New Push for Microstamping; Proponents Claim Technology ‘Has Arrived’

A new report claims microstamping technology “has arrived” and is ready. All that’s needed is legislation to make it a requirement.

U.S.A.-( Proponents of microstamping—the process or stamping an “alpha-numeric code” onto the primer surface of cartridge case when hit by the firing pin—claim the technology “has arrived, but needs legislation to push it through,” according to a new report released this week by the anti-gun Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (EFSGV).

“The next step is to enact laws that would require microstamping to be incorporated in all new firearms after a certain date, a coalition spokesperson said during a webinar on the topic,” according to WCMH News in Columbus, Ohio, reporting on a webinar the group held this week to announce its report.

“They also want Congress to require that all semi-automatic pistols in the US are equipped with microstamps for their bullets,” the report stated.

“The report comes as U.S. gun homicides sharply increased in 2020, a troubling percentage of which go unsolved each year,” the gun control group said in a news release. “To maximize the potential of the technology, the EFSGV report recommends that state and federal lawmakers take action by requiring that new semi-automatic pistols come equipped with the invaluable technology.”

Just how this might play into Joe Biden’s gun control agenda isn’t known at this point.

But Larry Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, insisted the technology won’t “help solve gun crimes, identify gun trafficking networks and reduce gun violence” as proponents claim.

“There has never been a gun sold anywhere in the world incorporating this patented sole-source technology because it doesn’t work, it can’t work, it will never work,” Keane said via email.

He referred Ammoland News to an NSSF report on microstamping. Buried in that report is an estimate that microstamping would add more than $200 to the cost of a firearm.

On the other hand, the EFSGV quotes a letter from Orrin Gallop, assistant chief, commander of Investigative Services for the Hampton, Va., Police Division in which he contends, “A recovered microstamped shell casing would provide law enforcement immediately with the name of the first purchaser of the firearm. This allows for a more focused investigation, and the first step in the roadmap of how the weapon made its way from the first purchaser to the crime scene. This has the potential to help law enforcement quickly and effectively solve gun-related crimes while limiting negative interactions with law enforcement, especially in minority communities.”

And there is another problem gun control proponents don’t seem eager to address. Microstamping could only work if police recover empty shell casings at a crime scene, and to thwart this, all a criminal would have to do is use a revolver, which does not eject fired empty cases.

The new microstamping threat comes as no surprise to gun rights organizations. Coincidentally, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and Second Amendment Foundation, just launched an online effort they call Gun Rights Outreach to Defeat Gun Control Overreach.” Both groups are reaching out to gun owners, providing them with “intellectual ammunition” to defeat the gun prohibition lobby.

This new effort is now appearing on social media.

When the new microstamping report was announced, Ammoland News reached out to a spokesperson with a simple question: “How many crimes have been solved, with perpetrators arrested, prosecuted and convicted, thanks to microstamping?”

There has been no response so far, and Ammoland can find no reports or anecdotal evidence of a single crime that has been solved thanks to the technology.

Proponents have offered statements filled with promise and potential, but no evidence of results.

“Microstamping is a ready to implement technology that holds tremendous potential to address our current crises of rising gun violence and lack of trust in law enforcement due in part to unconscionably low clearance rates for gun crime investigations, especially in Black communities,” according to Josh Horwitz, Executive Director of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence. “Microstamping is a small technology that will lead to big changes — a reduction in gun violence, less gun trafficking, more trust in law enforcement, and more justice for victims and their families.”

Such rhetoric seems like boilerplate at best. Simply being able to establish that a fired cartridge case can identify the gun from which it came is only part of the process. There’s still no way to identify who fired the shot, and if the particular gun was stolen, then what?

Critics point to the situation in California, where legislation signed last year by anti-gun Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom requires new handguns sold in the state to have microstamping.

Writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, Ari Riser, a policy analyst for the anti-gun Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV), insisted the firearms industry must accept the technology while offering no evidence that it will solve or prevent crimes, or reduce so-called “gun violence.”

