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Old December 1, 2016, 06:40 PM   #1
Aguila Blanca
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California Microstamping law sent back on appeal

I am not a lawyer so not the best person to explain the happenings, but the bottom line is that the NSSF and SAAMI filed suit to overturn California's microstamping law, they were rejected at the trial court level, and they appealed. The appellate court agreed with them, and has sent the case back to the trial court for a trial.

Press release from the NSSF:

Quote:
California Appellate Court Reverses Dismissal of NSSF, SAAMI Suit to Block Enforcement of Microstamping Law

NEWTOWN, Conn. - A California Appellate Court has reversed the Fresno Superior Court's dismissal of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI) lawsuit seeking an injunction to block enforcement of the state's ammunition microstamping law and remanded the case back to the lower court to hear arguments.

"We are pleased by today's ruling because it means we will now be able to prove in court that this ill-considered law must be enjoined because it is literally impossible to comply with its requirements, and the law never requires the impossible. We have long maintained that this nascent, unproven and unreliable technology should not have been mandated. When we ultimately prevail in this case, law-abiding consumers in California will once again be able to purchase new models of pistols this law currently prevents our industry members from selling in the state," said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel.

NSSF and SAAMI filed the lawsuit on behalf of their members against the State of California in Fresno Superior Court seeking to block the enforcement of the state's microstamping law, violations of which are a criminal offense. The state statute enacted in 2007, but not made effective until May 2013, requires that all new models of semiautomatic handguns sold in the state had to be designed to incorporate this unproven and unreliable microstamping technology.

Under this law, firearms manufacturers would have to micro laser-engrave a gun's make, model and serial number on two distinct parts of each handgun so that, in theory, this information would be imprinted on the cartridge casing when the pistol is fired.

"There is no existing microstamping technology that meets the requirement of this ill-considered law. It is not technologically possible to microstamp two locations in the gun and have the required information imprint onto the cartridge casing. In addition, the current state of the technology cannot reliably, consistently and legibly imprint on the cartridge primer the required identifying information from the tip of the firing pin, the only possible location where it is possible to micro-laser engrave the information," said Keane.

In 2007, California Assembly Bill 1471 was passed and signed into law requiring microstamping on internal parts of new semiautomatic pistols. The legislation provided that this requirement would only became effective if the California Department of Justice certified that the microstamping technology is available to more than one manufacturer unencumbered by patent restrictions. The California legislature subsequently reorganized certain statutes concerning the regulation of firearms, including the microstamping law in 2010. On May 17, 2013, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris provided such certification. Harris was elected to the U.S. Senate in November.

Read the California Appellate Court Ruling.

See additional Fast Facts backgrounder on Microstamping from NSSF.

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.
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Old December 1, 2016, 07:17 PM   #2
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This is just more liberal IDIOTS passing laws that can never be enforced. And microstamping is just one of many. Just like NJ passed a law that states that only so called Smart Guns will only be sold in the state once one is brought to market. And no other guns will be allowed to be sold in the state.

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Old December 1, 2016, 09:24 PM   #3
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Passing laws like this are a win/win for the gun grabbers regardless of technological feasibility.
Either A: It is possible to microstamp casings and they get to claim a gun rights infringement victory because this would undoubtedly increase the price of pistols, pricing many people out of the market.
Or B: it is technologically impossible therefore banning the sale of new pistols.

Any reasonable judge should see this and rule against the law
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Old December 2, 2016, 01:05 AM   #4
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If the technology is feasible such a law could be upheld or at least survive a facial constitutional challenge. Especially if it doesn't substantially increase the cost. How much it increases the cost or reduces/eliminates the availability of arms in common use are certainly facts that will help determine the constitutional issue.

If the technology is not feasible it becomes a ban on the sale of new handguns. This issue was squarely decided in Heller. Based upon my limited knowledge i would conclude its not feasible.

Whether the technology is feasible is a fact intensive question. My concern with such fact intensive questions is that generally an appellate court will not disturb a trial courts factual findings as long as the are supported by substantial competent evidence. Sometimes it seems that it doesn't have to be all that substantial or competent to get upheld. The factual findings in the trial court are probably more important than the trial courts legal conclusions. The law will get a complete or de novo review the facts will not. If the trial court finds the technology to be feasible then our side has some issues.

That being said the technology may eventually get to the point where it's feasible and increases the cost in a negligible manner. At that point it's hard to argue that such a law places any meaningful burden on the RKBA.

Would it still be stupid? Yes, because changing those parts would defeat the system. But, unfortunately, there is no constitutional prohibition on the enactment of dumb laws. Courts, in upholding laws, will often say something to the effect of "it's not our job to judge the wisdom of the legislature's actions." Basically we think this is dumb but that doesn't render it unconstitutional.
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Old December 2, 2016, 12:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
That being said the technology may eventually get to the point where it's feasible and increases the cost in a negligible manner. At that point it's hard to argue that such a law places any meaningful burden on the RKBA.
So, to be clear, you think that making MILLIONS of guns (made before microstamping) which were previously legal to own, making them illegal is NOT an infringement of our RKBA???

