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Ranb
18th October 2007, 08:45 AM
The CA Gov signed AB 1471 into law a little while back. This modifies the definition of an unsafe firearm to include semi-automatic pistols that lack a means of micro-stamping the cartridge case in two places upon firing.

AB1471 http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_1451-1500/ab_1471_bill_20071013_chaptered.html

PENAL CODE SECTION 12125 http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cacodes/pen/12125-12133.html

This new addition to the CA penal code does not apply to the police and some other state and federal agencies operating in California. Knowing that the police are involved in shootings (legal and illegal) in California, I wonder why they are not required to take advantage of this new technology? Perhaps it is because micro stamping is unproven in the real world and may not work well? Or maybe it comes at a cost that the state is unwilling to bear? Probably the sponsors of this bill do not actually believe it will help reduce or prevent crime. Not surprising since some gun control laws in CA are not based on reducing crime but actually are based on merely preventing gun ownership.

Ranb

The Central Scrutinizer
18th October 2007, 08:51 AM
This is a very good law.

DouglasL
18th October 2007, 09:24 AM
This Law is in no way about a "safe" or "unsafe" firearm (despite the title). This is simply another way for the Police to trace a firearm. I suspect that this will be used primarily to track down the perpetrators of shootings and tack on the extra charge of "using an unsafe firearm." All firearms are inherently unsafe if you are looking down into the barrel. :) IMHO this law will in know way prevent or slow down criminal activity using firearms, because it has the same logical flaw as so many of the anti-gun laws, it presumes that criminals will obey the law. Criminal do not obey laws, that is why they are called criminals. :boggled:

Fnord
18th October 2007, 09:41 AM
Am I the only one who has ever heard of a "Shot Sock"? I first heard of it in Michigan about 20 years ago.

It's essentially a bag, tailored to the type of firearm, and made of strong, high-temperature fibers. It fits over the breach of the firearm, and captures the spent cartridges, thus neutralizing the benefits of cartridge stamping.

Normal Dude
18th October 2007, 09:47 AM
Not surprising since some gun control laws in CA are not based on reducing crime but actually are based on merely preventing gun ownership.

Ranb

Some? ;) When are they going to figure out that most of the recent gun laws only affect legal, responsible gun owners?

Ranb
18th October 2007, 09:48 AM
Am I the only one who has ever heard of a "Shot Sock"? I first heard of it in Michigan about 20 years ago.

I have one for my ar-15. I rarely use it because it is cumbersome, it blocks ready access to the mag release. I rarely hear praise for those brass catchers for pistols either.

Ranb

ponderingturtle
18th October 2007, 09:51 AM
Am I the only one who has ever heard of a "Shot Sock"? I first heard of it in Michigan about 20 years ago.

It's essentially a bag, tailored to the type of firearm, and made of strong, high-temperature fibers. It fits over the breach of the firearm, and captures the spent cartridges, thus neutralizing the benefits of cartridge stamping.

Now how often are they used ciminaly?

Ranb
18th October 2007, 09:53 AM
Some? ;) When are they going to figure out that most of the recent gun laws only affect legal, responsible gun owners?

By some I meant those laws that are merely on the books to prohibit ownership, not to reduce crime. Such as CA's AB50 which added 50 BMG rifles to the list of banned assault weapons, or the San Franciso ban which prohibited handgun ownership within the city limits except for the police, security guards and criminals.

Ranb

Fnord
18th October 2007, 09:57 AM
Now how often are they used ciminaly?


How often do police fail to find spent cartridges at the scene of a shooting?

:con2:

WildCat
18th October 2007, 09:59 AM
Now how often are they used ciminaly?
Probably as often as a criminal legally purchases a weapon and registers it.

ponderingturtle
18th October 2007, 09:59 AM
How often do police fail to find spent cartridges at the scene of a shooting?

:con2:

Nope, no good enough. As not all weapons eject spent cartidges.

Beerina
18th October 2007, 10:03 AM
How often will crooks not bother spending 30 seconds to file down the unique stamping ID? Or not bother to since the gun is stolen?

Like most anti-gun laws, it seems like it would only affect those who bother to follow laws in the first place.

Michael Redman
18th October 2007, 10:03 AM
The law obviously needs no cooperation from criminals to be effective. Criminals do not manufacture their own guns.

The stated motive is a perfectly simple and reasonable explanation for the law. Absent some clear evidence to the contrary, inventing an ulterior motive to explain it is irrational.

Michael Redman
18th October 2007, 10:13 AM
How often will crooks not bother spending 30 seconds to file down the unique stamping ID? Do you know where to find the micro stamps, or how to file them?

