California Supreme Court Upholds the Impossible Microstamping Law

Here’s liberal logic for you: Breitbart reported that the California Supreme Court upheld the state’s microstamping law on Thursday. The catch is that it’s not possible to comply with it. The technology  doesn’t exist, but the court didn’t see that as a problem. Will California soon be demanding that people use Star Trek-type transporters to get to work so their cars don’t emit greenhouse gases? The reasoning, or lack thereof,  is the same.


The court ruled: “state laws cannot be invalidated on the grounds that complying with them is impossible.”

Gun rights groups sued the state of California on the grounds that the technology doesn’t exist to allow gun manufacturers to comply with the law. But the court…and the state, believe that the law will force technology to advance. The law has been in existence since Arnold Schwartzeneggar signed it in 2007 and there’s still no technology available to do it.

What is microstamping?

The microstamping law requires that a one-of-a-kind microscopic marker be placed on the firing pins of semi-automatic weapons so that police will be able to trace a shell casing back to the gun it was fired from.

The LA Times Daily Pilot notes in an op-ed by Matthew Harper:

“The problem is that the technology is wholly unreliable and prohibitively expensive. Each time a gun is fired, it wears slightly, leaving a microstamp unreadable after a short period of normal use. On top of that, it would be easy for a criminal to swap out microstamped gun parts for ones with no markings… 

…It also does little, if anything, to aid police investigations. Law enforcement has all the tools it needs to trace a gun to its original owner. But legal firearms are rarely used in crimes. In most cases, years pass between the original sale of a firearm and the time it is used in a crime. Finding out who owned a firearm a decade ago does little to tell police who fired it criminally last week.

The bill to eliminate California’s microstamp requirement, AB 2733, is making its way through the Legislature. It is time for California’s legislators to recognize and respect their constituents’ rights…”

The easiest way around the law is for criminals to use a revolver, since revolvers don’t leave behind a shell casing (it’s a no-brainer, California).

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H/T Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children


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