Press Releases

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today urged California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign into law a bill that would require “microstamping” technology in newly-designed semiautomatic handguns sold in California after January 1, 2010.  

The California Legislature yesterday gave its final passage to the legislation, which would require new designs of semiautomatic handguns sold in California after January 1, 2010, to have microstamping technology. 

Microstamping technology allows a serial number to be imprinted on shell casings as they are fired out of the gun.  This would make it more likely that a gun used to commit a crime could be identified by the shell casings left at the scene. 

Senator Feinstein recently supported an amendment to the School Safety and Law Enforcement Improvements Act to extend the use of microstamping technology, however the amendment did not pass out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The following is the text of Senator Feinstein’s letter to Governor Schwarzenegger:

September 11, 2007

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:

I write to urge you to sign AB 1471, the Crime Gun Identification Act of 2007, which received final passage in the California Legislature yesterday.  This bill would provide law enforcement with a new tool, known as “microstamping” technology, which will help in the identification of crime guns and the solving of handgun crimes. 

 Microstamping is a series of microscopic characters lasered onto the firing mechanism and chamber of semi-automatic handguns. When a handgun is fired, the characters are transferred to the bullet shell casing.  Law enforcement can rapidly link shell casings found at a crime scene to the gun from which it was fired.  In 2004, no arrests were made in 45 percent of the more than 1,400 homicides committed with handguns in California.  But with microstamping technology, a murderer, armed criminal, or illegal gun trafficker could be rapidly identified and arrested.
I recently supported legislation to expand the use of microstamping, when it was offered last month as an amendment to the School Safety and Law Enforcement Improvements Act in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  While we were not successful in passing a national microstamping bill, I urge you to promote the use of this important and valuable technology so that we can reduce gun violence and gun crime within California.

The Crime Gun Identification Act of 2007 is widely supported by most of California’s leading police chiefs, sheriffs, and mayors, as illustrated by the attached endorsement list.  AB 1471 would apply only to newly-designed handguns sold after 2010, so existing handguns and existing handgun models would not be affected, and the bill would not impact law-abiding gun owners.  In short, AB 1471 represents common-sense gun legislation, designed to reduce gun crime and save lives – and it deserves your support.  I urge you to save more lives and solve more crimes in California by signing this bill into law.


Dianne Feinstein 
United States Senator