Smith & Wesson deserve credit for their refusal to bow to California’s Democrat tyrants, but make no mistake about what this is. It’s a retreat.

Gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson refused Thursday to comply with California’s controversial “microstamping” law, causing more of its products to fall off the state’s permissible firearms list and be ineligible for sale.

In a two-page statement on its website, Smith & Wesson criticized Assembly Bill 1471, which requires new or redesigned semiautomatic weapons to carry microstamping technology, imprinting its make, model and serial number onto shell casings when a bullet is fired.

Though the law was passed in 2007, language in the legislation stipulated it would go into effect when the necessary technology was widely available. It was not enacted until May 2013.

Critics argue that the technology is flawed. In its statement, 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.”

Microstamping is an attempt to ban handguns incrementally, in a way that won’t run afoul of court precedent spelling out the individual right to bear arms. Gun manufacturers are finding themselves having to retreat now from Colorado, California, New York and probably Maryland, thanks to Democrats finding creative ways to infringe on the Second Amendment. California blazes the trail for other blue states to follow, and there is no effective opposition left in that state to counter.

While those of us who live in Second Amendment-friendly states can smirk and note that wherever Democrats rule, gun rights get curbed, we can’t just keep retreating. Our fundamental rights are dying in states that Democrats rule, and thanks to court decisions, in other states as well.