Or not bother to since the gun is stolen?Let's hope. Knowing where and when a gun was obtained by the criminal is a great piece of evidence to help identify the criminal.

Ranb
18th October 2007, 10:15 AM
.....Criminals do not manufacture their own guns.

The stated motive is a perfectly simple and reasonable explanation for the law. Absent some clear evidence to the contrary, inventing an ulterior motive to explain it is irrational.

Some criminals do manufacture guns. Can you explain the motives behind exempting the police from this law?

Ranb

Normal Dude
18th October 2007, 10:18 AM
That's Red. Because we should take everything at face value. Especially what comes from our lawmakers. :rolleyes:

Ranb
18th October 2007, 10:24 AM
Do you know where to find the micro stamps, or how to file them?

Yes. The only parts of the pistol that contact the cartridge case are the barrel chamber, firing pin, extractor, ejector and slide face. All can be removed and examined. The chamber is unlikely to be used to stamp as the brass slides out of it while expanded for a gas seal. The ejector, extractor and firing pin would have the stamping component on the protruding surface and be easy to identify and modify if so desired.

The extractors and slides in some pistols are likely to be fouled with gunpowder residue after prolonged use if not cleaned. The firing pin is the best bet for stamping as it can be made with a square face and raised stamps. A grinding wheel will make quick work of smoothing down any stamping surface.

Ranb

fuelair
18th October 2007, 11:06 AM
Do you know where to find the micro stamps, or how to file them?
Let's hope. Knowing where and when a gun was obtained by the criminal is a great piece of evidence to help identify the criminal.
I don't know why but my psychic eye is telling me you are anti-gun!!

dudalb
18th October 2007, 11:23 AM
How often will crooks not bother spending 30 seconds to file down the unique stamping ID? Or not bother to since the gun is stolen?

Like most anti-gun laws, it seems like it would only affect those who bother to follow laws in the first place.

I agree it might not work as well as expected,but as a Gun Owner I have no problem with this law.

Buckaroo
18th October 2007, 11:23 AM
Like most anti-gun laws, it seems like it would only affect those who bother to follow laws in the first place.

Not to mention promoting a rush to stockpile firearms whenever there's gun-controliness in the air, to get while the gettin's good, and gain pre-ban status. I distinctly remember this happening in the early 90's, when the impending (and entirely irrational) assault-weapons ban was looming. Is that really what gun-control advocates want?

WildCat
18th October 2007, 11:26 AM
Is that really what gun-control advocates want?
What they want is a ban, which they realize they can't get immediately so they whittle away at gun rights little by little instead.

After the stamping requirement fails to lower the murder rate they'll call for something else. And so on and so on.

Michael Redman
18th October 2007, 11:44 AM
I don't know why but my psychic eye is telling me you are anti-gun!!My psychic eye is telling me that you are anti rational, dispassionate analysis of gun related issues.

Whether or not I think people should have guns is irrelevant to whether or not this law has any utility toward its intended purpose.

Can you explain the motives behind exempting the police from this law?

RanbNo idea. If I were in CA, I would want an explanation.

The arguments made above about how the law would not function perfectly are not very compelling reasons why the law would not be useful.

SpaceMonkeyZero
18th October 2007, 11:50 AM
How will this truly prevent crime?

What about revolvers?

What about law abiding citizens who are essentially unarmed sheep to the criminal wolves?

Michael Redman
18th October 2007, 12:23 PM
How will this truly prevent crime?Some crime scenes will contain additional forensic evidence which might lead to more arrests of criminals.

What about revolvers?Won't work on revolvers (unless they're reloaded carelessly at the crime scene, I suppose).

The fact that it wouldn't work perfectly is not evidence that its utility wouldn't be worth its cost.

What about law abiding citizens who are essentially unarmed sheep to the criminal wolves?I have no idea what you're getting at here.

Beerina
18th October 2007, 12:32 PM
Do you know where to find the micro stamps, or how to file them?

I absolutely don't know.

I also don't know how to hotwire a car, or what cable to snip so it can't call home with its GPS location.

The car thieves do.

Fnord
18th October 2007, 12:40 PM
I find it strange that the Oath of Citizenship (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of_citizenship_(United_States)) given to immigrants includes the line emboldened below, while the laws of the land are becoming more restrictive in their definition of legal gun ownership.

This is exactly as I've heard the oath as given by judges in court. The Wikipedia link above gives a little more detail.


The Oath of Citizenship
"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God. In acknowledgement whereof I have hereunto affixed my signature."

Gurdur
18th October 2007, 12:43 PM
....Like most anti-gun laws, it seems like it would only affect those who bother to follow laws in the first place.

