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Last year, Rep. Anthony Brown, [D-Maryland] filed HR 719, the MICRO Act. In typically brilliant legislative fashion, MICRO stands for “Making Identifiable Criminal Rounds Obvious.”

I didn’t pay it too much attention to the MICRO Act, thinking it just another microcephalic microstamping requirement which I didn’t expect to go anywhere. Microstamping, after all, is a hairbrained idea that has never worked and isn’t really meant to reduce crime anyway.

I was half right. It hasn’t moved since it was introduced nearly a year and a half ago. But I ran across a reference to the bill recently, and decided to look at it again in more detail. It starts out pretty much as you’d expect.

“(B) For purposes of subparagraph (A), a pistol is capable of microstamping ammunition if—

“(i) a microscopic array of characters that identify the make, model, and serial number of the pistol is etched into the breech face and firing pin of the pistol….

So far, so…bad. The requirement that the coding information must be etched — not raised. That would make the unique information less likely to imprint on the cartridge. But the next line is where it gets really weird.

“(ii) when ammunition is fired from the pistol, the characters are copied from the breech face and firing pin onto the cartridge case of the ammunition.

Both the breech face and firing pin must imprint the case. Not the case and primer. The firing pin must somehow be made to strike the case. I’m not quite sure what to make of that.

  • Is this just the latest example of ignorant bill drafters not knowing how firearms and ammunition work in the real world?
  • Is this some clever scheme to make all future semi-automatic handguns rimfire, in the belief that .22s will be less lethal?
  • Or is it part another cunning plan to render current ammunition obsolete, supposedly turning existing handguns into paperweights?

Maybe some of all of the above? What’s your take?

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  1. So…criminals will want more revolvers…and higher capacity ones…so they can keep better track of their cases.
    Or they will replace or modify the firing pin to eliminate the stamp.
    Illegal you say? Hmmm…when has that ever stopped criminals.

    • Right on. That’s why they are called “criminals”. They don’t hesitate to break the law and this microstamping crap is not going to make them change their methods of operation

      • Don’t be ridiculous. Why would criminals care if the gun they stole from you leads the cops straight to you when they kill someone? In fact, why would YOU care, it is not evidence that you fired the gun, or were even in the state at the time. The entire attempt is to make firearms so expensive no one can afford one.

  2. Can we develop larger rimfire rounds?
    Sounds like a challenge to me.
    Oh…and a BIG market for brass-catchers, too.
    And guns like the KelTec RDB and RFB.
    Will home made guns require this?
    What about existing guns? When repairs are needed…have to put in a microstamping firing pin/hammer?

    • In the 1800s, rimfire cartridges in the .40 range were available. So it is not impossible. The Swedes even used a rimfire rifle cartridge in their Remington Rolling Block rifles.

      • You got me curious so I looked it up. The .56-56 Spencer is the largest rimfire cartridge to have ever been produced in any volume. Evidently commercial production still existed within the last century.

        Some experimental rifles and even Gatling guns used larger rimfire cartridges, with one known 1″ bore model of the latter being rimfire, but since those rounds were basically handmade by the gunsmiths that made the guns, I don’t think it counts. But yes, rimfire can be as big as you want it to be, depending on how fast you need your primer to be and how unstable you’re willing to make your ammo in pursuit of that. Adaptations for barrel lengths and powders designed for percussion cap priming? No problem at any halfway practical small arm size. That stuff they put in .22LR “mini-mags” and the like? I hope you’re bringing a ridiculously strong firing pin and hammer to the party, or else don’t mind your rim being thin enough that things other than firing pins might set off your highly energetic primer.

        • The trouble with rimfire cartridges is that if you want to be able to crush the rim with the firing pin, it has to be relatively thin. That means it will not support high pressures of modern cartridges. The old time rimfires, even though large, shot black powder at much lower pressures.

    • “Can we develop larger rimfire rounds?”

      Been done, 100 years ago.

      The Russian mil. surplus Mosin Nagant fires the 7.62×54mmR round, the “R” stands for ‘rimmed’. Photo here :×54mmR

      It has an earned reputation of being hard-hitting and having lots of recoil…

      • Rimfire cartridge, not rimmed cartridge. Rimfire cartridges like .22 LR, .22 WMR- ones that have the primer on the inside edge of the case, and where the case is dented by the firing pin.

        • In Days of Yore, the US Government produced .58 Rimfire cartridges as a short-term standard issue for the 1865 Allin Springfield. .56-56 rimfire rounds for Spencers were Government standard issue throughout the Civil War and on through the early 1870s. There was even a one-off 1″ Gatling rimfire cartridge. In between, there were bunches of .41, .42, .44, .46, and .50 rimfires.

