CA: Lockyer abandons ammo-numbering plan - for now...


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Preacherman
August 24, 2005, 03:55 PM
From the San Diego Tribune (http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20050824-9999-1n24bullets.html):

Lockyer holsters ammo-coding measure

By James P. Sweeney
COPLEY NEWS SERVICE

August 24, 2005

SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Bill Lockyer has shelved a novel gun-control measure that would have required manufacturers to stamp microscopic serial numbers on all handgun ammunition sold in California.

Sen. Joe Dunn, a Garden Grove Democrat carrying the legislation for the attorney general, said he needed more time to resolve a heated debate over how much the potentially landmark tracking system would cost and who would pay for it.

The bill, SB 357, has passed the Senate and is pending in an Assembly fiscal committee as the Legislature pushes through its final three weeks of this year's session. The measure may be taken up next year, the second in the two-year session.

The legislation would require manufacturers to imprint or etch a serial number on the end of each slug or bullet starting in 2009. Boxes of cartridges bearing the same number could then be linked to buyers' driver licenses recorded at the time of sale.

Lockyer said coding handgun ammunition could help identify suspects in many of the murders and other violent crimes that go unsolved every year. But, while many other consumer products are tagged with tracking numbers during manufacturing, no other state or country has attempted to set up such a system for ammunition.

Aides to Lockyer said the proposal would add less than a penny to the cost of a cartridge. Representatives of the firearms industry warned it would be prohibitively expensive.

A similar measure, AB 352, would require gun makers to equip semiautomatic handguns with components that leave an identifying code on spent shell casings. That bill has passed the Assembly and is awaiting what figures to be a close vote on the Senate floor.

Dunn said he will work during the coming months to resolve fears that his bill could pose a financial burden on some law enforcement personnel who are required to buy ammunition for training.

"It's a legitimate question that we will respond to," Dunn said.

He was less optimistic about bringing manufacturers together with companies that have developed methods to code ammunition. Regardless, he predicted the measure will be delivered to the governor next year.

Opponents say Lockyer and Dunn have yet to sell the proposal to much of the state's law enforcement community.

Prominent organizations, such as those representing the state's district attorneys and police chiefs, have declined to endorse the bill, noted Lawrence Keane, general counsel of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute, an industry trade group known as SAAMI.

"I think it's pretty clear that law enforcement by and large is not supporting this effort," Keane said.

Manufacturers say the proposal would force expensive changes on a high-volume, low-margin business. Keane and others have warned the required manufacturing modifications would either drive companies out of business or result in steep price increases.

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Mute
August 24, 2005, 04:03 PM
I'd be even happier if he just abadons his office and give it to someone who believes in the U.S. Constitution.

DelayedReaction
August 24, 2005, 04:10 PM
I'm interested in knowing exactly what company has developed the technology which makes this feasible? The only place I could fathom using this would be on the firing pin, the extractor, or the ejector. Or are they thinking of having a separate system stamp the cartridge while it's shot?

One would think they would have a viable system before they legislated it. Then again, one would think the legislators had common sense.

buzz_knox
August 24, 2005, 04:18 PM
One would think they would have a viable system before they legislated it. Then again, one would think the legislators had common sense.

Actually, it makes sense in its own way. One of the common arguments in favor of implementing standards via legislation is that companies do not invest in technologies that reach the desired goal if they are not profitable. So, if you require them to reach the standards and give the industry at issue time to work up to the standards, then the technology will be developed to support the standards.

Is such technology feasible? Maybe. They'll know rapidly when the industry comes back and says "it's not possible" versus "it's not economical." It's kind of like the "smart guns" legislation in NJ. They passed the law then found the technology wouldn't function no matter how much pressure they put the industry under. So, they backed off it a bit. The issue becomes whether or not CA politicians have the guts to stand by the law when their constituents of all political stripe find out they can't buy firearms because none of them have this technology.

M-Rex
August 24, 2005, 04:20 PM
Thank goodness...for now.

Now if only we can get this idiot out of office.

Zundfolge
August 24, 2005, 04:20 PM
DelayedReaction, they way it would have worked is that the manufacturer of ammo would stamp serial numbers on the back side of the bullets and on the base of the cartridge. Then the ammo is boxed and the serial number on each 50 cartridges is on the box (so you'd have 50 rounds with the same serial number), when you buy a box of ammo your name is entered into a database with that box's serial number.