Like all felony laws, like all anti-murder laws, like all laws really, laws only "affect" those who follow them in the first place.

Or do you want to pretend that criminals never get charged and imprisoned under "anti-gun" laws?

Crissakes, I like your posts. It's few other times I get such marvellous opportunities.

ponderingturtle
18th October 2007, 12:45 PM
I find it strange that the Oath of Citizenship (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of_citizenship_(United_States)) given to immigrants includes the line emboldened below, while the laws of the land are becoming more restrictive in their definition of legal gun ownership.

This is exactly as I've heard the oath as given by judges in court. The Wikipedia link above gives a little more detail.


The Oath of Citizenship
"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God. In acknowledgement whereof I have hereunto affixed my signature."

Um that line has nothing to do with civilian gun ownership, it seems pretty clear that the only time you would be required to bear arms on behalf of the United States would be as a soldier in a war.

Otherwise it would be more "I am required to bear arms and use them when ever anyone fails to show me sufficient respect" that would be more about civilian fire arms ownership.

Michael Redman
18th October 2007, 12:53 PM
I absolutely don't know.

I also don't know how to hotwire a car, or what cable to snip so it can't call home with its GPS location.

The car thieves do.Most recovered stolen cars are found with VINs intact.

In both cases, the criminals know how to obtain and use the stolen good, but usually fail to cover their tracks, even though the methods of doing so are widely known.

That's a great analogy.

Michael Redman
18th October 2007, 01:02 PM
I will say that, while microstamping seems like a good idea to me, this law doesn't just require microstamping in new guns, it reclassifies currently OK guns as unsafe, and makes it a crime to sell them. They won't take the gun away, but it's now dead as an item of commerce. That doesn't seem fair.

The Central Scrutinizer
18th October 2007, 01:27 PM
I agree it might not work as well as expected,but as a Gun Owner I have no problem with this law.

What? Then you are not a real gun owner. Real men...errr....I mean gun owners oppose any law that might limit access to their precious guns! ;)

davefoc
18th October 2007, 06:33 PM
What? Then you are not a real gun owner. Real men...errr....I mean gun owners oppose any law that might limit access to their precious guns! ;)

That's my sense of it also at times. I think the basic idea is that any law that increases the cost or inconvenience of gun ownership in the slightest is bad because it won't be 100% effective and it is all part of the slippery slope intended to lead to the complete ban of all civilian ownership of guns.

There's a corollary of sorts also that all laws that increase the cost or inconvenience of gun ownership at all are completely ineffective at reducing gun crime because they are designed by cynical politicians pandering to the mindless masses that don't know anything about guns.

After this corollary is invoked it is usually followed up by a long, esoteric discussion of firearm minutia.

fuelair
18th October 2007, 07:28 PM
How will this truly prevent crime?

What about revolvers?

What about law abiding citizens who are essentially unarmed sheep to the criminal wolves?

Anti-gun advocates give the appearance of believing either A) at some point they will hit a tilting point of gun law that will disarm everyone or B)that the lives of the law abiding are not worth those of the law violators because accidents will happen with guns - so it is better to let law abiders die.

I consider both points to be irrational and unproductive. In answer to your (possibly rhetorical) questions: It won't (can't). Excellent choice (much less likely to fail, don't leave a cartridge trail, available in more high calibers {love the .454 and .460 - nothing like them in auto}). Anti-gun persons give no indication of any worries about/for them.

For Anti-gun apologists, fear-mongers and crybabies, I hope you noted I did not say you do not care about unarmed innocents - just (and it is clearly correct) that nothing any of you has written - that I have seen (and I have seen a lot of it) - has indicated any point directly related to the dangers to the unarmed {like the data in FL - where we can be legally armed - that shows violence turned from locals to tourists in many areas because tourists can frequently be identified by use of rental cars - to the extent that rental cars have begun reducing/removing identifying items making it fairly easy to spot them. Tourists, of course, are much less likely to be armed - you can't tell with a native.} that shows any concern for them.

fuelair
18th October 2007, 07:36 PM
I will say that, while microstamping seems like a good idea to me, this law doesn't just require microstamping in new guns, it reclassifies currently OK guns as unsafe, and makes it a crime to sell them. They won't take the gun away, but it's now dead as an item of commerce. That doesn't seem fair.

Must give you points on that, I had assumed that was what they meant - and that it was actually a scheme to get around the federal rules. This means I was right and it is wrong. (If only new guns, I would have less problem - except that it is unlikely that there is a functional way to get two stamps without a change in design - beyond microstamping the firing pin. I assume the requirement for a second is to make the guns more difficult to manufacture and more expensive. i.e. a further step to illegally outlawing guns.
So glad I don't live in uncivilized California or New York.