          I expect that you could ‘print’ the name, SSN, driver’s license, and home address of the owner on the base of a .58 Rimfire cartridge, and maybe an Email address as well.

      • Indeed, it may be rimmed, but it is centerfire.

        “It (7.62x54mmR) is also one of the few (along with the .22 Hornet, .30-30 Winchester, and .303 British) bottlenecked, rimmed centerfire rifle cartridges still in common use today.”

    • Along with brass catchers, don’t forget to pick up a few hundred assorted empties of similar calibers to yours on your next trip to the range. Doesn’t have to be the same caliber, just similar, like .38, .357, 9 mm, .380, etc. After policing your own brass as best you can, toss hundreds of cases all over the area, then pick up a jumbo popcorn on the way home. By the time you can get the TV on, the talking heads will be screaming that such and such legislative assembly (or whatever) was attacked by hundreds of armed terrorists, but don’t worry, thousands of federal agents are on the way to arrest them all. Complete with video of a scene where a few hundred of those little evidence flags are scattered all over. They’ll be chasing their tails for weeks, resulting in zero.

  3. Why are these supposed representatives postulating regulations of something that “Shall Not Be Infringed” by the federal government, perhaps it’s beyond time to look into the penalty for elected representatives violating their oath.

    • As if. If only there was. They can be voted out, in theory. But a true law to remove them for breaking their oath, dereliction of duty etc. ? We can only dream.

  4. Welcome to California everybody. You can run from California, but it will find you.

    • Bingo. Nothing new here, move along now. This bill is copied from the California law, which was passed and signed by The Gubernator on the alleged basis it would help solve crime. Little did the Gubernator know that it was gun control in disguise.
      The law was subject to a provision that the technology to do the imprint was “readily available.” In May 2012, then California Attorney General and later SWenator and Presidential Candidate (and possibly Vice Presidential nominee) Kamala Harris, on the basis of experimental technology that could leave an imprint on the primer (and notwithstanding the language that the imprint had to be in TWO places on the CASE, not the primer) certified that the technology is generally available. Which it isn’t but when did such a detail make any difference to a dyed-in-the-wool gun banner?
      Anyway, the law also provided that once that tech was generally available, no semiautomatic pistol cold be added to the California Roster of Not Unsafe Firearms unless it incorporated microstamping technology. Which no gun on the market does. As a result, no new semiautomatic pistol has been added to the Roster since May 2013. Those already on the Roster may continue to be sold. However, if a manufacturer makes any “material” change in the manufacture of a listed firearm, that firearm must be comly with the new Roster requirements. For Ruger, he change from a forged piece to a MIM piece caused one of their guns to be banned. For Colt, which had invested heavily in CNC machinery for its 1911s, it resulted in the ban of all new Colt pistols.
      Fortunately, the gun manufacturers have enough sway–for the time being–to keep this bill from becoming law. But if it does, and if it comes with a requirement that all new models must incorporate this non-existing technology, then there will be no new model semiauto pistols on the US market.

      Not that you can do much about it but vote, but you have been warned. IF the Dems get both houses and the presidency, this will likely become law.

    • That’s an easy fix, legislatively.

      Mandate that revolvers ALSO ‘microstamp’ primers, and then mandate that they all be equipped with ‘auto-ejectors.’ The technology’s been around for THAT for well over a hundred years.

      When it comes to idiocy in Government and bureaucrats, never underestimate their powers of stupidity. If they can legislate your light-bulbs and how much water your toilet uses to flush, there is no END to what they can do to you.

      • Yeah, the fact that a law dictates all revolvers weigh a minimum of 10 lbs wouldn’t bother these people at all, nor a cost minimum of $2000 or so.

  5. My take on it: look to see if the company that makes the microstamping machines contributed significantly to his campaign

    Cite the UC Davis study that says microstamping is useless… that’s right, even the CA Assembly’s pet anti-gun scientists at UC Davis said its useless…

    • There is no such company. There is an experimental technology for which the inventor allowed the patent to expire, thus making it “readily available” on the market.

  6. There is no technology that will make this crazy idea practical. But if there were it would rapidly be matched by a criminal market in gun parts that do not micro stamp or that use stolen and forged micro stamps.

    • “But if there were it would rapidly be matched by a criminal market in gun parts that do not micro stamp or that use stolen and forged micro stamps.”

      If average-Joe citizen is found in possession of a weapon lacking the markings of when it was manufactured with them, it will be treated the same as a gun that had the serial number filed or ground off.