So it wouldn't require the gun to stamp its serial number on the round (although that was also proposed).

DeseoUnTaco
August 24, 2005, 04:23 PM
I'm interested in knowing exactly what company has developed the technology which makes this feasible? The only place I could fathom using this would be on the firing pin, the extractor, or the ejector. Or are they thinking of having a separate system stamp the cartridge while it's shot?
As you said, the only realistic places it could be are the firing pin, extractor, and ejector. Anyone who has ever cleaned a gun that has fired more than 1000 rounds in its life knows that the working surfaces on those parts get polished nice and smooth. The only material that I can imagine that would be able to make those markings repeatedly without getting polished off would be diamond or something of comparable hardness. I can't imagine how you could mass-produce custom-serial-number-stamping pieces of diamond and get them into every gun.

And even if the system worked, it would be trivial to defeat. Swap out the parts. Rub the part with some sand paper. Put some jewler's rouge type compound on the stamper before using. Bang the part so that it is bent slightly and doesn't make strong enough contact. Go to the shooting range and pick up someone else's spent casings. Etc etc. Won't solve a single crime, will add $500 to the cost of the gun, will result in innocent gun owners being framed, will waste police time.

I'm very glad to see at least one of these bills go down in flames before even coming to a vote. The ammo serialization bill would have truly ended shooting (even police training and qualification) in California.

WHY DOES THIS MATTER IF YOU'RE NOT IN CALIFORNIA?
Because California starts a lot of trends. If by some sad twist of fate one or both of these bills becomes laws in California, it reframes the debate in other states. Gun banners in other states could say, "well, they did it in California and it worked, so let's do it here!" Never mind that gun banners' definition of "successful" has everything to do with harassing gun owners and nothing to do with crime. And if they propose it in other states and it goes nowhere, it still means that the NRA and the lobbyiests had to spend time and money fighting it.

So all you non-Californians... take a moment to write a letter to our Governor saying, "Don't sign the ammo serialization or the gun serialization bills":

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

DelayedReaction
August 24, 2005, 04:24 PM
Oh. I keep getting those two mixed up.

I guess you could call this act the "Holy Crap I Hope Criminals Don't Realize They Can Buy Stuff Out of State" Act of 2005.

MrTuffPaws
August 24, 2005, 04:47 PM
Actually, the article is wrong. The bill states that the number has to be visible to the naked eye, which makes it even more difficult to implement.

DeseoUnTaco
August 24, 2005, 04:50 PM
Actually, the article is wrong. The bill states that the number has to be visible to the naked eye, which makes it even more difficult to implement.
I didn't realize that. That's NOT POSSIBLE TO DO with current brass-cased ammunition. Anything which could stamp a piece of brass hard enough to put visible numbers on it could also discharge it fairly easily, so it could only be done as part of the firing process. It would require a total redesign of the breach area to have a diamond-hard stamper slam into the base of the case just as the firing pin hits the primer.

I don't tell brain surgeons how to do brain surgery, and I don't want Paul Koretz telling firearms designers how to design firearms.

R.H. Lee
August 24, 2005, 04:54 PM
Shame on you, Taco, for bringing facts and reality into the discussion. You're busting blissninny bubbles and in danger of having your feelgood credentials revoked. :p

DelayedReaction
August 24, 2005, 04:56 PM
Or you could just have the primer be the part that's stamped via the firing pin.

DeseoUnTaco
August 24, 2005, 05:40 PM
Or you could just have the primer be the part that's stamped via the firing pin.
Two problems:

The primer is too small to hold a human-readable serial number. The serial number needs to be about nine or ten digits probably.
The primer strike is too hard. Anything on the head of the firing pin is going to wear off because the strike is so hard. A strike on the brass could be gentler and so the stamper could last longer.

The only reasonable way to do this would be with micro-stampers on a very small stamping element that comes out of the breach face during firing, or maybe is embedded in the ejector. That would be possible to do, but would add tremendously to the expense and would be easy to defeat.