Dan O.
18th October 2007, 08:25 PM
Who holds the patents on microstamping?

Michael Redman
19th October 2007, 06:40 AM
I'll say it again: The stated purpose of this law is simple and reasonable (regardless of whether it is wise or effective). To assume that the intent is something complex, sinister, and hidden, without any evidence to support such a claim, is irrational.

ponderingturtle
19th October 2007, 07:13 AM
And if they succeded in disarming the populace where would we get the laughs of watching a police officer shoot themselves in the foot on video or people shooting themselves in the head at gun shows.

Funny funny stuff.

Dan O.
19th October 2007, 08:16 AM
To not question the intent of an unwise or ineffective law when no evidence is provided is irrational.

Michael Redman
19th October 2007, 08:43 AM
To not question the intent of an unwise or ineffective law when no evidence is provided is irrational.I questioned the intent. I looked at the evidence. I reached my own conclusion.

For some reason, that seems beyond many people when the issue is guns.

There is evidence that the stated intent of this law is, in fact, the intent of this law. There is no evidence that the intent of this law is anything other than the stated intent. There are conspiracy theories and paranoid speculation, but those don't actually count as evidence.

Michael Redman
19th October 2007, 08:56 AM
If only new guns, I would have less problem - except that it is unlikely that there is a functional way to get two stamps without a change in design - beyond microstamping the firing pin. I assume the requirement for a second is to make the guns more difficult to manufacture and more expensive. i.e. a further step to illegally outlawing guns.If you're going to assume, wouldn't it be simpler to assume that law enforcement has determined that two stamps make it significantly more likely that at least one stamp will be usable?

I have done no research, but I would think that two raised sets of characters on opposite sides of the chamber surrounding the casing would effectively transfer the marks when the casing expanded against them. That would make two sets only marginally more difficult or expensive than one. Of course, there may be many other clever ideas out there. I'm sure the lawmakers didn't come up with this idea themselves.

But why assume at all? Laws aren't made in secret. There exists a record of what evidence was presented, what ideas were raised, what issues were debated, in the creation of this law. Documents created in the process are public records, available for the asking.

Is it reasonable to assume that they all somehow knew that the second stamp was going to be a killer for manufacturers, conspired in secret to conceal that motivation, and publicly proclaimed a more simple, mundane, but false explanation? It's not impossible, of course, but where is the evidence?

Dan O.
19th October 2007, 09:06 AM
Why does the law require stamping in two places? I looked into the patent aspects and noted that the primary patent holder is offering the technology royalty free.

The basic concept is based on the tool marks transfered from one object to another upon striking and gives as an example the firing pin striking a cartridge. Some scum-bag without doing any work of their own has filed subsequent patents listing all the other ways tool marks have been transfered to cartridges from a firearm and used to forensically match a cartridge to the gun it was fired from.

The law requires microtagging in two places. One will be the firing pin that gets all the attention and is royalty free. The other slips under the radar until the law takes effect and then the phony patent holder extorts millions from the gun manufacturers for licensing rights.

Michael Redman
19th October 2007, 10:29 AM
Maybe someone should investigate who they consulted when drafting the law, and why 2 stamps were determined to be the proper method.

The technology interests me.

Marking reusable casings could cause obvious problems (though I doubt many criminals are reloading), but firing pin marking on the primer might be unreliable.

Maybe marking both is a compromise? We really can't judge without knowing what they knew when they decided on it.

Wiki has some info (about the only thing not completely biased I could find): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firearm_microstamping

I'm guessing the legislators don't really understand the state of the technology, or perhaps believe the law will drive innovation.

I do not think it is reasonable to conclude that the legislators know that the effect of the law will be to create an untenable burden on manufacture, and thereby end the gun trade in California. This would be a conspiracy, and without evidence for it, I don't think it's a reasonable conclusion.

Perhaps there was non-secret talk in the legislature about using the law to restrict gun availability. But wouldn't you expect the opponents to be publicizing that?

Dan O.
19th October 2007, 11:29 AM
I initially was neutral on the law and only skeptical on the greed of whatever force was the push behind the law. But now I've thought of another problem that swings me totally against this kind of law.

Years ago while watching the development of some crime investigation, the thought occurred "what would happen if somebody gathered some bullets and casings at a public shooting range and scattered them at a crime scene before the police arrived". The conclusion at the time was that it might slow down the investigation some but it would be very unlikely that the police would identify the random firearms involved.

