Legal Issues

Microstamping Gun Ban Upheld in California

On Thursday, California Eastern District Judge Kimberly Mueller declined to stop the state from imposing a ban on the sale of new handguns that are not microstamped. Unless the case is overturned on appeal, today’s decision would effectively ban the sale or possession of new semiauto handguns in the state. “This is about the state trying to eliminate the handgun market,” said Alan Gura, the lead attorney in Peña v. Lindley told Fox News last week. “The evidence submitted by the manufacturers shows this is science fiction and there is not a practical way to implement the law.” The case, Peña v. Lindley, dates from 2009, and it pitted California resident Ivan Peña and three other individual plaintiffs against Stephen Lindley, the chief of the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Firearms. At issue was the state’s “microstamping” law, which in 2007 was signed into law by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, but which only took effect in 2013.

Cal-guns-civil-rights-foundation-logoDuring a short period in which the Second Amendment applied to states and local governments within the federal Ninth Circuit through a case called Nordyke v. King, Ivan Peña, Roy Vargas, Doña Croston, Brett Thomas, The Calguns Foundation, and the Second Amendment Foundation filed a federal civil rights lawsuit called Peña v. Cid (now Peña v. Lindley) against the California Department of Justice that challenged the constitutionality of the state’s “Handgun Roster” laws.

The Peña case, helmed by civil rights attorneys Gura, Donald Kilmer, and Jason Davis, was argued at the trial court on December 17, 2013.

Sale ends July 21, 2019

Sale ends July 21, 2019

Since the law took effect in 2013, no manufacturer has made a new firearm that complies with the requirement. Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co., have stopped selling new firearms in the California market because of the microstamping law.

Peña, gun manufacturers, and attorneys for the Second Amendment Foundation and Calguns Foundation argued that microstamping relies on an unworkable technology. So if guns without the technology can’t be sold in California, and gun manufacturers can’t implement the technology, the law functions as a handgun ban that violates the Second Amendment.

According to a Calguns Foundation statement about Judge Mueller’s decision, the group is “disappointed that the district court sidestepped a clear violation of Second Amendment civil rights in its decision today. However, we are absolutely committed to litigating this case as far as necessary to reverse this incorrect ruling and restore the right to keep and bear modern handguns in the Golden State.” “It is utterly preposterous that a Federal Court would rule that a ban on all new semiautomatic handguns does not burden Second Amendment rights,” the Calguns statement continued. “Such a decision conflicts with Ninth Circuit precedent, much less the Supreme Court’s holdings in Heller and McDonald v. Chicago.” Calguns said counsel has already appealed the ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog. "The Shooter's Log", is to provide information - not opinions - to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decicions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (32)

  1. The theory behind micro stamping is that the serial number of the firearm will be engraved on either the bolt face or the firing pin, and that this number will be engraved on the case when the cartridge is fired. The case will be left around the scene of the crime by the criminal and the police upon retrieving the case will be able to track the owner of the firearm by sales records. I suppose the theory is that each manufacturer will have a series of serial numbers specific to them. The further theory is that by virtue of the number, the owner of the firearm will be easily traceable by law enforcement authorities and thus an easy arrest and conviction will follow. I won’t bother to detail any of the holes in that fine theory, but there are many. Maryland had a somewhat similar system wherein every gun that was sold in the state had to have a fired case supplied to the MD state police who kept them on file. After the expenditure of several millions of dollars and with the failure to achieve a single conviction — in fact, I believe the whole system didn’t even achieve a single arrest although I could be wrong about that — the whole system was quietly disbanded and abandoned.

  2. I am sure all the gangbangers will “purchase” micro stamped pistols. No one will be punished but honest citizens, but that is normal. California has priced everything –houses, cars, gasoline, food out of proportion to the rest of the country. I just read it cost $750K to drill a deep well out there. (1800 feet) In Texas it might be $45K or less. My daughter in Oakland paid $400+ for a 850 sq ft dilapidated fixer up home in a bad neighborhood. I hope they all don’t leave for Texas, but how can they stay?

    1. @ Dan

      Your daugther’s are getting of CHEAP, I live in WDC. and I pay four-times as much. And, I’m a fixed pensioner live on ~$25K per year.

  3. @Smitty

    Yes, it is harsh for others to paint all Californians with a wide brush, I hope you can take away from comments like that, the point that we all have a responsibility to educate our fellow citizens.

    Conservatives have largely failed to do this because we are conservative by nature not only in our political philosophy but also in that our views of proper personal behavior tend to lead us to take a dim view of people who impose their views on others.

    So, the Leftists (they are not “liberal” by any sense of the word except in the way they spend other peoples’ money) have been prevailing because they thrive on telling other people what to do and they generally have control of media outlets and public education.

    Because of those differences, Conservatives have to work harder and smarter than Leftists do. It is that simple.

    That should not be really hard to do, because the Leftist agenda has been proven wrong in just about every instance. Freedom and democracy are better than totalitarian socialism. The private sector uses resources to achieve much more good much more efficiently than the public sector ever could. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Nobody can win any conflict or avoid conflict by appeasing evil. It is not possible to prevent crime by disarming law-abiding citizens.

    The ONLY weapons the Leftists have in their arsenal are lies and bribes. So, expose them.

    Don’t be angry about it, because that convinces nobody. Just stick to the facts, and be consistent, and you will convince people that the Leftists are wrong . . . because they ARE wrong.

    One particularly effective tool of the Left has been to lie about America because they have controlled education and media for several generations, so it had been difficult to expose their lies.

    But the Internet takes that advantage away from the Leftists by allowing the truth to come out (which is why the Leftists are so pissed off over the ability of people to express themselves freely and Obama is so gung ho to censor the Internet for “fairness”).

    Leftists hate America because democracy represents the exact opposite of the totalitarian socialism they want. So, they say dishonest things about America in an effort to discredit democracy.

    For example, Leftists have been lying in order to claim that America is bad because of the history of slavery. But actually study the history of that topic and you will find that the US began abolishing slavery in 1776 (when the non-slave states exercised their new powers of statehood to abolish slavery). This step by the newest nation on the planet embarrassed the European nations into following that shining example about half a century later, after Europe had imposed slavery and profiteered from slavery in this hemisphere for centuries. But the Leftists willfully mislead people on that point by saying that Europe COMPLETED abolition in the 1830s, before the US completed abolition in the 1860s. The truth is that the US led the world on the issue even as an infant nation, and embarrassed Europe into abolishing slavery, precisely because our system of democracy is particularly effective in reaching right and moral answers.

    Slavery is not the point, the point is that Conservatives can and will win the hearts and minds away from the Leftists on an intellectual level by knowing the FACTS and shoving them down the throats of Leftists who lie about America.

    This is particularly true for those new illegals who came to America for a reason, and by and large that reason was not free handouts. They came because America offers better opportunity to succeed than the places they left. So, don’t just write them off as instant socialists. Learn a little Espanol and tell those folks the truth about America — the ones who did come for free handouts will go right back where they came from, and the ones who came for opportunity will be Conservatives in the first generation, rather than waiting until the second generation the way it works now. These people are not out to help the Left destroy America, they are just looking for success that their home nations deny t them because those nations are NOT free societies like America.

    1. Virginia petitioned King George 3 times to abolish slavery. He refused because he personally got a percentage of every slave sale in the America’s. Not British Treasury but the King. Now you know why we had slavery and couldn’t get rid of it until we got rid of the King.

    2. @Brian Hills

      I would love to have a source for those petitions from Virginia to King George, to cram some of this anti-America BS down the throats of some lying emeffers.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit exceeded. Please click the reload button and complete the captcha once again.

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.