Because this is the real intent behind such laws, being microstamping or smart gun technology or anything else along those lines. They set a "standard" for "safety" and EVERYTHING that does not meet that set standard is outlawed.

They don't care if their standard cannot be met. They don't care if it works as claimed, or not, It doesn't matter, all that matters is that by doing so, they can ban all other arms as "unsafe" or illegal to sell.

When the microstamping laws were being pushed in several states (and actually passed in CA) the owner of the technology was ONE company. They had the patent, and everyone would have been required to buy FROM THEM.

Some of the members of that company were major contributors to the lobbying effort to get the law passed.

Since the CA attorney general (a politican, now moved on to another job) has certified the technology is "available" CA is free to move ahead with the law, and we're back in court.
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Old December 2, 2016, 01:45 PM   #6
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Way to put words in my mouth. I was speaking about new guns after the technology becomes feasible. If such a law applies to previously legal arms then the argument is different.
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Old December 3, 2016, 01:40 AM   #7
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Wasn't my intention to put words in your mouth, sorry for the misunderstanding.

Guns made after the new technology proves itself are another matter. (and, particularly, microstamping cannot prove anything the way smart gun tech MIGHT)

The biggest issue I have with these laws (among many issues) is that they contain language that essentially says "no new guns may be sold without meeting the requirements of the law".

SO, if that is the case, then the supply of pre-law guns becomes fixed. And, it is a small legislative step to make the pre-law guns illegal to sell. Or inherit, or transfer ownership. CA already has its "safe gun" list, and many guns available throughout the rest of the country are not legal for sale in CA, simply because their makers don't pay the annual fee and submit (give) CA guns to destroy (which they call testing...)

I'm not certain if the NJ smart gun law says "no new handguns" or just "no handguns" that don't comply with the law will be allowed for sale, but I suspect if it's the former, then its the latter that they really want.

Microstamping is of no use to the consumer, it is only of use, an unproven, possible use, to the government. Like "ballistic fingerprinting" it is a Hollywood script writer's fantasy that only works in the movies and on TV.
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Old December 3, 2016, 10:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44_AMP
Microstamping is of no use to the consumer, it is only of use, an unproven, possible use, to the government. Like "ballistic fingerprinting" it is a Hollywood script writer's fantasy that only works in the movies and on TV.
And microstamping has nothing whatever to do with firearms safety. Take a pistol with the numbers engraved on the tip of the firing pin. CA says that gun is "safe," Replace the firing pin with one that has no markings. How is that gun in any way less safe -- to anyone (other than a CA legislator)?

It's not about "safety." And the technology won't solve any crimes, so it's not about solving crimes. it's about incrementally attacking the Second Amendment.
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Old December 3, 2016, 02:23 PM   #9
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I've wondered every time this micro-stamping topic comes up how long it would take the bad actor types to place a minuscule dab of JB Weld or similar epoxy on a firing pin and completely obscure any possible result.
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Old December 3, 2016, 03:26 PM   #10
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I would think that a few strokes of sandpaper would be easier and more effective than trying to add something to the end of the firing pin.

But I doubt any bad guy would worry about it. They rarely buy guns through legal channels so even if the microstamping hasn't worn off by the time they get the gun, any attempt to trace the gun wouldn't lead to them anyway.
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Old December 3, 2016, 06:28 PM   #11
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Oh fer goodness sakes!

Why stop here???

Why not make the gun put the date and time and GPS location on the case too??? Or build a cell phone into the gun to report each and every shot to a government database including of course the direction and elevation of the gun along with the location, date time etc. etc. Or heck even make the gun take a picture of who fired it and what it was aimed at for every shot and send that to the database as well...heck it might be easier to put a 'gun' app on your smart phone then to put all this junk on a real gun.

Sheesh!!!

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Old December 3, 2016, 08:13 PM   #12
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feasible???

I cannot argue that this isn't possible, it is.

I doubt anyone could honestly argue that it is feasible on any scale and doubt those who want it could care less.

For less than 20k?, (to get the patent) they found a way to limit gun access. Pretty cheap compared to money spent on elections.
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Old December 4, 2016, 12:08 AM   #13
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My personal opinion on these kind of requirements, microstamping, smart gun tech, etc., and my argument when brought up by their advocates is simple,..

MAKE THE POLICE USE THEM, first.

If it's truly a good idea, if it will do what they claim it will, then the police SHOULD be the ones who benefit first!

Oddly enough, generally the police seem VERY opposed to this idea.

Why do you suppose that might be??
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Old December 4, 2016, 06:41 PM   #14
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If microstamping is required, then this is useless information without all guns "registered" with the owner and number, which then requires updates for transfers, and on and on.... All this will do absolutely nothing to stop criminals, which don't obtain firearms legally anyway. This is why it's important this is stopped now.
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Old December 4, 2016, 06:45 PM   #15
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The same reasons as everyone else.

