More feel good legislation targeting firearm owners and future owners. The Connecticut State Legislature has introduced SB 353 that would ban the retail sale of semi-automatic pistols that are not equipped with micro-stamp technology after Jan. 2011.
The Joint Committee on the Judiciary will be holding a hearing at 10 a.m. ET on Monday, March 16 at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. The NRA has suggested that members – and all of those concerned about deteriorating 2nd Amendment rights – attend the hearing to chime in on SB 353, An Act Concerning the Microstamping of Semiautomatic Pistols.
Of course, the committee announced the public hearing concerning the bill would be held in less than 14 business hours. Thanks for the advanced notice.
Micro-stamp technology adds identifying information to the firing pin. When the trigger is pulled and the round is ejected, a serial number or other identifying mark is embedded onto the cartridge case – not the bullet – of the round that is fired. The stated purpose of the legislation – sponsored by Sen. Martin Looney (D-Conn. 11th) and Rep. Andres Ayala (D-Conn. 128th) – is to facilitate the linking of a cartridge to the pistol it was fired from.
But in reality, this is feel good legislation that will make semi-automatic pistols more expensive, and ensure some manufactures pull out of the Connecticut market. As a matter of fact, one manufacture of high quality pistols – STI International – stopped selling pistols to the civilian and law enforcement market when Gov. Schwarzenegger signed a micro-stamping law that will take effect next year in California.
Many scams are in the works by politicians and organizations who want to disarm law abiding citizens in the United States. Instead of banning personal protection firearms – which they are finding out is not Constitutional – they are going the incremental route.
Incremental steps include: mandatory registration of firearms, encoding and registration of ammunition, worthless safety test requirements, confusing concealed carry and open carry laws, confusing transport requirements, storage regulations that make it impossible for a person to defend themselves at home, bans on lead ammunition, limiting the sale of ammunition to those “registered” with the state, ballistic fingerprint databases and micro-stamping.
Those who apply an incremental amount of logic to these arguments realize these laws do little or nothing to reduce crime or violence. The laws simply make owning and training with a firearm more difficult and expensive for law abiding people.
Some facts about micro-stamping…
- Firing pins with micro-stamps can be removed in as little as five seconds and the stamp can be filed off in less than a minute. The firearm will continue to function. Criminals who do not hesitate to file off serial numbers will have an easy time removing the micro-stamp.
- Firearms that are currently in the hands of law abiding citizens – and criminals – will not have the technology. There are a lot of semi-automatic pistols out there. A lot.
- Criminals don’t buy guns legally, they steal them or buy them from other criminals. They are unlikely to register them.
- The law ignores the use of revolvers in crimes since the casings are not ejected. Yes, many criminals still use revolvers since they are cheap and easily accessible in the criminal world.
- Criminals would have easy access to spent cartridges that have micro-stamping from other pistols, and cartridges without any micro-stamping. Twenty rounds tossed around the crime scene from other pistols of the same caliber can easily result in hours of law enforcement investigative efforts being redirected to dead end leads.
- The cost to add micro-stamping to new pistols could be as high as $150 per gun. Some say it would only cost $1. If it would only cost $1, would STI International pull completely out of the California market? Cost really is not the issue, again this is purely feel good legislation. STI pulled out because California was just a pain in the but to deal with.
- The law seems to put the burden of managing the stamp database and matching it to specific pistol serial numbers and owners on the manufacturer. I’m sure this will not cost too much. [rolleyes]
Let’s discuss another feel good law passed within the past ten years – ballistic fingerprinting. Certainly, if the state required that test cartridges from every firearm sold in the state be registered and entered into a database, some crimes would be solved? Sorry, if you think that you would be incorrect.
From the Sept. 2004 State of Maryland State Police Integrated Ballistics Identification System report after four years of data…
The additional year of study request in the initial report on the status of the MD-IBIS program has just concluded, Basically the same situation exists that was prevalent a year ago; however, some other issues of negative consequence have been illuminated.
Continuing problems include the failure of the MD-IBIS to provide any meaningful hits. There have been no crime investigations that have been enhanced or expedited through the use of MD-IBIS. The program has bee in existence for four years at a cumulative cost of $2,567,633.
The status of the sister system to MD-IBIS, the New York State Combined Ballistic Identification System (CoBIS) was reviewed. The system has compiled almost 80,000 cartridge case profiles in their database. The result however is the same as Maryland. There have been no hits reported by CoBIS. The fact that two systems performing the same function and yet have no results indicative of performance in the manner for which the systems were designed is significant, The annual budget request for CoBIS is approximately $4 million.
If someone knows of any cases in Maryland or New York helped by ballistic fingerprinting since the release of the report, let us know.
Feel good legislation does not work.
In the featured image, last April Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel urged the New York State Senate to pass her micro-stamping legislation. It did not pass. I guess she learned nothing from the New York State Combined Ballistic Identification System program.
Who to Contact – Call to Action
If you can not make the hearing on Monday morning, I encourage you to call the committee at the number listed at their Web site, (860) 240-0530. If you agree with what I have posted here, simply direct them to this post.