Gun Owners of America VP excoriates California plan to create handgun 'microstamp database'

"This is something that's been tried before. It's a proven failure."

Published: January 6, 2023 5:04pm

Updated: January 6, 2023 5:22pm

Gun Owners of America Senior Vice President Erich Pratt on Friday asserted that a California plan to create a database of handgun microstamps would have little effect on crime levels and merely impose an additional burden on taxpayers and law-abiding gun owners.

A microstamp is a marker that the weapon's firing pin impresses on the shell casing when the gun discharges. By registering such imprints, law enforcement could conceivably determine with what firearm a criminal may have committed a crime, provided they recover a shell casing.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta has proposed keeping a database of all the California firearms' microstamps with the state Department of Justice for use in criminal investigations, the Center Square reported.

Pratt contended that the state had failed to observe the track record of comparable efforts in other states, saying "this is something that's been tried before. It's a proven failure, given the multiple ways for criminals to get around this. This is where the idea that when a gun is fired, that it leaves a basically what you might call a fingerprint on the shell casing that can then be registered and tracked if criminals use it."

Speaking on the "Just the News, No Noise" television show, the Second Amendment advocate pointed to other deep-blue state efforts to use microstamps in law enforcement.

"Well, what's interesting is that New York and Maryland registered hundreds of 1000s of shell casings for over a decade using a slightly different approach," he contended. "But neither one of their laws solved a single crime, not one. So after a dozen years, both states repealed their laws after wasting millions of dollars in implementing them."

He further said that the best approach to dealing with crime is permissive gun laws. "If they really want to control crime, then they should stop making it so difficult for decent citizens to carry firearms," he said of California lawmakers.

Pratt then segued into a celebration of the expansion of gun rights that red states have enacted, noting that 25 states had adopted constitutional carry legislation before touting ongoing efforts to adopt such measures in Virginia, Florida, and Nebraska.

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