Motion for Summary Judgment Filed in California Microstamping Lawsuit

The National Shooting Sports foundation (NSSF) and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) filed a motion for summary judgment in its lawsuit challenging California’s statute requiring microstamping of all new model semi-automatic pistols.

The core of the two gun groups’ argument is that the microstamping mandate is unreliable and flawed technology that doesn’t work and, in essence, doesn’t functionally exist.

Thus, the dual-placement microstamping requirement set forth by California is impossible to implement.

Microstamping involves the use of lasers to make microscopic markings on the firing pin and breech face of a semiautomatic handgun. These engravings supposedly would stamp cartridge casings before they are ejected from a firearm and identify the make, model and serial number of the weapon through alphanumeric and geometric codes.

Law Shield members with firearms experience can easily envision how the microstamping engravings could be easily defeated by mild buffing, replacement of parts, or wear. But even before that, companies can’t install unique microstamping tooling because it doesn’t exist.

Two years ago, the state imposed the microstamping requirement for all new models of pistols introduced in California. Since then, the law has lead to the decertification of 339 models of semi-automatic pistols from California’s roster, according to NSSF.

On October 13, 2007, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed microstamping legislation into law in California. The law required all new semiautomatic handguns sold in California to include microstamping technology as of January 1, 2010.

Mayor Adrian Fenty signed a similar microstamping law in the District of Columbia in January 2009. It was originally set to take effect on January 1, 2011, but has been delayed multiple times. At this point, it is set to take effect January 1, 2016.

A hearing on NSSF’s motion before the Fresno Superior Court is set for August 28.

See our previous coverage of the topic here, here, and here.

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