      Instant felony, instant loss of all future gun rights.

      The point of the law isn’t for crime-solving, it’s gun registration.

      The only reason the government makes a list is so that items can be crossed off of it in the future…

      • Precisely.

        Our legislative adversaries may be insane, but they’re not crazy. If you can think of a ‘workaround’ to some arcane legislative rule, they can think of a ‘fix’ for it.

        Like ‘bumpstocks.’ Somebody comes up with a ‘workaround’ to mimic full-auto fire from a semi-auto, and pretty quickly a Pubic Servant (sic) sees it, gasps in horror, and makes it illegal, thus saving countless babies, minorities, and puppies. If one comes up with an ‘arm brace’ that looks suspiciously like a collapsible stock with an arm strap underneath, and also can ‘accidentally’ be used as a shoulder stock even though it’s an ‘arm brace,’ a legislator will figure out pretty quickly that if it CAN be used as a ‘shoulder stock,’ it’s a ‘shoulder stock’ with a strap.

        They are not stupid. They are evil, and they are clever. And they will never rest.

      • Do you really believe someone ready to commit murder or any other criminal acts gives two $h!ts if the firearm they’re going to use is going to make them an instant felon

        • I don’t, and YOU don’t, and neither does any rational adult human being. . . but your LEGISLATORS do.

          It’s called ‘Magical Thinking.’ They believe that if they make something illegal,’ then, magically, no one will ever DO the thing that they made illegal because, well, it’s ILLEGAL!

          Magical Thinking is what mandates ‘gun-free zones’ in schools and other public places. It’s why there are ‘high-capacity magazine bans.’ It is also why that using a gun to murder someone is not illegal only because it’s a murder, but because a gun was used. Thus, we have ‘gun violence’ and then every other kind, also because being shot and killed hurts more, and makes one more dead, than the other kinds.

  7. People who have no idea how guns work decide to make laws on their function and use. Seems like there should be a class on introductory awareness of whatever the issue are so they have a basic knowledge before they ever get to voice their opinions on before actually committing to creating laws on. For example a myriad of reporters always report on subjects they have zero experience or knowledge on which makes them look idiotically stupid.

    • Lawmakers are ignorant of not just how guns work, but also how viruses and masks work, how the internet works, how automobiles work, and how our economy works. Basically, they are marionettes on a string, pulled by whatever group with the most cash can direct them. Sometimes, like now, that works in We The People’s favor.

      • You got it!!!!! And this is the CRAP THAT NEEDS TO STOP…..
        Just because you have a sickness called hoarding of money shouldn’t mean you make the decisions for everyone else….
        There are ways to keep these people out of government positions, but Americans need to actually DO IT!

      • We rarely elect experts in the things they make laws on. Most are lawyers. Many are ignorant loud mouths. All have contempt for us

        • Too many politicians weren’t satisfied with a position on their HOA board. They are Karens with power.

  8. So this is supposed to make a person afraid to commit a crime with a pistol because the empties will lead investigators straight to the criminal who purchased the gun legally.

    So many holes in that plan.

    • No, it makes perfect sense. You see, after 1968, when serial numbers on firearms were mandated, violent crime with firearms plummeted because of the near certainty of getting caught. Nowadays, one rarely hears of someone getting shot, or even threatened, with a firearm, because they all have registered serial numbers that allow law enforcement to INSTANTLY track the gun to its owner, whether or not it’s been sold, lost, or stolen, or if somebody else used it, thus quickly solving virtually every ‘gun crime’ almost before it happens.

      I’ve watched ‘Law and Order,’ and every version of ‘CSI,’ not to mention ‘NCIS’ in all of its permutations, and I KNOW how it works.


  9. Sorry, but I’m still stuck on “Criminal Rounds”. How are they different than “Law-Abiding Rounds”, and where can I buy some? Does Hornady make them? Reason I ask is that Hornady makes ammo specifically designed and marketed for LE/Military (Critical Duty).

  10. Simple solution to the problem. Make the firing pin one quarter or one half inch in diameter so there will be room to have all the information they want. Then, make the cartridge (and projectile) large enough to be imprinted by the firing pin….how about a MaDuce 50 cal? pistol.

    Shouldn’t weigh more than ten or twelve pounds.

  11. Passing laws that don’t actually work nor can be accomplished is pretty much the norm anyway. The voters keep voting for the laws and the idiots making them though.
    But of course it’ll be law enforcements fault later.

