Sunday, March 15, 2009

CT Public Hearing Monday 10 AM - SR353 - Microstamping Pistols


Talk about assaults... this is an assault on gun ownership and gun production in CT, and it is an expensive and unproven technology.

This from the NRA Institute for Legislative Action:

On Monday, March 16, the Joint Committee on Judiciary will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 353, a bill sponsored by State Senator Martin M. Looney (D-11) that would ban the sale of all semi-automatic pistols not equipped with so-called "micro-stamping" technology.

Micro-stamping is an unproven technology that would require unique identifying information from the firearm, including the make, model, and serial number to be etched into the firing pin and breech face in such a manner that those identifiers are imprinted on the cartridge case upon firing. The technology can easily be defeated with common household tools, has no public safety value, and adds substantially to the cost of the firearm.

If SB 353 is passed, it will become ILLEGAL to sell or transfer any semi-automatic pistol that is not capable of micro-stamping. This would mean that any semi-auto handgun that you currently own could never be sold or transferred in Connecticut. This would ban the sale of used semi-auto handguns without the technology and would prohibit estates from bequeathing semi-auto handguns that do not include micro-stamping technology.

Since no manufacturers currently incorporate micro-stamping in their firearms, this bill would result in a de facto ban on all semi-automatic handguns in Connecticut.

The hearing will be held on Monday, March 16 at 10:00 A.M. in Room 2C of the Legislative Office Building (LOB) in Hartford and it is important that Connecticut gun owners attend this hearing. We encourage all of our members to attend this meeting and voice your opposition to SB353. If you would like to testify before the committee, you must submit 45 copies of your written/typed testimony to the Judiciary Committee staff in Room 2500 at least two hours prior to the start of the hearing.

This bill must be defeated! If you are unable to attend the hearing, please contact the members of the Joint Judiciary Committee TODAY and respectfully urge them to defend our Second Amendment rights by opposing SB353. Contact information for the members of the committee can be found here. Also, please contact your State Legislators and respectfully urge them to oppose SB353. Contact information for your State Representative can be found by clicking here. Please click here to find contact information for your State Senator.

also a new blog, Hamden Impact reports this:
The stated purposed of the bill is to “facilitate the linking of used cartridge cases to the firearm that fired them.” by requiring the microstamping of semiautomatic pistols. A semi-automatic pistol is a type of handgun that fires one cartridge for each pull of the trigger, with an automatic reloading mechanism. It is defined in the bill as “a pistol the operating mode of which uses the energy of the explosive in a fixed cartridge to extract a fired cartridge and chamber a fresh cartridge with each single pull of the trigger.”

Explaining his opposition to the bill, Ranking Judiciary Committee Member and Assistant Republican Leader Arthur O’Neill (House Dist. 69) noted several problems. First, the technology is relatively easy to defeat. The firing pin that imprints the microstamp on the shell casing could be defaced with a nail file or simply replaced. “This is really easy and can be done with a pair of pliers and a screw driver,” said O’Neill, “It’s almost as easy as switching out a light bulb and takes less than a minute.” This means that those interested in committing a crime can switch out the firing pins with blank ones or with firing pins imprinted with other microstamps. O’Neill also noted that smart criminals could just bring several guns to a crime scene and “scatter” a scene with different casings. All of these issues would cause complications in court if a prosecutor tried to use the microstamps as evidence.

“It is being presented as a ‘Magic Bullet’ that can help solve crimes,” said O’Neill, “Any reasonably competent attorney could use this to raise reasonable doubt… Far from helping to solve things, it could make things worse.” O’Neill noted that this legislation is “fraught with opportunities” to implicate others and confuse the evidence.

Cost was another issue raised by O’Neill. The bill does not exempt law enforcement officers. As a result, every state and local police officer in the state would have to be re-equipped with a compliant weapon. Currently, a new Glock semiautomatic pistol costs between $400 - $600. “It sounds great in theory… but it’s like so much else in the forensic science field: it has its limitations and to require this will be very expensive.”

O’Neill also pointed out that since Connecticut is a relatively small state, out of state criminals could easily circumvent the law. Additionally, since the law does not apply to revolvers, criminals could simply switch from pistols to revolvers and avoid the law all together.

A similar bill was raised last year and defeated based on the testimony against the effectiveness of the technology. O’Neill believes that SR353 will not fare that much better this year. “Just the fact that we would need to re-equip state police and municipal police,” said O’Neill, “Just the costs may be the death knell.”

Read more at Hamden Impact