An example of a stamped shell casing
June 20, 2012As the legislative session dwindles to a close, the Assembly on Tuesday passed controversial legislation to mandate microstamping in New York state. The bill has been delivered to the Senate, where it is unlikely to see a vote on the floor.
The bill (A.1157-b/S.675-c), sponsored by Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, D-Great Neck, and Sen. Jose Peralta, D-Jackson Heights, requires microstamping technology be implemented on all semi-automatic weapons sold in New York state. It passed with an 84-55 vote.
"Gun violence has caused great harm to many in our communities," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan. "This legislation would help law enforcement to bring the perpetrators of these violent crimes to justice and offer some measure of closure to the victims of these heinous acts."
Microstamping involves inscribing the firing pin of a weapon with numbers and letters signifying the make and model of a gun. When fired, the alpha numeric code is transferred to the shell casing, which is often the only evidence left at the scene of a crime. Proponents of microstamping say law enforcement can then use the shell casing to track the weapon that fired the round and identify a suspect in the crime.
"As we wait for the state Senate to act on this bill, brave law enforcement officers are being struck down by gun fire and innocent victims continue to be wantonly murdered," said Schimel. "We can't catch their killers because they fire anonymous bullets. I urge the state Senate to put the public's safety above the interests of extremists in the gun lobby and pass this important crime-fighting measure."
Peralta praised the Assembly for passing what he calls "common sense" legislation.
"For good reason this legislation has the support of law enforcement and mayors throughout the state and has been passed by the Assembly four times — because it would help put the most violent and dangerous criminals behind bars," he said. "The Senate owes it to the countless victims of gun violence in New York to pass this legislation too. I am calling for a floor vote in the Senate. It's time to stand up to the NRA and be counted."
Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel
According to Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, microstamping would kill thousands of jobs in New York state, citing firearms manufacturer Remington Arms, who said they would leave the state if the mandate were to pass.
"Microstamping is an unproven technology that will cost more private sector jobs, hurt New York's economy and significantly drive up the cost of owning a firearm," said Kolb. "This microstamping mandate is a stark reminder of the 'Albany knows best mentality' that has put our economy at a competitive disadvantage."
Assemblywoman Nancy Calhoun, R-Washingtonville, voted against the legislation because it is not all-encompassing, noting revolvers, shotguns and rifles would not be outfitted with the technology.
"In the vast majority of crimes committed with handguns, the guns are obtained illegally and are, therefore, untraceable," she said.