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Gun Microstamping: Democrat Ignorance Threatens Manufacturing Jobs

The expensive, useless technology may drive gun plants out of New York and Connecticut.

by
Bob Owens

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October 5, 2012 - 12:00 am
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Remington Arms has already moved much of their skilled operations and management to North Carolina because of the tax policies of New York state, and now it appears to be on the verge of moving the rest of its facilities, all due to microstamping legislation:

Microstamping, or ballistic imprinting, is a patented process that uses laser technology to engrave a tiny marking of the make, model, and serial number on the tip of a gun’s firing pin to allow an imprint of that information on spent cartridge cases. Supporters of the technology say it will be a “game changer,” allowing authorities to quickly identify the registered guns used in crimes. Opponents claim the process is costly, unreliable, and may ultimately impact the local economies that heavily depend on the gun industry, including Ilion, N.Y., where Remington Arms maintains a factory, and Hartford, Conn., where Colt’s manufacturing is headquartered.

“Mandatory microstamping would have an immediate impact of a loss of 50 jobs,” New York State Sen. James Seward, a Republican whose district includes Ilion, said, adding that Remington employs 1,100 workers in the town. “You’re talking about a company that has options in other states. Why should they be in a state that’s hostile to legal gun manufacturing? There could be serious negative economic impact with the passage of microstamping and other gun-control laws.”

Microstamping tooling is extremely expensive, prone to breakage, easily disabled, and ineffective on entire families of weapons. Let’s take a deeper look at what microstamping does, and how easily it is beaten.

Microstamping is a series of letters and numbers reverse printed on the firing pin of weapons. In theory, when a gun is fired, the firing pin will leave a mark on the cartridge’s primer (the rim of a rimfire cartridge), and the shell casing recovered at the scene will provide law enforcement information about which gun fired the cartridge. Cops will enter the microstamping code into a computer, which will check it against a database, and the police will know who the shooter is within minutes.

At least, that is the theory. Reality is another matter. For starters: microstamping fails to work on any firearm that already exists, something in the neighborhood of more than 300 million firearms. As firearms last indefinitely, it would be decades before they became a significant number of total firearms — even if the technology was foolproof.

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