The Dumbest Proposed Gun Control Bill of 2023 gun control red t-shirt

The dumbest proposed Gun Control Bill of 2023… I really hate to waste that title so early in the year, but HB 586 is a real lulu. Over 40% of Pennsylvanians own at least one firearm. However, that little fact did not stop anti-gun lawmakers in Pennsylvania who surged to the head of the class with HB 586 — Ammunition Encoding. 

According to the proposed legislation in HB 586, manufacturers would be mandated to encode a serial number on the base of each bullet A matching serial number would be required inside the case. The outside of each box would be required to have the serial number labeled.

Speer .40 S&W cartridge case head with microstamp

For most, hunters, shooters, and the self-defense minded, the solution would be to stock up ahead of time or make a run across the border to a free state. It’s sad but true. Los Angeles, California passed a law requiring a fingerprint for all ammunition purchases in the 1990s. Many shooters opted to drive 10-15 miles to a local store and buy their ammunition. It was not a desire to subvert the law that prompted them to travel… It was a fear of the government.

Taking notes from the past, Pennsylvanian lawmakers added a provision… all ammunition that does not meet the aforementioned microstamping requirements would be required to be surrendered or destroyed by January 1, 2024. HB 586 (like so many gun control bills) is billed as a crime prevention measure. However, HB586 does nothing to prevent criminals from committing more crimes, it only seeks to turn the law abiding into criminals.

HB 586: The Database

The process would be an incredible burden on manufacturers. Creating a single round would go from a few steps to several. The time to create the ammunition and match the serials numbers to a box would skyrocket. And which manufacturer would want to take on the task and risk the liability and penalties? Manufacturers are already struggling to keep up with demand.

Can you imagine what would happen if they were required to add several steps, develop new factories or assembly lines to manufacture the micro stamped ammunition and the wasted time for all the new steps? And what would it do to the price? How many financially disadvantaged citizens would simply be ‘priced out’ of their right to self-defense?

Perhaps they would simply stop practicing. Is society safer when gun fail to become proficient or simply cannot afford to maintain or hone their skills? What about the Constitutional rights of Pennsylvanians for self-defense under the Second Amendment? The right to bear arms, by definition, means the right to “loaded arms.”

Second Amendment
It seems the government only wants to pass laws to strip the weapons from honest gun owners. I have yet to hear of a single law being proposed that seeks to remove guns from the hands of criminals. Have you?

Manufacturers’ solution would be to simply not sell ammunition to Pennsylvania. While that is the end goal of the lawmakers, it would hurt many people beyond hunters and shooters. Think about all the industries affected by hunting — food service, lodging, sporting goods, meat packing, gas stations, travel, etc.

Backdoor Gun Registry

The Federal government is prohibited from maintain a registry of gun owners. However, HB 586 would be a de facto gun registry. Under HB586 all current ammunition would be illegal as of 1/1/24. Reloading would be outlawed. Manufacturers would be required to provide to the state, name, and address of the manufacturer and serial numbers of the ammunition sold in the state.

The seller would be required to provide the date of purchase, driver’s license number, and serial number of each round sold to the buyer. Manufacturers would get fined $1,000 for the first offense, $2,000 for the second, and $3,000 for every violation thereafter.

And the lawmakers more. Why pass a law, when you can also add a sin tax and plump up the coffers? Lawmakers also added a 5 cent per round tax to HB 586.

Short Sighted

HB 586 gives an exemption to members of the military and law enforcement. However, as the industry has proven in the past, it will boycott states and refuse to sell ammunition or firearms to exempt members in protest to the rights of the citizenry that are being trampled.

Police Responding
Law Enforcement was given an exemption. The newly enacted microstamping legislation would prevent the sale of all ammunition currently in production. It would also effectively shut down the defensive capabilities of citizens.


To be honest, HB 586 has very little chance of passing. The bill is fraught with short-sighted ideas espoused by gun control advocates. The mechanisms and infrastructure are not in place to comply or enforce the provision if passed.