Now replay the scenario with microstamping. The random firearm will be identified, traced to the owner, and if the owner isn't killed in the subsequent no-knock raid he will be arrested probably held without bail and forced to defend himself for a crime he had absolutely nothing to do with all for legally owning a firearm and using it responsibly.

Michael Redman
19th October 2007, 11:42 AM
I initially was neutral on the law and only skeptical on the greed of whatever force was the push behind the law. But now I've thought of another problem that swings me totally against this kind of law.

Years ago while watching the development of some crime investigation, the thought occurred "what would happen if somebody gathered some bullets and casings at a public shooting range and scattered them at a crime scene before the police arrived". The conclusion at the time was that it might slow down the investigation some but it would be very unlikely that the police would identify the random firearms involved.

Now replay the scenario with microstamping. The random firearm will be identified, traced to the owner, and if the owner isn't killed in the subsequent no-knock raid he will be arrested probably held without bail and forced to defend himself for a crime he had absolutely nothing to do with all for legally owning a firearm and using it responsibly.

Right, because it would never occur to the police that the last registered legal owner of the gun might not be the shooter.

This scenario is supported by the fact that, today, when a gun used in a crime is recovered, the police assume that the last registered legal owner of the gun was the shooter, and if he isn't killed in the subsequent no-knock raid he is arrested held without bail and forced to defend himself for a crime he had absolutely nothing to do with all for legally owning a firearm and using it responsibly.

Since that is how it works now, it is reasonable to think your scenario would result from this law.

Schneibster
19th October 2007, 02:18 PM
Who holds the patents on microstamping?Non-starter, the text of the law says the method must be unencumbered by a patent.

Dan O.
19th October 2007, 07:22 PM
Right, because it would never occur to the police that the last registered legal owner of the gun might not be the shooter.

You sarcasm is noted. No-knock warrants are only used for small time drug crimes and would never be used for instance when the police are tracking down a firearm linked to the scene of a serial cop killing.

The police would simply knock on the door of the registered owner of the firearm and ask if the weapon in question is still there. And when the owner produces the weapon in question and the police are able to examine it to see that the marking do indeed match, it will be immediately realized that there has simply been a mistake and the police will bid the owner a good day.

gumboot
19th October 2007, 08:09 PM
You guys should just get rid of your guns. :)

-Gumboot

Dan O.
19th October 2007, 08:41 PM
You guys should just get rid of your guns.

No way!

My dad gave be this Daisy 4.5mm hand pumped air rifle almost 20 years ago.

joe1347
20th October 2007, 04:21 AM
Anyone know how many criminal cases were solved by tracing the original firearm owner from spent shell casing 'microstamps' - or more significantly - what percentage of handgun related crimes could be solved by tracing the original owner from the spent shell? Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I thought that criminals primarily use stolen handguns, which seems to make eliminate the ability to find perpetrator from a spent shell casing record.

Since I believe 2002, the Maryland Police been collecting spent shell casings for all new handgun purchases. Has even on crime been solved?

Zep
20th October 2007, 04:44 AM
I'm as gun-control as they come, but this won't do anything but identify which gun a cartridge supposedly was ejected from.

It does not confirm where or when that happened, if the trigger was pulled (round fired), or if it was simply ejected manually. It certainly doesn't tie a person to the shot or even to the gun. Any thoughts the technology may be used to achieve these ends is very foolish.

Re: shot sock / shell catcher. I understood it has been long-time practice for crims to catch ejected shells by simply holding a loose plastic bag over both hand and gun. Supposed to reduce GSR spread as well.

Dr Adequate
20th October 2007, 07:53 AM
First they introduced driving licenses. And I did not speak out, because I could see the sense in my learning to drive a car before doing so on a public highway.

Then they made drunk driving illegal, and I did not speak out, because I didn't see why other people should die for my self-indulgence.

Then they introduced mandatory selt-belt laws, and I did not speak out, because there are things higher on my To Do list then flying through my windscreen and breaking my neck.

And then they made it illegal to own an automobile, and they had to pry my steering wheel from my cold, dead hands, because although it is evident to anyone not actually insane that every regulation making driving safer is an argument for allowing law-abiding citizens to drive, it turns out that the "anti-car" people were sliding us down a slippery slope towards the abolition of driving.

Heck, they didn't even have to repeal an article of the Bill of Rights in order to do so.

And now the same bunch of Evil Liberals want to take my gun away by making it slightly harder to use it for criminal purposes, which is something that I have absolutely no intention of doing.

