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California Bullet Imprinting Law Drives Smith & Wesson, Ruger From State

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Top US gun manufacturers Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger will stop selling handguns in California because of the state’s new requirement for semi-automatic handguns to include microstamping technology.

Microstamping is a technology that imprints a serial number on a bullet when a gun is fired, so that law enforcement can trace the casing back to the owner. FOX News reported that California passed the law in October 2007, but the state only recently decided to implement the law. Rather than comply with the new requirement, Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger have decided to no longer sell their guns in California.

“Smith & Wesson does not and will not include microstamping in its firearms,” the company said in a public statement. “A number of studies have indicated that microstamping is unreliable, serves no safety purpose, is costs prohibitive and, most importantly, is not proven to aid in preventing or solving crimes.”

RELATED: A similar scenario in Colorado drove AR accessories manufacturer Magpul to find a new home.

Proponents of microstamping say that the technology is designed to help law enforcement trace bullets to registered gun owners and solve crimes.

But many, including the US Department of Justice, don’t think microstamping is ready for widespread use or legislative mandate. Fox News reported that the Department of Justice organized a study team, which included the technology’s patent holder, Todd Lizotte, that concluded that microstamping may not be effective, is costly and is not ready for widespread mandate.

So why did California legislators push for the microstamping law? Many Second Amendment advocates see the law as the state’s latest attempt ban semi-automatic handguns from the state entirely.

“This is the latest attempt to undermine the Second Amendment in California by politicians with little to no knowledge of firearms, who seek to impose their liberal values upon those who choose to protect their families with the constitutional right to own a handgun,” West Coast Counsel for the National Rifle Association Chuck Michel told FOX News.

The firearms industry is already shooting back at California’s law. Both the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute have filed law suits against California

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California Bullet Imprinting Law Drives Smith & Wesson, Ruger From State