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Gun Companies Challenge Microstamping’s Viability

Texas Law Shield applauds three major firearms companies — Ruger, Smith & Wesson and Glock — that have filed supporting documents in Ivan Peña et. al v. Stephen Lindley, a lawsuit challenging the California handgun roster requirements that include microstamping and magazine disconnects.

Microstamping is a patented process that, theoretically, would engrave a unique code on the tip of a gun’s firing pin, which would transfer that imprint to the cartridge casing each time the firearm was discharged. It is not a proven technology, nor is it implementable, as the company executives testified.

In late January, Ruger CEO Michael O. Fifer and Smith & Wesson President and CEO James Debney submitted declarations to the court, explaining their respective companies’ positions on the California microstamping requirement.

Late last year, attorneys representing Glock, Inc. filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the case filed by the Second Amendment Foundation and other plaintiffs.

James Debney, Smith & Wesson’s president and CEO said, “As our products fall off the roster due to California’s interpretation of the Unsafe Handgun Act, we will continue to work with the NRA and the NSSF to oppose this poorly conceived law which mandates the unproven and unreliable concept of microstamping and makes it impossible for Californians to have access to the best products with the latest innovations.”

In his statement, Fifer bluntly observed, “There is no workable microstamping technology today, and Ruger believes that California’s microstamping regulations make compliance impossible.”

Debney concurs in his statement, noting, “Smith & Wesson does not believe it is possible currently to comply with California’s microstamping regulations. Quite simply, the state law requires the technology to perform at a level that it cannot.”

In its earlier brief, submitted by attorneys Erik S. Jaffe of Washington, D.C. and John C. Eastman of Orange, Calif., Glock maintained that neither its pistols nor any other handgun in common use can comply with California’s microstamping mandate.

Our view: Microstamping is simply a red-tape method of banning guns. The State of California should not be allowed to regulate handguns out of existence or out of the marketplace by mandating technology that doesn’t work. Hopefully, the courts will rule that California’s gun-approval structure violates the Second Amendment.

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