Conversely, writing in the Lost Angeles Times nearly three years ago, Republican State Assemblyman Matthew Harper recalled that the microstamping issue has prevented gun manufacturers from introducing any new handgun models in the state since 2013. At that time, he noted, “It won’t get illegal guns off the street but will only drive up the cost of handguns made before 2013, making them unaffordable to Californians on a budget who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

According to one CSVG report, a test conducted in May 2007 “demonstrated the endurance and durability of the technology. During that test, (researchers) fired over 2,500 rounds from a microstamped Smith and Wesson .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun using five different brands of ammunition. Microstamped markings from the firing pin were transferred successfully 97% of the time using both Optical Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy. Additionally, breech face markings transferred to cartridge casings 96% of the time.

“These tests demonstrate the viability of microstamping under even the most extreme conditions,” CSGV said, “but very rarely are handguns fired thousands of times before being used in crimes.”

On the other hand, a report from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation noted, “Two separate research studies have concluded that this technology is ‘unreliable. Research experts from the University of California, Davis, at the behest of the California State Legislature, found microstamping to be ‘flawed’ and concluded that ‘at the current time it is not recommended that a mandate for implementation of this technology in all semi-automatic handguns in the state of California be made.’”

Researchers at UC Davis reported, “the codes on the face of the pin can easily be removed with household tools.”


About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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Bad guys would never file the firing pin to take the microstamp off. Come to think of it … bad guys would just toss the gun in a lake so the inspectors could hassle the original owner who will inform them that the gun was stolen and then produce a police report from when it happened. Now what? It is a foolish requirement.


Micro stamping will lead you to the last lawful owner but not to the shooter. That is the case now with the vast majority of guns used in crimes being stolen. The theory is dead on arrival. The intent is simply to make handguns too expensive for the majority of citizens to afford. Jim Crow lives.


You are spot on. Proof is in the new laws they are trying to make requiring fees on standard capacity magazines and all of your AR rifles including the ones that are home made that don’t require registration, YET!


Most all guns have serial # any way. The agenda of demorats will never change till we the people get off our hind ends and take care of this tyranny gov.


Bad guys wouldn’t even need to toss the gun. No way can it be traced to them. The trail wil lead to the FIRST purchaser, who may or may not have been the one from whom the gun was stolen. Could be sold multiple times. The current system”suffers” from that “problem”. Not all states maintain firearms registries, thus the “trail” can be broken when sold, even through an FFL. fist purchaser is in one FFL’s Bound Book, next one will be in another FFL’s bound book, no connexion betwixt the two. One trail doesnot necessarily lead to the next.. or… Read more »


I think the extra $200 bucks to a semi auto would probably increase revolver sales.

WI Patriot

Love my wheelguns…


Don’t think revolvers will be exempt, everything will require it.


True, but those who employ revolvers for their nefarious activities will know they won’t be leaving any implicating evidence behind.

WI Patriot

This is entirely too ridiculous…there are in excess of 500mil guns already out there, and they’re not going to just disappear or go away…
This is the equivalent to placing a band-aid on the side of the Titanic, and expecting it not to sink…


Well, if it’s a DISNEY band-aid, it might work! As any grandchild… or DemocRat.


This would work only until someone invents the metal file.


I love your answer the most so far.


whetstone works far better. But the point carries.


What if one breaks a firing pin, and needs a new one? Return to factory, new background check, the list goes on. The left just wants to make criminals of us all.


Not all, only those pesky republican terrorists. Diane Finstine will keep hers.


Can I get mine with a Happy Face stamped on it?

Boris Badenov

I want mine with a middle finger and RECALL NUSIANCE…too much??


“… too much?” Nope!


nope. Just right. Goldilocks style.


How ridiculous, just file the face of the firing pin or buy a new one.


Or fill it in with liquid metal or solder or some such………………..


Send you child to school with the original and have him make a new one in machine shop.

