Connecticut Considers Firearm Microstamping Legislation

Critics call it "flawed and easily defeated" technology.

by / March 13, 2009

Photo by Michael Beddow, UC Davis: closeup of microstamp on shell casing

Legislation to mandate microstamping of semiautomatic pistols (SB 353) is scheduled to be heard in the Connecticut Assembly Joint Committee on the Judiciary on Monday. The bill would require by 2011 that all semiautomatic pistols sold at retail be "designed and equipped with a microscopic array of characters that identify the make, model and serial number of the pistol in two or more places on the interior surface or internal working parts of the pistol and that are transferred by imprinting on each cartridge case when the pistol is fired, provided the Attorney General certifies that the technology used to create the imprint is available to more than one manufacturer unencumbered by any patent restrictions.

Microstamping is endorsed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police as a help to solve gun-related crimes, and is opposed by a number of groups including the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the Connecticut Association of Firearms Retailers, who will be  testifying against the measure.


If microstamping were to become law, said the NSSF in a release, "firearms manufacturers would be forced to employ a patented, sole-sourced technology that independent studies, including those from the National Academy of Sciences and the University of California at Davis, found to be flawed and easily defeated by criminals. Passage of SB 353 could result in hundreds of layoffs for Connecticut workers, as firearm factories consider moving out of the state. Furthermore, all sales of firearms could be halted in the Constitution State directly impacting firearms retailers and their law-abiding customers."


Wayne Hanson Senior Executive Editor, Center For Digital Government