Legislators Announce Measure to Require Microstamping Technology in Law Enforcement Handguns

First-in-the-Nation Legislation Would Overcome Gun Industry Obstinance and Mark A Major Step Forward In the Adoption of Microstamping Technology; Would Increase Accountability and Transparency in Officer-Involved Shootings

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, CA — In collaboration with Team ENOUGH and the Brady Campaign, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D - Woodland Hills) announced new legislation today that would make California the first state in the nation to require firearms used by law enforcement to include microstamping technology.
The measure, Assembly Bill (AB) 876, would build on the landmark Unsafe Handgun Act (UHA) and mark a major step forward in the effort to require firearms manufacturers to incorporate microstamping technology, which has long been a top priority for gun violence prevention advocates. Importantly, microstamping technology imprints unique markings—known as micro stamps—onto individual firearms as well as discharged bullet casings, thereby allowing law enforcement to connect fired casings to a particular firearm.
“For too long, gun manufacturers have prioritized ideology over safety and fought commonsense efforts to incorporate microstamping technology into new firearms,” said Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D - Woodland Hills), Co-Founder of the Legislature’s Gun Violence Prevention Working Group. “Our legislation will allow California to use its market power to overcome this obstinance and dramatically expand the use of this important technology. In so doing, we’ll create new markets for microstamped guns, help law enforcement solve violent crimes, ensure our police are equipped with better and safer firearms, and bring more accountability and transparency to situations where there has been an officer-involved shooting.”
"Microstamping is a commonsense, crime-solving tool," said Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco). "I am proud to coauthor this effort to ensure this important technology is implemented across the board in California."
First enacted in 1999, the UHA was updated in 2007 to require all new semiautomatic pistols to incorporate microstamping technology. In an effort to evade the UHA’s requirements, the gun industry has not introduced any new handgun models into the California market since 2007. Law enforcement officers are also currently allowed to purchase firearms exempt from the UHA for use in official duties.
Microstamping technology is reliable, feasible, inexpensive, and valuable to criminal investigations, especially as the rate of unsolved firearm assaults and homicides has increased over the past 40 years. Requiring law enforcement officers to use microstamped handguns will create a sizable new market for microstamping and encourage gun manufacturers across the country to finally adopt this innovative technology. At a time of growing calls for police reform, this legislation also would provide additional transparency in situations where there has been an officer-involved shooting.
“California has consistently led in implementing cutting-edge and evidence-based gun violence prevention policies. As the first state in the nation to pass a law requiring microstamping technology on newly introduced firearms, California can again lead by ensuring that this requirement extends to its law enforcement,” shared the Team ENOUGH Executive Council, a youth-led initiative of Brady. “The California Legislature continues to lead in the effort to prevent gun violence, but there is more work to be done. Team ENOUGH urges the legislature to swiftly pass AB 876 and thanks Assemblymember Gabriel for leading on this bill.”
“Californians continue to demand solutions to not only prevent gun violence but to ensure that the state has every resource available when working to heal communities where violence has occurred,” said Brady President Kris Brown. “This bill will help California ensure that law enforcement not only has the latest technology available to help solve crimes but applies that same technology to officer-involved incidents. This level of transparency and accountability is necessary to ensure the highest level of trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. This is a common-sense bill and Brady is grateful to Assemblymember Gabriel for introducing it.”