If anyone wants me, I'll be in a shack in Montana, using my gun to defend my car from Them.

davefoc
20th October 2007, 10:46 AM
I initially was neutral on the law and only skeptical on the greed of whatever force was the push behind the law. But now I've thought of another problem that swings me totally against this kind of law.

Years ago while watching the development of some crime investigation, the thought occurred "what would happen if somebody gathered some bullets and casings at a public shooting range and scattered them at a crime scene before the police arrived". The conclusion at the time was that it might slow down the investigation some but it would be very unlikely that the police would identify the random firearms involved.

Now replay the scenario with microstamping. The random firearm will be identified, traced to the owner, and if the owner isn't killed in the subsequent no-knock raid he will be arrested probably held without bail and forced to defend himself for a crime he had absolutely nothing to do with all for legally owning a firearm and using it responsibly.

This is one of the least well thought out arguments that I have seen in this forum by a poster that isn't obviously a few cards short of a full deck.

The possibility that an investigative procedure might lead to misleading results is not a sufficient argument that the investigative procedure should be abandoned.

For instance, semen can be planted. So should DNA testing be abandoned in rape cases? Finger prints can both be planted and they provide only limited information about when they were left. So should the collection of finger print evidence at crime scenes be abandoned? Even now bullets not fired at the crime scene can be planted. Should forensic testing of bullets be abandoned because of that possibility?

The arguments for and against micro stamping need to include quantitative ideas about how often there is a benefit and how often the procedure is detrimental and how significant the effect of the benefit or detriment is.

On the issue of the planting of shell casings the relevant questions would include how likely this is to occur and how likely is it that the misleading evidence will harm an innocent individual. Then these answers together with other evidence for and against micro stamping need to be considered to determine on balance whether society benefits from the practice.

My guess is that the planting of shell casings is way down on the list of significant issues associated with the question of whether or not micro stamping is a net benefit. It seems to offer little benefit to the perpetrator and it requires the perpetrator to intentionally leave behind evidence that, while misleading, could still provide evidence against himself. For example, finger prints on the casings, and a connection to a location where he might have obtained the casings from.

Dan O.
20th October 2007, 04:35 PM
Dave, You seam to undervalue the benefit of leaving false clues. Do you know that there are cases which were dropped because there was DNA evidence that did not belong to the victim or suspect and could not be explained. I know of at least 2 high profile cases where the extraneous DNA was a major factor in the case not going to trial. There are undoubtedly more if I were to search for them.

Can someone be held tried and convicted solely on the basis of DNA evidence found on cigarette butts at the scene of a crime? That appears to be what happened to Gary Greatrex.

Microstamping is not just the imprinting of a code on the shell casing when a bullet is fired. There is also the database that will inevitably exist to link each serial number to the owner. Without the database, there is no benefit to microstamping because tool marks would give the same information. Your comparison of microstamping to other forms of forensic evidence is false because those other forms don't include a universal database that guarantees finding a specific suspect. Planting a false fingerprint or a spent shell casing now only works if there is a specific target to be implicated that will either already be registered in the police files or be a suspect for other reasons.

You want to find casings that are untraceable to you? I know of several areas in the back woods that are used as shooting ranges. Just wear gloves and store them in an oxygen free container so they won't age. You could pick up cartridges years before using them to let time erase the trail.


The threat of microstamping and the registry database is that it will reverse the burden of proof. Finding a cartridge at a crime scene with your serial number that links to the database showing your name and address where a subsequent search will find your firearm that will match not only the microstamp serial number but other tool marks. You will be arrested pending further investigation.

ETA: But maybe you'll be able to write a song about it afterwards...
"Kid! We found your name on an envelope at the bottom of half a ton of garbage..."

Dr Adequate
20th October 2007, 04:46 PM
Dave, You seam to undervalue the benefit of leaving false clues. Nay, lady, hemming ... I know not seams.

I should offer a small cash prize to anyone who manages to find that funny.

OldTigerCub
20th October 2007, 07:24 PM
Anyone know how many criminal cases were solved by tracing the original firearm owner from spent shell casing 'microstamps' - or more significantly - what percentage of handgun related crimes could be solved by tracing the original owner from the spent shell? Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I thought that criminals primarily use stolen handguns, which seems to make eliminate the ability to find perpetrator from a spent shell casing record.

Since I believe 2002, the Maryland Police been collecting spent shell casings for all new handgun purchases. Has even on crime been solved?

