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“An Elegant Solution:” Brady Applauds Passage of Bill Requiring Microstamping Technology for New Pistols in California

Washington, D.C., August 28, 2020 - Today, Brady applauds the California State Senate for passing AB 2847, introduced by Assemblyman David Chiu (D – San Francisco), which ensures that new model handguns introduced into California incorporate microstamping technology. This technology equips each individual firearm with a unique marking, a micro stamp, which is then imprinted onto casings when bullets are fired, connecting them to the gun that fired them and aiding law enforcement in identifying shooters and gun traffickers.

With the Senate’s action today, this bill is one step closer to reaching California Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for his signature. Brady calls on Gov. Newsom to sign this bill into law without delay.

Brady President Kris Brown shared:

“In recent years, we have seen the rate of unsolved firearm assaults and homicides increase nationwide. Assemblyman Chiu’s bill, AB 2847, is an elegant solution to this pressing problem, using the latest technology to respect the rights of gun owners while making California safer. This bill, soon to be law, will provide a new and much needed tool to California law enforcement in their efforts to solve crimes involving a firearm and will help to make all California communities safer. In conjunction with the strong state and local gun safety laws and the state’s sustained investment in community violence prevention programs, requiring microstamping technology for new, semi automatic pistols shows that California is serious about addressing gun violence in all of its forms. That this legislative victory comes over a decade after the state first passed a microstamping requirement that was met with resistance from the gun lobby cannot go unsaid. Crimes could have been stopped, solved and lives saved but for the gun lobby’s meritless opposition. This victory is long in coming.

Brady thanks the California State Senate for passing this bill, Assemblymember Chiu for his leadership, and looks forward to Gov. Newsom signing this bill into law.”

Brady Program Manager Steve Lindley, the former Chief of the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Firearms, shared:

“As a former law enforcement officer and chief of the Bureau of Firearms, I’ve seen firsthand the need for technology like microstamping to help solve crimes and stop gun trafficking. This bill will aid law enforcement in their efforts to solve crimes by creating a tracing system that will immediately identify a firearm when it is used in a crime. This law continues California’s long tradition of taking an evidence-based approach to preventing gun violence. All Californians can and should be proud of their state leaders for again leading the way in gun violence prevention with this common-sense solution.”

Brady California Legislative Chair Amanda Wilcox shared:

“Today’s victory is due to the hard work of many determined activists across the state and to the leadership of Assemblymember Chiu who remained undaunted in the face of stall tactics from the gun industry for over a decade. As someone who has personally been involved in the effort to enact this policy since 2005, the vote today showed that sound policy and common-sense solutions that are demanded by the majority of the people win out. This update to California’s Unsafe Handgun Act will help our state’s law enforcement solve crimes and stop cycles of violence before they have the opportunity to take hold.”

About AB 2847:

AB 2847 strengthens California’s Unsafe Handgun Act (UHA), which was passed in 1999 and established safety and quality standards for firearms manufactured and sold in California.

AB 2847 works to ensure that new model semi-automatic pistols introduced into California incorporate microstamping technology, which imprints a microscopic marking unique to that handgun on bullet cartridge casings when the gun is fired. When a cartridge is recovered at a crime scene, law enforcement then has access to the make, model, and other identifying information about the gun.

Microstamping requirements were included in a previous amendment to the UHA in 2007. The amendment included a requirement that all new semiautomatic pistol models incorporate microstamping technology in two places. The gun industry has effectively boycotted this safety law by refusing to develop and introduce any new handgun models for sale in California. Since 2013, when microstamping finally went into effect, no firearm manufacturer has submitted a handgun for certification that incorporates microstamping technology. Gun manufacturers claim they do not have the capacity to microstamp cartridges from two places on the interior of a firearm, as required under existing law, but have conceded that they are able to do so from one place.

AB 2847 addresses this concern and actually eases the requirement by mandating that newly developed semiautomatic pistol models engrave microstamping characters on just one place on the interior of the firearm. Gun manufacturers can easily, affordably, and feasibly comply with this mandate. This bill will likewise progressively reduce the availability of handguns that do not meet the existing UHA safety standards, gradually reducing the number of noncompliant weapons sold in California.

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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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