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Micro-Stamping | Ballistic "Fingerprinting"

The concept of “micro-stamping” is that a firearm’s firing pin or other internal parts could imprint, onto fired ammunition cartridge cases, unique microscopic codes, that the codes could be entered into a computerized database before the firearm leaves the factory, and that police investigators could pick up a cartridge case left at a crime scene, identify the markings on the case, run them against the database, and identify the criminal involved.

However, micro-stamping has repeatedly failed in tests, micro-stamped markings are easily removed, most guns do not automatically eject fired cartridge cases, only new guns—a small percentage of all guns—would be micro-stamped, most gun crimes cannot be solved by micro-stamping, most crimes don’t require micro-stamping to be solved, and most criminals get guns through unregulated channels that would not be affected by a micro-stamping requirement.

In 2008, the National Academy of Sciences evaluated the feasibility, accuracy and technical capability of a possible national database of so-called “ballistic images” from new guns sold in the United States. Citing a number of factors, the evaluation concluded, “A national reference ballistic image database should not be established.”

Issue Articles


Monday, July 2, 2012

New York: Albany creating variety of problems for sportsmen

The proposed law would have required a semiautomatic handgun manufactured or sold in New York to imprint an ...


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New York: State should forget proposed microstamp law

Microstamping - the process by which tiny numbers are etched in firing pins of guns to help in ...

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.