Handgun manufacturers (a few anyway) started shipping spent shell casings with new firearms a few years back to send in with registration papers. When I purchased my last firearm I asked about this practice and was told that Pennsylvania (for one) does not catalog new gun casings since after a few hundred rounds and a few dozen cleanings the chamber marks are substantially different from when the gun is brand new.
A law requiring microstamping might have some effect if the guns used to commit crimes are fairly new, legally purchased and registered and have had no gunsmithing work or substantial number of firings or cleanings. Aside from that, it seems like a lawmaker grasping at straws by putting one more law on the books that makes guns more expensive and is unlikely to be any easier to enforce than the hundreds of other firearms laws.

Solus
20th October 2007, 08:14 PM
What prevents a criminal from getting a handgun from another state or buying one of the millions in existence within the state that is not micro stamped? The law merely makes it a requirement that after 2010 any new handgun manufactured and sold in California must be micro stamped. The law doesn't even cover shotguns and rifles.

Besides that the micro stamped parts could be replaced with parts that are not micro stamped. Although an average criminal probably wouldn't know how to do it. More likely the handgun would be taken apart, and a file used to remove the micro stamping. The point is there are too many holes in this law and it will have little value in stopping gun related crime. Laws need to be passed at the federal level to have any real effect and furthermore this law is too weak.

GreNME
20th October 2007, 08:29 PM
Handgun manufacturers (a few anyway) started shipping spent shell casings with new firearms a few years back to send in with registration papers. When I purchased my last firearm I asked about this practice and was told that Pennsylvania (for one) does not catalog new gun casings since after a few hundred rounds and a few dozen cleanings the chamber marks are substantially different from when the gun is brand new.
A law requiring microstamping might have some effect if the guns used to commit crimes are fairly new, legally purchased and registered and have had no gunsmithing work or substantial number of firings or cleanings. Aside from that, it seems like a lawmaker grasping at straws by putting one more law on the books that makes guns more expensive and is unlikely to be any easier to enforce than the hundreds of other firearms laws.

The majority of criminals acquire guns in a few methods on the larger scale.

One method is stealing from gun owners. This can be problematic for tracing in the ways you described, provided the gun owner used the gun on a range or other allowed area enough to cause the wear. However, these types of stolen guns are more often throwaways, being used once or twice and discarded.

Another method is sales through loose restrictions in places like gun shows. Not that the shows themselves have loose restrictions, but that there are some dealers who have less of a problem unloading a gun for money out the back of their van and bypassing or forging some of the required paperwork. The law described seems to be aimed at this kind of group, both the unscrupulous sellers and those who buy that way.

Yet another method is acquiring the weapon on the other side of the border, often through similarly loose means, and smuggling it back. This method is the greatest risk (in large numbers), and is also probably not the target of this legislation.


The problem with trying to legislate ways to track the methods criminals acquire weapons is in being able to cover as much as they can with the legislation. No matter what is done, attempts to track the weapons of criminals is going to impact the legal owners, because legal owners and legal means of acquiring weapons are the two largest sources for weapons for criminals.

ServiceSoon
21st October 2007, 09:51 AM
Another method is sales through loose restrictions in places like gun shows. Not that the shows themselves have loose restrictions, but that there are some dealers who have less of a problem unloading a gun for money out the back of their van and bypassing or forging some of the required paperwork. The law described seems to be aimed at this kind of group, both the unscrupulous sellers and those who buy that way.

According to a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) study released in December 1997 ("Homicide in Eight U.S. Cities), only 2% of criminal guns came from gun shows.

Dan O.
21st October 2007, 11:07 AM
According to a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) study released in December 1997 ("Homicide in Eight U.S. Cities), only 2% of criminal guns came from gun shows.

So, how did they figure out where the guns came from? Did the just ask the criminal?!

ServiceSoon
21st October 2007, 01:27 PM
So, how did they figure out where the guns came from? Did the just ask the criminal?!
You would have to contact NIJ to obtain answers to your questions. Whatever method they used I'm sure they are appropriate and accurate.

Ranb
21st October 2007, 05:30 PM
So, how did they figure out where the guns came from? Did the just ask the criminal?!

All firearms sold in the USA have serial numbers. When the manufacturer or dealer sells or otherwise disposes of a firearm, they keep a record of who it went to. These records are retained by the dealer until they go out of business, then they are sent to an BATFE records storage in Georgia. The records stay around for a long time.

When a firearm is recovered at a crime scene or from someone suspected of a crime and the serial number is still intact, the police can find out who last took poccession from a dealer. From there they can sometimes track ownership of the firearm even if it was sold without a 4473 record (legal in most states, but not CA).

Many of the people selling firearms at gun shows are dealers. This is one of the ways they can advertise their wares. Some gun shows require that anyone buying a firearm be able to provide background check info.

And sometimes the criminal provide accurate information on who they got their firearms.