  12. Cost of a 10-piece file set: $12.97
    Damage to our second amendment freedom due to misguided unconstitutional legislation: Incalculable.

    • ‘Possession of File Set With Intent to Modify, Alter, or Destroy Firearm Identification Device: 10 years in prison, $250,000 fine, loss of 2nd Amendment rights for life.”

      “Willfully Altering or Replacing Firearm Component to Alter, Modify, Bypass, or Destroy Firearm Identification Device: 10 years in prison, $250,000 fine, loss of 2nd Amendment rights for life.”

      Don’t think that it can’t happen. “Show me the man, I’ll show you the crime.’

  13. Firing pins don’t strike the primer hard enough to transfer an embossed or debossed marking. A firing pin that would hit hard enough would also rupture the primer. However, this bill is irrelevant to the hundreds of millions of fire arms already in private ownership. No, I won’t replace my firing pin with a complaint one.

    • You don’t have enough legislative imagination.

      “After X date, all handgun primers will be made of sufficiently soft material so as to accept, without distortion, the required identification information stamping.”

      “Possession of handgun ammunition that will not accept and retain microstamping is unlawful.”

      “Any firearm that has been modified from its original condition so as to alter, modify, destroy, or bypass a fitted microstamp firing pin is unlawful. Possession of same is a felony punishable by [fill in the blank, at least as rigorous as modifying or obliterating a firearm serial number}.”

      If I can think of it, so can they.

      • That’s when we give them the ammo they banned. One round at a time, until we run out of traitors to give it to.

      • Easy way around all that would be to simply purchase your primers (or loaded ammo) already embossed, or whatever, and all the same! Problem solved!

      • If you are deluding yourself that is in any way real, please explain how the process changes the color of the primer and case.

  14. It’s obviously written by someone who knows nothing of firearm terminology…
    But with your help, they’ll get it all straightened out…

  15. It’s not a conspiracy to make .22s mandatory, it’s just another “shoulder thing that goes up,” another example of how 95% of antis don’t have a solitary fuc|<!ng clue about the topic at hand.

  16. Too much attention given to the wrong thing and not enough given to the right thing.

  17. I’m a fan of both/and in most situations. This is both stupid and diabolical.

    The people who wrote this bill are pig-ignorant fools, reveling in their own idiocy. And the diabolical intent, as with all “progressive” legislation, is to replace the law, bit by bit, with a fully empowered legion of pecksniffs.

    • Two points to Gryffindor for use of the word ‘pecksniff.’ It’s also an adjective: ‘Pecksniffian.’

      Well done.

  18. If microstamping and chipping things is so effective, how come most people still don’t get their lost dog back?

  19. I might have to invent some sort of ejected case catch device that fits all weapons and catches those pesky shell casings left behind. The commercial would go something like this:

    Are you tired of of your gat leaving behind casings for the cops to find after you popped off a few rounds? OH NO! Don’t get caught again, INTRODUCING CASE CATCH! Case Catch fastens onto any semi-auto handgun and catches the ejected casing. Simply apply the self-adhesion sticky tape and let the catch basket hang loose and your legal troubles are over! Case Catch comes with two sets of skin toned hear protectors, light and dark. Case Catch is not sold in stores. Call or click today at Case Catch sells for $19.95 but wait, order in the next seven minutes and we’ll double your order, just pay separate handling and processing. Order NOW.

  20. As people realize the laws passed by legislators are ill advised (stupid) or cannot be complied with, they start to IGNORE All LAWS that inconvenience them.

    This is a slippery slope as a society ( rioters, BLM, monuments to anyone excepted, of course).

    Society is falling apart and our “leaders” dawdle.

    Tool up.

  21. Just remember that the primary purpose of this to not reduce crime but rather to punish gun owners and make it harder to exerciser our rights.

    They’re just rat bastard mother fuckers.

    • Doesky2:
      There is a modicum of truth in what you say. Now tell us what you REALLY think.

    • No anti-gun law ever written was to prevent criminal acts with a firearm. Anti-gun laws are written to inhibit criminalize and punish honest Americans who have committed no/nor are inclined to commit any crime. No law ever written has ever prevented a single rape robbery or murder but rather only outlines the punishment after the fact…

  22. What’s especially scary is that Anthony Brown (who campaigned to be the Maryland Governor) has military experience and should have a working knowledge as to the mechanical characteristics of Firearms. I suppose that his distain for armed civilians is such that he doesn’t care.

    • Just because someone is in the police or military does not necessarily make them an expert on the mechanics and usage of firearms.

      Just as much as the tyre changer in a racing team is an expert driver.

