Microstamps put serial numbers on bullets, but laws needed for new guns

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A firing pin equipped with microstamping technology (l) and the spent cartridge casing (r).

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The technology to stamp each bullet with a tiny serial number has arrived, but needs legislation to push it through.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence announced on Tuesday that machines which create microstamps in new guns are ready to go into mass production. The machinery uses the same technology developed for medical devices and semi conductors, the coalition announced in a webinar.

“Within hours, microstamping provides a direct link between a spent cartridge case and a firearm – even when the firearm is not recovered — and can link it to other shootings where the same firearm was used which could help identify gun trafficking networks,” said Ari Davis, Policy Analyst at the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, in a prepared statement.

In a letter opening the report, Orrin Gallop, Assistant Chief, Commander of Investigative Services, Hampton (Virginia) Police Division, said, “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.”

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.

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

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