Actually there is one way to do it that could sort of work: make the seiral number as a "dot matrix printer" type pattern, AND PUT IT ON THE INSIDE OF THE CHAMBER. Make the chamber just a bit over-sized. If it were done right, the serial number would end up being fire-formed onto the SIDE of the case.

I bet that would work, and would give human-readable serial numbers. It would also result in failure-to-feed and failure-to-extract malfunctions (the ctg would catch on the rough serial numbers) and it would compromise accuracy and safety (case could rupture during firing).

I should quickly file a patent on that so no one can do it.

DelayedReaction
August 24, 2005, 05:48 PM
Yeah, I've pretty much given up on the idea of human-readable print. If the gun has to stamp it, it's gonna be microscopic.

And a diamond-tipped firing pin would work. Expensive. But it would work.

Standing Wolf
August 24, 2005, 06:29 PM
Lockyer holsters ammo-coding measure

50% witty.

bg
August 24, 2005, 07:36 PM
Ya know, it's not really about a stamp or imprint. It's about making
firearms so expensive, restrictive, and burdensome to use that interest
will wain here in Ca.

It's all about the classic flanking move, don't put your whole
force in front of the fight, take little bites from the side, the back, and
wherever a vulnerable spot may be to bring the intended subject down.

Dems and the anti-firearm front have learned their lessons and are
applying new and old attacks.

Dems and anti-gun thought process, take I, Scene 352/357.
" Ok. Lets back off the bullet id deal for a while, press
the stamp deal thru the Senate, and get AS to sign it using
classic propaganda. After all he's after a special election.. Now
we'll have him where we want him. Then next yr we'll push
the bullet ID bill thru. We may not get away with outlawing guns
here in Ca, but we'll make it so hard to get them and fuel them with
ammo, those pesky 2nd Amendment perps will simply go away..:evil: "

By the way, I believe I read where Lockyer will make a run at the
the state treasurer's position in the 06 election

DeseoUnTaco
August 24, 2005, 08:20 PM
Ya know, it's not really about a stamp or imprint. It's about making
firearms so expensive, restrictive, and burdensome to use that interest
will wain here in Ca.
Right, they've given up on the "ultimate victory now" approach and have moved to the long-term generational approach.

Make firearms more expensive. Shut down gun stores and shooting ranges. Make it harder for people to get introduced to the sport and the lifestyle. If they can achieve those things they will win in the long run. I have noticed consistently that people who are from urban areas and have no first-hand experience with guns typically hate them, fear them, etc, with no basis for those emotions. Get them started on it and their views change and they may end up becoming gun owners and gun advocates.

So clearly, the gun banners are taking the chipping-away approach.

That's why CCW reform is so important. It will get more people involved in it. It explicitly justifies self defense as a reason for having a firearm (it's not about hunting). It makes guns into a normal part of what you wear every day when you go out of the house, like shoes and a belt. CCW reform is the single most important gun rights initiative today. And I do have some hope for CCW reform in California, for a variety of reasons.

One problem with gun buyers is they're a lot like Harley riders. They come from all different classes (lower, middle and upper) but they are predominantly white, middle-aged or older, and male. To really secure gun rights we need to break out of a limited (and aging) demographic and get involvement from non-whites, younger people, and women.

shield20
August 24, 2005, 08:45 PM
In one bill, a unique number goes on the brass of cartridges, or bullets sold loose. In the micro-stamping bill - the make, model AND serial number have to be imprinted. WHile any manufacturer stupid enough to bother would most likely came up with some code or symbol system, it is still ALOT of info. I figure they would just give up CA sales of any new designs (It is incorporated as part of the "safe gun" law for NEW designs)

makanut
August 24, 2005, 09:17 PM
All righty then. This bullet numbering idea is too stupid to even imagine. This is absurd even for California. Are people in California that stupid? Somebody would have to be very very stupid to think this would actually work.

Exiledviking
August 24, 2005, 10:07 PM
The problem is that 99% of the people of California
do NOT know of this proposed legislation!!!:banghead:

More than half of the gun owners that I know or
meet do NOT know of this either!:banghead:

The sneaky &^)*&)(* in Sacramento are working
this without the knowledge of their "electors"! :cuss:

athlon64
August 24, 2005, 10:15 PM
makanut: Are people in California that stupid?

