What is the new gun tracing technology In California all about? And why does the NRA not like it? Here's what we know so far.
California's Gun Tracing Technology: For Better or Worse?
The California legislature never seems to stop placing limitations on guns and gun technology.
Most recently, Gov. Newsom passed legislation ostensibly intended to make illegal gun use easier for police to track during criminal investigations.
But it may have some unintended consequences for regular firearm owners that may make the already limited firearm situation in California much worse.
In short, Gov. Newsom signed Law AB 2847 on September 29, 2020. The details of the measure are as follows:
- All new pistol models sold in California have to include micro-stamping technology by the above law’s enactment date (when it is active as opposed to signed), which is July 1, 2022
- This gun tracing technology will theoretically make certain guns easier to trace by law enforcement if/when they are used in crimes
- Furthermore, new California pistols must also include certain safety measures, including magazine disconnect mechanisms and chamber load indicators
The law as written is intended to protect California citizens.
It also aims to assist law enforcement personnel while also minimizing the impact on responsible and legal gun owners.
This law has been in the works for several years.
Specifically, Gov. Newsom and the National Rifle Association (NRA) have been debating the efficacy and necessity of such a law since as early as 2016, when the two sides first clashed over Proposition 63.
That initiative was the then-latest in a long line of California legislation that regulated guns and ammunition, even for law-abiding citizens.
Since that time, the NRA has sued California half a dozen times to challenge various gun laws, including the above proposition.
Previously, gun-tracing legislation like the above law has been delayed.
Firearm manufacturers have pointed out that it’s difficult to comply with rules requiring two micro stamps as opposed to just one on every weapon.
However, Law AB 2847 has “solved” this issue by allowing only one micro stamp per firearm.
How the Law Will Work
This law’s mandated processes will require printing of microscopic characters on bullet cartridge casings when firing a weapon.
Basically, a cartridge fired from a firearm could then theoretically be traced back to that firearm, which could assist with criminal investigations.
The law enjoys the support of many law enforcement leaders throughout California since it will ostensibly make their jobs much easier.
However, the law comes with additional consequences in order to accelerate the implementation of the stamping protocol.
Specifically, the law requires the Atty. Gen. to get rid of three models of appropriate handguns from the current legal list across California.
This artificially limits the types of firearms that law-abiding citizens can purchase.
And it’s this part of the bill that the NRA and the California Rifle and Pistol Association oppose.
Time will tell whether the gun tracing technology that stamps pistol cartridges will actually assist law enforcement in a statistically significant manner.
In the meantime, the California Sportsman’s Lobby has pointed out they will reduce the number and variety of pistols available for law-abiding citizens, like sports shooters, to purchase.
This is, therefore, a severe limitation on the freedoms of most California citizens.
Aside from this negative aspect, however, the law should not overly limit the usage of certain pistols and handguns (or at least, not more than California legislation already does).
Law-abiding citizens with certain weaponry don’t necessarily need to do anything just yet.
The law only applies to new pistols made or shipped to California.
However, the law may eventually expand to include pistol models already in circulation.
Gun owners should therefore check the pistols they own and see if the new law applies to their currently owned firearms.
Do you think that this bill is unfair to law-abiding gun-owning citizens? Tell us why or why not in the comments section!