this fight for reform and is proud to support this legislation, which will ensure that California continues to lead the way in firearm safety and crime solving-technology.
“This technology will provide families and victims of gun violence with the closure and justice they deserve. Just like for the family of Mattie Scott, whose son was murdered in 1996 and case remains unsolved, microstamping could have been a crucial tool in solving this gun crime and countless others. Our priority must be to bring justice for crime victims and their families, rather than protecting the profits of the gun industry.”

Senator Catherine Blakespear said:

“We need to use every tool available to reduce the gun violence epidemic. If law enforcement can solve crimes more quickly, we can break the cycle of gun traffickers using ghost guns. This is a common sense pro-safety bill that will close an existing loop hole.”

Ari Freilich, Giffords state policy director, said:

"Nationwide, most shootings go unsolved and undeterred, fueling cycles of retaliatory violence, trauma, and vigilantism. We can do better. But commercially available firearms currently fail to incorporate a cheap and effective mechanism that would help law enforcement solve more shootings and homicides. If gun manufacturers won’t add this proven crime-solving feature to their products, other entities in California can and must do so before the weapon is sold to the public.
“We thank Sen. Blakespear and our partners for leading this effort and we look forward to reforming our laws to better support violent crime investigations and deliver justice to more families grieving the loss of a loved one around our state.”

Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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