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California planning gun microstamp database

© iStock - Josiah S
Ria Roebuck Joseph

(The Center Square) - July 1, 2022, California Penal Code section 31910 was revised. The change required semiautomatic pistols sold in California to have microstamping technology. A microstamp acts like a fingerprint in identifying ammunition cartridges and the gun from which it was fired. The firing pin imposes an identifying stamp on the round's primer as it’s discharged. 

The revision now only requires one microstamp in the interior of the handgun instead of two. Supporters hoped that this change in the penal code would encourage manufacturers to employ the technology in their firearm products.

Attorney General Rob Bonta, along with the California Department of Justice, is proposing an additional rule to bolster the use of microstamping. The new rule proposes that the unique microstamp of every handgun in California be kept as a record with the Department of Justice to identify firearms used in criminal activity.

A statement released by the California Department of Justice addressed to “Firearm manufacturers and Interested Parties,” invites comments on specific questions “in developing new regulations to achieve the law’s objectives in the most effective manner.”

The department does not ask whether the rule should be made but rather poses questions on procedure once it is implemented. They invite input on questions such as: 

  • Who is best suited to provide the microstamp to the DOJ?
  • When should the microstamp be provided to the DOJ?
  • How should the microstamp be provided to the DOJ?
  • If a microstamp part needs to be replaced, should the regulated replacement part have the same microstamp as the original?

The department will accept comments from interested parties until 5:00 p.m. February 1, 2023.