CoP Oakland:
Quote:
Firearms sold to law-enforcement are exempt. Problems could arise if a police officer's firearm is used in a crime or stolen, and the fact that a firearm is "unsafe" if not provided with stamping technology exposes the police to liability
Quote:
CPCA Acting President Susan E. Manheimer wrote, “There are too many unanswered questions with microstamping in its current iteration” and raised concerns that “statements about the capabilities of microstamping may have been technologically premature.
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Old December 5, 2016, 08:20 AM   #16
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Some semis are known for wiping the firing pin across the base of a fired cartridge. As "micro" as the stamping is supposed to be, even a carbide pin would eventually wear if you were shooting a lot of steel case ammo.

Of course, it's pretty much a non-issue with a revolver; just drop the empties into your pocket when reloading.
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Old December 5, 2016, 09:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trx
Some semis are known for wiping the firing pin across the base of a fired cartridge. As "micro" as the stamping is supposed to be, even a carbide pin would eventually wear if you were shooting a lot of steel case ammo.
What centerfire firearm wipes the firing pin across the base of the fired cartridge? I've seen lots of them wipe on the primer, never on the cartridge case.
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Old December 5, 2016, 10:54 AM   #18
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Quote:
If microstamping is required, then this is useless information without all guns "registered" with the owner and number, which then requires updates for transfers, and on and on.... All this will do absolutely nothing to stop criminals, which don't obtain firearms legally anyway. This is why it's important this is stopped now.
Too late for CA, they already have registration and background checks for private party transfers.
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Old December 5, 2016, 04:12 PM   #19
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" Any reasonable judge should see this and rule against the law "

Ah, there's the rub - reasonable judge?
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Old December 5, 2016, 07:10 PM   #20
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ooh! a foot in the door!
Good luck, California!
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Old December 6, 2016, 07:20 PM   #21
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As per making the police use them I would like to remind everyone that the police DO NOT make the laws. They ENFORCE them. Lately around here everyone seems to just non stop bash the police. Grow up.
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Old December 6, 2016, 08:26 PM   #22
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It's not a question of "bashing" the police, or blaming them for bad gun laws. The problem is that the police are citizens, the same as the rest of us, and should be subject to the same laws. But whenever the politicians dream up more restrictive anti-gun laws, they write in exceptions for the police.

Especially a new law that proclaims it enhances "safety" should certainly apply to the police, perhaps more than to anyone else.
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Old December 6, 2016, 11:02 PM   #23
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Uh huh, so the police. The ones who go out and protect us as citizens, even those like us who carry, should be subject to new laws that effect their weapons? The guys who in the event of major shootings respond to the scene in the midst of gun fire at times should have to be limited to 10 rounds? They should have to have an added feature on their guns that could fail? Don't get me wrong I 110% agree that the whole microatamping is an absurd concept. I don't think any of these dream gun liberal laws should be passed. But some people around here seem to have the idea in their heads that a whole bunch of guys with their CCW are going to band together and go take care of criminals and active shooters. Granted if there is a permit holder on scene prior to police arriving and he/she eliminates the threat that would be great. It's all about saving lives. I guess what I am trying to say is that it isn't an unreasonable request for the police to be better equipped than civilians. Civilians carry to protect themselves and their loved ones. Police carry to protect everyone that lives, visits, comes through, or whatever it may be within their jurisdiction. If I were to live in a state that had strict gun laws, and it upset me that much I would move, before starting a family, to a state that is more friendly to my hobby.
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Old December 7, 2016, 01:16 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikef262
Uh huh, so the police. The ones who go out and protect us as citizens, even those like us who carry, should be subject to new laws that effect their weapons? The guys who in the event of major shootings respond to the scene in the midst of gun fire at times should have to be limited to 10 rounds? They should have to have an added feature on their guns that could fail?
Yes, absolutely.

I carry a pistol for the same reason a police officer carries a pistol, and if mine malfunctions due to some new-fangled anti-gun requirement, I'll be just as dead as a ploice officer would be if his malfunctioned. If these new technologies are indeed reliable and make guns safer, then they should be required for use by all police officers. If the new technology isn't reliable enough for police use, or doesn't make guns safer for police officers, then the technology isn't reliable enough or safe enough to force it on the rest of us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikef262
Police carry to protect everyone that lives, visits, comes through, or whatever it may be within their jurisdiction.
Are you unaware that the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the police do NOT have a duty to protect us? In most cases, the police arrive after the fact, to collect evidence and interview witnesses. If I am unfortunate enough to find myself in a situation that requires me to use (or even just display) my firearm, the odds are overwhelming that the nearest police officer will be at least fifteen minutes away. The vast majority of police officers in the U.S. go through their entire career without ever firing their duty weapon except for annual qualification.
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Old December 7, 2016, 01:24 AM   #25
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Mike, the point is that if a gun law is bad enough that it hurts a police officer's ability to defend themselves, it hurts us just as much. The idea is to get the police to protest bad gun laws with us. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
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