      • There are plenty of people in the military who have never held a firearm. Although that is a good reason not to elect them to any office.

  23. Face it, they saw Judge Dred and intend to have the same technology. But they can’t so they think they can get something nearly as good.

    By the way I’m no mathematician but they might not have enough characters for the amount of guns they intend to track. Not to mention the billion guns already out there without this marvelous trick.

    • Well, the Law Giver was only for judges and was strictly forbidden when it came to civilian use. I’m not sure how much that gun would cost to produce but I can guaranty it would be out of the scope of all but the highest of high end criminals. It would have to be stolen. But then it would take your arm off if you tried.

  24. Doesn’t the ability that microstamping provides already exist for law enforcement? Most new pistols come with an empty shell casing from test firing. Supposedly this is to provide the casing when the pistol is registered in states that require it. How much of a leap is it to force every casing to be imaged and then search the images like fingerprints are currently done thru AFIS? The tech already seems to exist without microstamping.

      • So did New York, probably a couple of others. All closed down when the techies responsible for testifying at trial were torn to shreds on cross-examination because there was no reliable way to make an identification. Stnadard manufacturing techniques made guns too similar. The only reliable identification exists when there is a defect in the gun through use or breakage, i.e., odd extractor marks.

        • There are plenty of tool marks on cases and bullets. That’s how ballistic matching is performed. Breechfaces typically aren’t polished to a mirror finish, so the case is uniquely marked when is is pressed into the breechface by firing. It used to take a long time with a comparative microscope to match, but modern imaging and processing makes it possible to fingerprint any case found at a crime scene. There are even literal fingerprints on cases from them being handled and loaded. Even if a caseless mechanism is used, the bullet is still imprinted by the gun’s rifling, whether conventional or polygonal. With defacto microimprinting of cases and bullets already in existence, why doesn’t it solve crimes? Because proving that a specific gun was used in a crime doesn’t prove who pulled the trigger. Unless the gun is found in possession of the person very shortly after the crime, the claim can easily be made that someone else did the crime. Maintaining a database of who last officially owned a gun isn’t worth the expense of the little bit of data it provides, which is often a dead end. After all, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Melting down the gun that was used to shoot someone isn’t justice served – the public wants a conviction of a person. Building a case beyond reasonable doubt means collecting a lot of supporting evidence, like witnesses, video, gunshot residue, DNA, fibers, possession of stolen property, prior relationship with the victim, financial records, etc. The most a case match can provide is one more initial suspect that probably has no connection to the crime.

          Even with microstamping or providing fired cases to the government for every gun sold, it doesn’t prove anything. Finding that the gun I bought was used to kill someone doesn’t mean I had anything to do with it if it was stolen, legally sold or gifted, or lost in a tragic boating accident. Finding that 10 guns I bought were used in various crimes isn’t even enough proof that I was straw buying for a criminal syndicate. Microstamping, at best, is a misguided boondoggle by people who don’t understand firearms, forensics, or jurisprudence. At worst, it’s a scheme to enrich the patent holder, create a registration of lawful gun owners, and raise the price of firearms.

  25. simple to F with police

    Go to firing range and collect hundreds of brass from well over 50 different guns…
    take to crime scene with stolen gun
    pick up your brass
    leave hundreds of other brass behind

  26. Does not a stone or file change everything?

    A moron’s idea and a fool’s errand.

  27. The party of science still trying to make the impossible possible through the reality bending voodoo of legislation.

    Unicorns don’t exist.
    Wait, this bill says they do?
    Well, okay then. I stand corrected.
    Now we must set aside federal funding for their conservation and hire a bunch of people for the new unicorn conservation office.

  28. In the face of these ridiculous laws, if I decided to be a violent felon (I’m not!), a revolver would be my natural choice. But if I wanted to arm myself with a semi-auto handgun, I’d plan ahead a little. If I didn’t resort to removing identifying markings with a file, then I would resort to confusion and misdirection. First my handgun would be a commonly used caliber and model. An M&P in 9mm would be perfect. Next, multiple trips to local ranges and quarries would provide me an unlimited supply of spent cases in the proper caliber. Then when I felt the need to spread mayhem and violence, I would carry along a collection of carefully chosen cases. After my perverted spree, I would try to pick up my spent cases. Regardless, I would spread a liberal handful or two of spent cases around my crime scene. The point is that no matter what the counter-measure, there are ways to defeat it. The only people that are impacted by these silly laws are the people who abide by the law.

  29. >What’s your take…

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

  30. I think Anthony Brown learned everything he knows about rims and rimfire from Barney Frank.

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