Yep, stupid enough to vote for lying politicians who put together these bogus bills to expand their empire in CA and justify their useless existence. Has nothing to do with addressing crime, and the politicians know it.

** note -- this is not directed at the gun owners of CA who continue to fight the good fight to retain what little rights they have left. Kudos to them.

thorn726
August 24, 2005, 10:23 PM
HooraY! and not all of us are that stupid.
honestly i think about half the nimrods out here are actually doingn what the soccer mom told them to.

anyway=
But, while many other consumer products are tagged with tracking numbers during manufacturing, no other state or country has attempted to set up such a system for ammunition.


got to love them trying to stick it to us any way they can.
the above is just- ARGH!!

Typhoon
August 25, 2005, 02:26 PM
Since our vaunted legislators in California are bent on creating not only new law, but new technology…

Via the grass roots Proposition procedures, I will introduce a new potential law. By 2009 there needs to be an orbital platform with beam-in technology (a la Star Trek’s Enterprise) which will allow Scotty to beam protective forces to any domicile in California, thus eliminating forever the need for personal defense.

No, wait. That’s not good enough. Surely by 2009, we can create personal shields for homes and apartments that will prevent any unwanted incursions. I mean, it only takes the research, right?

Oh, but wait, there is that nasty requirement of personal safety on the streets. Hey! Let’s start developing personal safety belts (a la Salvor Hardin in Asimov’s Foundation trilogy). Yeah, that will work. The bad guy attacks, and you just press a little button and poof! A pearly white shield that prevents any damage!

Yeah! That’ll work. We should get right on this! Who’s with me?

Preacherman
August 25, 2005, 03:04 PM
Hey, Typhoon, great idea! I've always wanted to wear a pearly white shield... I think it'd look great with my leopard-skin-banded safari hat! We could sell it in Hollywood as a fashion accessory!

:neener: :evil: :D

Luchtaine
August 25, 2005, 03:19 PM
You're not a member of the legislature are you :uhoh:.

UNfortunatly its not so much the Californians as it is the legislature though I blame the californians who voted for them. The lefties pretty much can do whatever they want since the control just about everything here.

Needless to say I've never been in a lefty district so you can't blame me, From Orange County Orginally and From San Bernadino now, though I just got here and haven't bothered to see who my reps are yet. I don't think they are lefty though.

Anyways Arnold veoed the last ammo registration bill, but probably due to its impracticality. so maybe there is an ever so minute hope that arnold can be reasoned with on these things. If Law enforcement is generally concerned about it, that should sway Arnold hopefully.

Typhoon
August 25, 2005, 06:37 PM
Preacherman, “pearly white” is taken directly from Isaac Asimov. But as I am cooking up this idea here in Hollywood, I would imagine that personal shields could come in any cosmetically flattering shade or configuration.

Oh, no! I just thought this one up on the Lot. On the Studio’s time! Now I have to worry about that nasty intellectual property agreement I signed. And royalties to Asimov's estate!

Darn it! On the other hand, I’ll bet I could score a few hundred signatures for the Proposition at lunch!

Not a member of the legislature, yet, Luchtaine….

QuickDraw
August 25, 2005, 09:47 PM
And if they propose it in other states and it goes nowhere, it still means that the NRA and the lobbyiests had to spend time and money fighting it.
I don't think the NRA has spent one dime in
California in the past 20 years.
I let my membership expire because of it.

QuickDraw

UnknownSailor
August 26, 2005, 09:52 PM
UNfortunatly its not so much the Californians as it is the legislature though I blame the californians who voted for them. The lefties pretty much can do whatever they want since the control just about everything here.

This is one of the things I hope the ongoing districting reforms fix in the future. The state legislature has been able to gerrymander their districts for their own benefit for far too long. Bring common sense into that, and the rest, as they say, will follow.

railroader
August 27, 2005, 12:16 AM
As a california resident sometimes I think the voters here are total morons. I read about a poll yesterday in the LA times. It said of the people polled only 27% of them thought our legislators were doing a good job. But the same people were asked about the measure for redistricting, to fix all the districts that were drawn out by the legislators so they couldn't lose. You'll never guess how the people polled voted, thats right they were overwhelmingly against redistricting, lets just keep the same knuckleheads in office. Mark

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