John Dow

Just because the police find a microstamped shell, there’s no surety it will help.
“A recovered microstamped shell casing would provide law enforcement immediately with the name of the first purchaser of the firearm” – nope, still have to do the full tracing as if they had the gun – maker – distributor – retailer – customer.

Did the fired case databases in NY and NJ ever help solve one single crime?

Will one have to register their replacement firing pins?

It’s not about crimes (other than making good people into criminals), it’s about control


Yeah, just like Hitler coming for your guns. They will make a list of who owns them one way or another. Then come and get them as soon as this pResident passes his own laws. No congress needed.


Just another gun registration scheme. A really dumb one. Sandpaper or replacement firing pins defeat this. Solves nothing. What will they do, send
cops out to check everyone’s firing pins? The dimms are trying to ban all semiautomatics anyway, so does this mean that they will stop that push if we allow this idiotic idea to become law? Yeah right.


Microstamping will be just as effective as the fired casing database they enacted in Maryland years ago. After several years and millions of dollars spent zero crimes were solved.


I believe Illinois tried that, too. EVERY new firearm sold in the state had to be submitted to LE to have a test fired casing captured and entered into the gun registration file. Millions down the drain long delays for OWNERS to have possession of their arms, and not one crime solved. They would not even accept the casing included with new guns as a test fired one, because they did not trust the manufacturers to keep track of which one was fired from THAT gun. Nannies gonna nannie, WE pay the bill, and its guaranteed “employment” for some overpaid… Read more »


Nope, not Illinois, we have the FOID instead.


For the Progressive New Left facts and evidence don’t matter. What matters is this. Any means by which they can erode the ability of a free people to be free is the path forward. That is why they unwittingly adopt Jim Crow tactics and techniques to erode all of our natural rights. A people not totally dependent upon and fearful of government may actually want to self govern. Leftists cannot have that. Only they possess the map to utopia. Only they are the people we have been waiting for. Follow their Pied Piper to utopia. Just step over those bodies… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by nrringlee

Nor will I comply!


This falls under the description of a “red Herring.”


Or the description of “dumbsh!t ideas,” which should be on about page 913 of Webster’s Dictionary… alongside the photo of DemocRat Party Headquarters.

Last edited 1 year ago by JoeUSooner
Ryben Flynn

I have a large assortment of files and can make a new firing pin from a nail.


The CRBs don’t care how much more firearms will cost, look what they did with cigarettes. They priced them out of reach of most people, and they will try to do the same with guns, ammo and anything related to firearms.


With in 15 min to remove the firing pin Install it in an electric drill & with very fine sandpaper the imprint will be removed. You have to be careful you don’t remove too much metal or the firing pin will be too short!
There problem solved.


It would only serve to increase the demand for older stolen weapons to use in crimes.


Do these idiots know just how stupid this is? All you need to defeat this is an extra firing pin. Still have the marks from the breach though. You can also always pick up your brass or shoot a revolver and take it with you. Like I said, stupid. On second thought maybe not, if the intent is only to drive up costs where only the wealthy can afford to buy them, and it has nothing to do with solving crime. HUMMM!!!


Its so government criminals (like that Lee in California) can copy your microstamped firing pin and frame your ass for crimes they had someone else commit.

Lil Birt

You got it! You’d need a REALLY convincing “expert” to explain how it “proves” that your gun was fired at the sight where the brass was found. Any halfassed ambulance chaser SHOULD be able to argue that. But you’re still not getting any of your guns back unless you outbid some sheriff at the biannual police auction. But, I digress.

Lil Birt

This follows from all the success they’ve had with tagging fertilizer to reduce terrorism. Soon they’ll have to start microstamping hammer heads.

Western Montana

If I understand this legislation the microstamping would be accomplished via the firing pin.
How do they get all of the millions of semi auto guns (approximately 250M) existing to comply? The people who use the firearm illegally would now be black-marketing firing pins and barrel’s.


Two things to think about…if the want to know instantly who the first owner of the micro stamp gun is, the would have to do a gun registration first.

