There is a battle raging in many States between gun control advocates and 2nd Amendment supporters over whether legislation will be moved forward that requires every semiautomatic weapon’s firing pin to mark shell casings with a numeric code to link shooters to shells.
We have seen initiatives like this from people wishing to hamper the 2nd Amendment before. A few years ago, the “Ammunition Accountability Act,” which was largely pushed by Democratic legislators and a single company holding a patent on bullet-coding technology, would have required every bullet and respective casing to have matching serial numbers. It also would have required munitions vendors to track customer purchases. No bill related to the proposed law ever made it out of committee or came up for a vote, largely because of the efforts of gun rights advocates to quash the unConstitutional proposal.
The new effort to laser-etch firing pins with serial numbers has gained a little more traction, but protectors of the 2nd Amendment are pushing back in many States. In New York, lawmakers are expected to begin debating a shell casing stamp bill today. Remington Arms Company said that if the bill gains traction in that State, however, it will pull its business out. The company operates a large manufacturing facility in Ilion, N.Y., where it employs nearly 1,000 workers.
In California, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation in 2007 that would require marked firing pins. But members of a gun rights group called the Calguns Foundation have so far been able to stall the law — keeping it tied up in the State attorney general’s office — by paying $555 to renew a patent on the technology used to mark the firing pins. The engineer who developed the method had allowed the patent to lapse in order to make the technology public domain.
Such a law was also passed in Washington, D.C., in 2009, but it has not yet taken effect.
Advocates of the laws say that linking criminals to their crimes will become exponentially easier if every gun marks the shell casings of bullets that are fired. But laser-etching firing pins would be extremely costly, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and could increase the price of firearms regularly used by sportsmen or purchased for self-defense by more than $200 for purchasers. Proponents say this is not so and cite a manufacturing cost increase of just $12. In fact, the New York legislation would mandate the $12 price cap for manufacturers in the State.
But a research paper published by the California Policy Research Center at the University of California after the law was passed in that State shows that the people pushing the legislation are not being truthful.
The vendor was supplied with 14 firing pins which were subsequently engraved at a cost of $3,500 or ~$250.00 per firing pin. These firing pins were obtained after their initial laser machining without any additional processing steps such as deburring, etching and diamond coating or initial test firing.
So, is it worth paying $200 more for firearms to ensure that criminals will mark the shell casings fired in the commission of a crime? Proponents of the laws would likely say “yes.” They likely also are not gun owners themselves and probably don’t know that a firing pin is easily removed from most firearms quickly with few or no common tools. They also probably would disregard the portion of the previously mentioned study which explains what happens to the firing pin stamp after being put to a grinding stone for 30 seconds or lightly tapped with a ball-peen hammer for the same amount of time.
From the study:
The rubbing of the firing pin for 30 seconds on the sharpening stone completely removed the alphanumeric and gear code structures while leaving the radial bar code structures intact. Of the ten rounds of ammunition test fired none of the impressions contained any of the encoding structures, except for one. Cartridge case number seven had two out of the nine radial bar code structures transfer, however they were very faint.
The defacement method was successful…
The light peening of the encoding structures, for an overall time of 30 seconds, was a successful method of defacement. Through ten rounds of ammunition test fired, no alphanumeric characters were legible in the firing pin impressions.
The control freaks who wish to do away with the 2nd Amendment are once again using the promise of combating crime to push laws that do nothing but make firearms more expensive and harder to purchase for law-abiding citizens. The assault on legal gun ownership also appears to be twofold, as evidenced by the New York proposal which seems to defy the laws of simple economics. By mandating that firearms manufacturers implement a $250 per firearm process and requiring them to do this at only $12 per firearm additional cost to customers, the proposed legislation simply forces the manufacturers to ruin business by taking massive losses or no longer conduct business in States with such laws.
When will gun control advocates realize that the appeal to fear fallacy they continuously use to push their agenda is not only fundamentally flawed, but also recognized as bunk by Americans who responsibly exercise their 2nd Amendment rights? If guns are illegal, criminals seeking to do illegal things will have them anyway. If guns have laser-etched firing pins, criminals will illegally remove them. The victims will be any who are not criminals and are, thereby, unable to defend themselves either due to cost-prohibitive legislation or the complete prohibition of firearms.
The gun-control lobby hasn’t completely achieved its goal yet. And currently the people pushing and passing these laws are the criminals Americans should be the most fearful of; they are stealing Constitutional rights for the “safety” (read control) of the collective.
They know, however, that they are not going to be able to do away with the entire Constitution until the 2nd Amendment falls and the liberty-loving masses are left defenseless. If you were being robbed at gunpoint and pulled your own concealed firearm on your assailant, would you then ask him to hold it for you while you emptied your pockets? Probably not. So call your legislators and make sure these sorts of laws don’t advance in your State. Don’t hand your guns to the people who will eventually steal all your liberty if they are allowed.