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The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reports that a joint New York state budget committee voted yesterday on a revised budget (AB 9055D) that deleted a provision in the bill that would have mandated microstamping throughout the state. This after The Freedom Group (owners of Iliona-based Remington) fired a warning shot over the legislature’s bow, threatening to abandon gun grabber Senator Chuck Schumer‘s patch if microstamping became the law of the land. Bonus! The Empire State bean counters also shot down funding for CoBIS. For the acronym averse . . .

That would be New York State’s Combined Ballistic Identification System, a program whereby the state required all gun sellers to provide “A document issued by the New York State Police certifying that a ballistic sample has been secured from a pistol or revolver at a regional CoBIS center for entry into the CoBIS databank and identifying the firearm by make, model, caliber, serial number, and gun type.”

Registration? Yes, it’s a form of gun registration. Effective? Not even close.‘s bullet point deconstruction tells the tale:

  • The large number of shell casing generated by these systems so pollute the crime gun databases as to render them useless.
  • A whole category of firearms (revolvers) typically do not leave shell casing evidence at a crime scene.
  • All potential “hits” must be microscopically examined to be scientifically valid, the logistics of such examination cannot easily be addressed.
  • Markings on cartridge casings can change with use and can also be readily altered by the user. Some brands of handguns can change significantly with as few as 50 rounds fired.
  • Different brands of ammunition can produce different markings on shell casings from the same gun.
  • Some manufacturing processes can produce multiple copies of a single model that are not easily distinguished.
  • Chain of custody issues with the manufacturer supplied shell casings may routinely be
    rejected by the courts as unreliable.

The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA) reckons that since CoBIS’s inception, “over a quarter of a million shell cases have been collected and entered into the database at an estimated cost of $32 million [not including pensions] and not a single arrest or conviction has resulted.”

The NSSF hailed the removal of microstamping plans and CoBIS boondoggling as a “tremendous victory for law-abiding firearm owners, retailers and manufacturers.” Only because it’s true. However . . .

NYSRPA President Tom King says “The legislation for microstamping will appear during the regular legislative session and will have to voted upon (roughly four weeks from now). If passed, microstamping would go to Governor Cuomo who may or may not sign it.”

Watch this space.

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  1. I wonder if “they” thought and were motivated by micro stamping, etc as a way to actually solve crimes? or if it was just a way to add expense and hardship to manufacture firearms, raising the price to the end user and slow down sales. I’m inclined to think the latter.

    • In politics, deflection is a common practice. While I am sure there was at least one uninfirmed person who believed it could help, the rest did it to add cost and make life more difficult to help their cause to eliminate guns. It is also an easy softball for politicians to make believe they did something.

  2. Easier to press for this legislation than deal with root causes of crime. Problem, meet panacea.

  3. Someone will make money out of microstamping. That someone has pull in and lobby power in NY state. That is whom we need to find.

  4. Maybe the NRA really is running out of stuff to do… GREAT SUCCESS, WAR IS OVER COMRADES!

    i kid..

  5. OMG!! No microstamping!! No COBISS!! It’s gonna be Noo Yawk City out there! Wait, it already is NYC. And guess what – it’s a lot worse than Dodge City ever thought of being.

  6. NYS Assembly HAS passed a micro-stamping bill as of yesterday, 6-19-2012. Bill A.1157B Passed by a DEMOCRATIC majority. Surprise, Surprise. The CoBIS program is no more. The Assembly will be ending soon for summer recess so it’s likely that the bill will see no further action for the present.

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