Second, with no new guns added to the California gun list since 2013, an entire state is missing out on all of the safety improvements made in the firearms industry in the last 8 years…that is deplorable. Imagine if the same were true of the automobile industry…no lane assist, backup cameras would be rare, etc.


if the same were true of the automobile industry…no lane assist, backup cameras would be rare, etc.

this would be considered a feature as opposed to a bug by many.

I”ve had to test drive, as part of the repair process, some of these ridiculous ideas. IF I had them on a car I HAD to drive regularly I’d figure out how to disable them. Can’t swerve to miss an obstacle in the roadway without first turning on the turn signal? Insane. Brakes apply when I did not move y foot? Even worse.


I do agree on your point, I have a backup camera on my truck and it make hooking up to my camper easier, but I use my mirrors for backing up. I cringe at the thought of how many drivers will become dependent upon these “safety” features and then have the need to drive a car that does not have them available.

My point on firearms, however, was that advances have been made in the firearms industry that have been withheld from the citizens of California.


Call it what you want but all this computer crap is what got this last election stolen from Donald Trump. Tech isn’t always a good thing and if most people would take that cell phone out of their ear the car wouldn’t have to drive itself or back up or go forward. That’s the drivers job anyway. Sorry i’m not answering according to this article here. My apology.


In their own press release the proponents of this onerous requirement state the weak link ‘if the expended brass is recovered’. Even the crooks will figure out they either need to catch the brass or simply pick it up. Meanwhile, Law Abiding Citizens will have to bear the brunt of the costs………………..and we ain’t the problem.


The objective is to increase the cost so much that your ordinary joe cannot afford or would not spend their Childs clothes and food allowance for one year to buy a gun. Movie stars, politicians judges etc. will make sure and give themselves a gun allowance voted in by the legislature. Oh and what do you want to bet that law enforcement wont be required to have a micro stamp because that could easily identify them and make it confusing as to which time the shot someone at the same spot on different days if they miss a casing and… Read more »


Or collect brass at the range and drop them at the crime scene.


Let me correct that for you.

“Or collect brass at the POLICE range and drop them at the crime scene.”

Last edited 1 year ago by RoyD

EXCELLENT idea!!!!


The OTHER “weak-link” is the inevitable rise of after-market firing pins, that any manufacturer (not just gun or ammo manufacturers!) can literally flood across the nation… hell, anyone with a $150 mini-lathe on his garage workbench can turn out hundreds of generic firing pins! (Wow, there is a fledgling business-startup opportunity! Even if it must advertise only on the Black Market…) Oops. That should have read, his/her workbench… how utterly uncouth and socially-unacceptable of me! I must retire to my “safe place” and hug my teddy bear until my grandchildren bring me a picture of unicorns and rainbows. [For you… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by JoeUSooner

There IS another trick to pull by thoseof nefarious intent: As you leave the bank you just bumped, scatter a handful of mixed brass recovered from the range. Different calibers, different brands, different markings, or none. NOW the coppers can gather it all up, but have no clue which were fired in the process of that “event”. Brass bags tied to the side of the weapon are often employed at ranges for reloader types to capture their casings for reuse. They’d work to prevent casings from being left behind. Or, catch mine, then scatter the mixed bag from the rangs… Read more »


Leave it to “necessity is the mother of invention.” Some enterprising individuals will design brass catchers for pistols (or maybe they already exist). What’s to stop them? As long as gun grabbers continue to focus on physical guns, instead of punishing perpetrators of gun crimes, this kind of stupidity will continue.


unconscionably low clearance rates for gun crime investigations, especially in Black communities…”

Yeah, uh huh. “Provid[ing] law enforcement immediately with the name of the first purchaser of the firearm” is going to do f*-all to solve THAT.

