Will Bullet Marking help in the Fight against Crime

In California as legislatures are wrapping up a frenetic term and looking forward to some rest and relaxation, they are still dealing with a number of controversial issues that could affect not only California but the nation.

One such proposal put forth by Assemblyman Mike Feur (D Los Angeles) would require that semi-automatic hand guns sold here starting in 2010 would require a micro-stamping technology to be a part of the firearm. This laser would stamp an identifying mark on each bullet as it is fired from the chamber. Since no two guns have the same markings it is believed a crime could be solved even if the gun were not found at the scene, simply by tracing the markings on the spent bullets to the registered owner of the gun.

One thing wrong with this thinking is that crimes are seldom committed by the legal gun owners. A majority are committed by criminals who have stolen guns from law-abiding citizens. There are few murderers who buy a firearm through legitimate channels. They depend on their burglary skills or inside connections with gang members and other low-life’s that furnish weapons for the black market.

Another proposal would require serial numbers be stamped at the various ammunition factories. Each box of bullets would be stamped with a unique serial number with the corresponding numbers on the bullets going in that particular box. This has raised a number of concerns among manufacturers, including safety issues with using a laser in a factory full of gun powder! They claim it would also significantly raise the price of a bullet with far-reaching results. For instance they warn that the military and police departments would cut back on target practice, which could in turn endanger the general public. Also it worries the governor of Arkansas who hosts a number of ammunition manufacturers in his state.

Retailers would then have to record every consumer who bought each box of ammo and turn the information into the state department of justice. Again, criminals do not purchase their materials from legitimate channels. Otherwise they would have to reveal their shady, past deeds and they would not be allowed to purchase the gun.

Ammo manufacturers fear either law would bankrupt them. The industry produces 8 billion rounds per year in the United States alone. Feur admits the system has it’s flaws but was heard to say that if this technology could save just one life it would have been worth it. For one thing how could matching a gun to a bullet bring back the victim that received a fatal shot? And how are all those employees going to provide for their families when yet another American business relocates off shore? This is just a piece of feel-good legislation that will do more harm than good. What this country needs is Criminal Control, not Gun Control.