California AG applauds state supreme court's ruling on gun microstamping

By Carol Ostrow | Jul 19, 2018

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) — Following the California Supreme Court’s rejection of gun industry advocates’ complaints about “microstamping,” a weapons-identification system regulation, Attorney General Xavier Becerra praised the results, calling the state a leader that would “not go backwards.”

Microstamping can help to discourage shooting crimes. A law enacted in May 2013 required all new semiautomatic handguns sold in California to include the system so that every fired cartridge can be identified by its source. In 2014, two manufacturing group advocates challenged the rule, claiming it unreliable and unmarketable.

Despite the Fresno Superior Court’s dismissal of that challenge, in December 2017 the litigation was reinstated by the Fifth District Court of Appeal, which argued that the manufacturers had a right to contest the law.

The California Supreme Court heard the case in April 2018, ruling in late June that courts may not invalidate statutes on the type of challenge presented.

“Today’s ruling confirms that California can create incentives for the gun industry to make products that serve the public’s needs,” Becerra said in a statement. “Innovation and technology will continue to drive California to be a leader. We will not go backwards. The California Department of Justice is committed to reducing gun violence and improving the ability of law enforcement to fight crime and hold accountable those who commit firearm murders and assaults.”

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