Gene Ralno

Springfield XD series and the newer Hellcat demonstrate a problem. They carry a stern warning that dry firing will damage the firing pin and recommend the use of snap caps. The factory will replace it free but owners must mail the firearm to the factory. I wonder if originators of this absurd notion considered the reliability of duplicating the stamp on replacements at the factory or especially by a gunsmith. Overarching this dumb measure is the fact that this is a colossal infringement. Consequently, any Supreme Court that follows the Constitution would reverse the law without much debate.


This is a typical example of why idiots who know nothing about firearms should not be allowed to enact firearms legislation. As a former forensic technician I can tell you that every firing pin already has a telltale mark specific to the gun that uses it. Firing pins are just like fingerprints, every one leaves a microscopic signature unique to that particular firing pin. It has always been that way and has been used in tens of thousands of cases over the last 60+ years by law enforcement to identify a specific gun used in a crime. The bill is… Read more »


Give them a little credit. They are smarter than you think, they just lie about intent. Do not underestimate these folks. Sounding stupid is a great cover and keeps everyone talking about the wrong things.


i don’t know wolfie. either stupid or evil. i say a bunch of both.


stupidity is redundant isn’t it?


Big Brother: “You will implement micro-stamping technology.”

Firearm Industry: “No, I won’t.”

Big Brother: “But you HAVE to, It’s THE LAW.”

Firearm Industry: “‘Doesn’t matter. I don’t wanna.”

SCOTUS to Big Brother: “You can’t do that.”

Big Brother: “‘Doesn’t matter. I’m gonna do it ANYWAY.”


Yeah Right. Looks like this Resident of the oval office will just pass any law with his executive orders. How many are we up to now?>12345678-36—50and counting______

Idaho Bob

The communist left told the police to stand down more often than not, they defunded the blue and in general disparaged LEO’s everywhere. Than, they encouraged rioting, looting and the forceful takeover of democrat controlled cities and blamed Trump. Meanwhile, the problem that the communist left created caused new murder records to be set in democrat controlled areas throughout the USA. Now that they have created the problem they want to step in and fix the problem. They want to do that by vilifying legal, lawful and compliant gun owners. All I can say at this point is, GO TO… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Idaho Bob

A politician with a law never stops a bad guy with a gun. He only controls the good guys, which is his true agenda. The bad guy with a gun…..or the mentally deficient guy with a gun……or the terribly distraught family member of a gun shooting victim…….or the Feelz-Gooder Social Do-Gooder….. or the the “hair-on-fire, we’re-all-gonna-die” contingent……are the politician’s easily manipulated Useful Idiot Tools to achieve his power and control agenda. The new agenda for humanity requires that no one will have the capacity to fight back. It has been said: “Our Task of creating a Socialist America can only… Read more »


AMEN – Tyrannical politicians are like that ya know. Hitler knew it and so does ever commy bastard that ever had a thought of taking over a country. Look at the Capitol today. Have you ever in your life ever seen anything like that. Only in a communist country have I ever seen it. But i’m only 68 so maybe sometime before I was born did they ever did that around here. Look up the story: The Thirty Tyrants: The deal that the American Elite Chose to Make with China. Author Lee Smith. It’s a long story but oh so… Read more »


I don’t believe they have any intentions of fixing anything. I do believe that they are hell bent on knowing the identity of anyone that owns a gun. There has never been a Tyrant that didn’t want to know who he needed to disarm. Why do you think they want to do away with HISTORY in our Schools. Why do you think the first amendment was put there in the first place?




Let’s find out what micro stamp number is on Diane Finestien’s pistol and then manufacture firing pins with that number on it for the masses.
LOL. That will keep them busy. Will the real Diane Finestien that fired this pistol please stand up?


The morons in Ca use micro stamping as a reason to create a gun restrictive roster, thus eliminating all future handguns for sale unless they have that feature. How many are on roster? Zero to my knowledge.

Lil Birt

DON’T LOSE YOUR BRASS!! Maybe I’m just paranoid, but it seems like your discarded brass ending up in the wrong place could lead to cops kicking your door in, seizing your guns, your car, your house, and any other assets possibly related to their investigation, while you sit in jail waiting for the results of any further ballistic testing. That is, if they deem it necessary. But why whould they, after all, they already have “evidence” supporting their position that your gun, seized from your home, was fired at the scene of some crime. If you do get cleared, you… Read more »


I would immediately change out the firing pin and the issue is gone. Old firing pin destroyed.


