An attempt to make handguns safer and handgun owners more accountable has backfired, and has instead driven two top-selling companies, Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger, to stop selling their products in California.

California’s microstamping law requires that some handguns be equipped with technology that imprints a tiny stamp, often a serial number, on the bullet’s casing. Thus, each bullet the gun fires is marked, and can be traced back to the gun. No two guns create the same exact mark.

Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger, however, have argued against use of this new technology. Both companies are based on the east coast – Smith & Wesson in Massachusetts, Sturm Ruger in Connecticut.

As the manufacturer of Smith & Wesson said, “A number of studies have indicated that microstamping is unreliable, serves no safety purpose, is cost prohibitive, and, most importantly, is not proven to aid in preventing or solving crimes.”

In addition to significantly heightening manufacturing costs, every gun sold under microstamping requirements would have to be registered.

So, instead of complying with this new law, Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger will be selling a significantly lower number of semi-automatic pistols in California.

Critics have argued that the law will not be effective in fighting crime because it does nothing to address the issue of stolen handguns; while a bullet fired from a gun can be traced back to the gun and the gun owner, it offers no further help if a criminal fires a stolen gun.

In fact, the National Rifle Association (NRA) views the new law as “the latest attempt to undermine the Second Amendment in California by politicians with little to no knowledge of firearms.”

“This is an indirect way to ban new handguns from being sold,” said David Kopel, a professor at the Denver University Sturm College of Law.

Critics have widely argued that as the microstamping technology has not yet been perfected, it should not yet be put into effect.

California is the first state to implement the new law. Interestingly, amongst the several other states considering similar measures are Connecticut and Massachusetts, where each gun manufacturer is headquartered.

As is too often the case, the law itself is exempt from the law: microstamping requirements will not apply to law-enforcement officials.

Sources: Fox News,

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