Ranb

BenBurch
21st October 2007, 05:40 PM
If you are smart, when you do a murder;

1. It's not a gun registered to you or traceable to you.
2. You cleaned it and its rounds very thoroughly before use.
3. You wore a glove when you fired it, and you washed and bleached you clothes immediately on arriving at home.
4. You drop the gun at the scene.

This way it does not matter what microstamps the gun applies or tagints are in the bullet or powder.

The police have the weapon but no way to place it in your hands in testimony.

You'll notice that real organized crime arrests are almost never weapons charges.

Basically this will get the stupid thugs who do gun crime not the professional criminal, but half a loaf isn't bad.

LTC8K6
22nd October 2007, 10:11 AM
Well, if it's a drive by, the casings probably won't be at the scene.

A smart crook will drop casings from a gun range at the scene.

You can use a pre-law gun, or an out of state gun.

You can alter the markings. You can replace the firing pin.

Etc.

The law simply isn't going to work very well at all, imo.

Just before the law goes into effect, gun sales will skyrocket to get a lot of unmarked guns in.

Since the law is so easy to get around, and those who wrote it must know that, I am forced to consider other reasons for wanting the law.

DDWW
22nd October 2007, 11:12 AM
If you are smart, when you do a murder;

1. It's not a gun registered to you or traceable to you.
2. You cleaned it and its rounds very thoroughly before use.
3. You wore a glove when you fired it, and you washed and bleached you clothes immediately on arriving at home.
4. You drop the gun at the scene.

This way it does not matter what microstamps the gun applies or tagints are in the bullet or powder.

The police have the weapon but no way to place it in your hands in testimony.

You'll notice that real organized crime arrests are almost never weapons charges.

Basically this will get the stupid thugs who do gun crime not the professional criminal, but half a loaf isn't bad.



I would add;

Have the scene investigated by the Denver police and prosecuted by Marhsa Clark @ Los Angels.

ďLetsí go over this again. You are going to hand me a glove and if I can put it on I am going to jail for the rest of my life. But if I canít put it on I go free. ?! Gee, look, I canít get it on!Ē


DD (I didn't do it - at least not that you know of) WW

GreNME
22nd October 2007, 11:20 AM
According to a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) study released in December 1997 ("Homicide in Eight U.S. Cities), only 2% of criminal guns came from gun shows.

I'm not trying to say that the law is claiming that those are the highest rates of acquisition-- from my experience looking into the issue, it seems stolen guns from owners are the most common way criminals get guns-- I'm saying that the law seems targeted toward such situations in the quote of mine you're responding to.

Is it effective? I don't know, I'm not a criminal investigator. From what I do know, not all shootings (that go to court) wind up going as far as checking that far into the gun's history to place it in the hands of the offender. Every crime isn't treated like the crimes on CSI, after all.

ServiceSoon
23rd October 2007, 03:50 PM
This is a very good law.
The only thing this law will do is:

Make legal firearms more expensive.
Decrease the amount of legal firearm enthusiast.
Create a trend for criminals to use revolvers.
Increase the black market value for firearms that don’t have this technology.

It is a worthless feel-good law.

rocketdodger
23rd October 2007, 05:02 PM
The only thing this law will do is:

Make legal firearms more expensive.

Which makes illegal ones more expensive as well... simple high school economics.


Decrease the amount of legal firearm enthusiast.

Because of course the reason most people are enthusiasts is because guns are $30 cheaper than otherwise.


Create a trend for criminals to use revolvers.


Forcing criminals to go through a lengthy reload process after six shots is a bad thing?


Increase the black market value for firearms that donít have this technology.


... again, that is a bad thing?


It is a worthless feel-good law.

I think that might be a bit strong. More appropriate would be "the law probably won't make more than a dent in gun related crime, despite the fact that politicians and others will trump it up to be alot more."

GreNME
23rd October 2007, 07:00 PM
Which makes illegal ones more expensive as well... simple high school economics.

Because of course the reason most people are enthusiasts is because guns are $30 cheaper than otherwise.

Forcing criminals to go through a lengthy reload process after six shots is a bad thing?

... again, that is a bad thing?

I think that might be a bit strong. More appropriate would be "the law probably won't make more than a dent in gun related crime, despite the fact that politicians and others will trump it up to be alot more."

The most common weapon used in violent crimes with firearms in 2005, if I recall correctly, was the .38 revolver.

I'm not big on guns. Heck, I refuse to have one in my home. However, I do think that intellectual honesty is in order. Criminals already tend toward revolvers because they're already less traceable. I can see why this bugs people who are owners of guns that this would target.