Agreed but they will somehow find a way to charge you for doing that also. Seems this commy pResident makes up his own rules and they all see it as their way or the Highway. Will we ever get rid of the dimwits?

Lil Birt

Yeah, they love to invent intent. They say “The only person who would change the firing pin is a criminal using the gun in crimes”. I’m not criminal, but it seems to me that, if I was going to use a gun a gun in a crime, I would steal one or use an old, cheap gun and then get rid of it. I don’t think I would buy a brand new gun to do stickups or to shot somebody. I can see where some hothead with a new gun may shoot someone, but that’s not the kind of thing… Read more »


What good is the stamp if the gun is sold to a new owner or to a gun or pawn shop? No way to trace it unless they will require a spend case to be filed with LEO.


Have you ever purchased a weapon, and they put a casing in with the gun?
Supposedly to show the weapon has been test fired. Draw your own conclusions.


I still have that envelope and cases for one of my pistols.
This is what is printed on the side of the envelope:

GLOCK,Inc. 6000Highlands Parkway, Smyrna, GA 30082
GLOCK semi-automatic pistol with hexagonal rifling

Caliber: 9mm Model: G19 Serial# KHPXXX

Date Collected: Sep06/2006
Technician: Chris Reese -His signature-

(Inside the envelope are two CCI aluminum 9mm fired cases.)
I purchased this gun less than one month after the date listed.


I have only purchased a couple of handguns over the years that had those sealed envelopes with fired cases in them. The envelope was ripped open, the shells removed, crushed with a hammer, and tossed in the trash.


Those casings are not stored with purchaser data.




VA and MD have mass quantities of spent brass from new firearms for their failed cataloging system, just like Canada.

VCDL President

Virginia never had such a system. Maryland did and I can’t remember the other one


New Jersey? (I think)


Felons often obscure or remove the s/n on handguns, just polish the microstamp off the firing pin.


Great idea but let’s take it a step further. We should write to these politicians and suggest that they push for more open bolt guns….really gets a good hard primer hit if it’s a big old steel bolt in an open bolt subgun, that’ll ensure it’s a nice good stamp!

grim reaper

I think any system whether it be microstamping, smart guns, etc need to be put through the same vexing a new vaccine goes through before it it enacted. It need to be tested for a time, immense data collected and show that it is effective and safe before being sprung on the public


Or, not make any laws requiring it and let the market determine if has value.

Get Out

IMOA microstamping is another gun control scheme to get a registration list of firearms and drive up the cost, who owns what weapon type, caliber and where they’re to be kept. Technology only works for semi-auto weapons that’ll eject a spent shell casing. Should a non-microstamped firing pin be changed out in a semi-auto the technology will be defeated.


No need for all that. A couple of swipes with a bastard file and hit it with a polish wheel and compound and ya got nice a smooth and shiny clean surface

Dave in Fairfax


Use your whetstone. a bastard file might remove too much metal too quickly.


[A recovered microstamped shell casing would provide law enforcement immediately with the name of the first purchaser of the firearm.] How do you let a comment like this go unchallenged? There is no immediate tracking of the first purchaser. The FBI/ATF would need to contact the manufacturer, then the distributor, then the dealer who will have to hand sort the Form 4473s to find the appropriate one with the name of the purchaser. That can take a few days to weeks. Even if the dealer or distributor went out of business and the 4473 are in federal storage, they still… Read more »


Easy. You create a list of all firearms as they’re sold. Infringement, anyone?


AMEN to that Pal.


That’s why they are pushing for Universal Background Checks and registration. Then they will have a firearms record of the honest folks, but not the criminals. Then add mandatory smart guns that can only be fired by the owner, and viola, you have it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Bozz