Pennsylvania lawmakers who authored and support HB 586 are hardly the first to fail at banning guns and then seek to go after ammunition by wrongly believing it is not covered under the Second Amendment. As a result, little of what has been reported on above is newsworthy at all.

The takeaway you should now have is how far the anti-gunners are prepared to go. The danger of elections and an imbalanced legislature running amok. Ludicrous proposals are only a small number of votes away from becoming reality. Then lawful, gun-owning citizens’ rights are stripped, canceled, trampled. Oh sure, the matter will go to the courts, but at what cost? How much time?

Think this is all a red herring? Ask a gun owner from Illinois, New York, California, New Jersey, Washington… and the list goes on!

Supporters and sponsors of HB 586 argue it would make it easier to track down criminals and prevent them from obtaining ammunition. Who really believes a criminal, drug sealer, gang member etc. would buy and register ammunition? They would simply skip across a border and buy the ammunition. After all, if they are not afraid of the consequences for committing a murder, what would they care about a misdemeanor and $1,000 fine? Pennsylvanians need to get moving and stanchly oppose HB 586 with their voices, votes, and financial support of those fighting these draconian gun control measures.

For those of you not living in Pennsylvania, you need to get moving and stanchly oppose HB XXX — coming to your state soon — with your voices, votes, and financial support of those fighting these draconian gun control measures, before your rights are stripped while states and lawmakers fight you in court — using your tax dollars…

Which gun control inspired laws or bills are being fought in your state? How are you supporting the groups fighting for your rights? Which organizations do you support? Grass roots efforts? Share your answers in the comment section.

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 decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (58)

  1. BREAKING – Pennsylvania passes 4 anti gun bills that move to senate. 5 / 22/ 2023

    HB 714
    HB 1018 RED FLAG
    HB 731
    HB 338 Reporting

  2. Here is something I have noticed. Several of the last shooters were under mental health treatment. Why was that not noted somewhere that the 4473 check did not catch? Was someone worried about privacy? Lets make these “mental health professionals” responsible. If they don’t update the databases that person A is receiving treatment and that person goes out and starts buying guns and goes out shooting people then it needs to be the “mental health professionals” fault. They get charged. The families can sue that person for the death of a loved one.

    Enough putting this on us.

  3. As J above said, better leave no spent shells behind. This is really a criminals dream come true. They’ll buy reloaded ammo on the black market, all cases assigned to who knows. When LO picks up the cases, provided the bad guys wipe the prints first, let the nightmares begin. Will it eventually be a crime to not pick up your brass?! That’s why this microstamping idea is so insane.

  4. Nullify (make legally null and void) do not enforce or just plain ignore all gun control bills, including ALL previous anti-gun bills that have been enacted!

  5. Buford B Why haven’t they tried the obvious? Because it doesn’t fit their narrative that we have to confiscate all ARs. We need security fencing around school yards. We need sturdy, secure doors and windows on schools that take time and effort to defeat. This will give cops time to get there. We need trained, volunteer armed teachers. Teachers will NOT run away like some security guards have.
    Screw the aesthetics. We need schools to be secure and look secure. It will not look like a prison, it will look like a secure facility, safeguarding our most precious assets. Stay safe.

  6. I agree that the ammo makers should cut off all supplies of ammo, and firearm makers should cut off all deliveries to PA. But, they should do that, or threaten to do so, BEFORE the law is passed. That would let the legislature understand what will happen if they try to do this. When they realize all the tax dollars lost, tourism dollars lost, hunting license money lost, business closures, taxpayers leaving the state, and possibly large businesses that could leave due to the policies that would ensure, it would be another episode of “WTF were we thinking.” Vote out the idiots and live free.

  7. i live i’ll La , I have a CCW for all of California, I buy my ammo in LA , the finger print law has never effected my life even a little. The amount of paranoia from gun owner over these
    little things is mind blowing .

  8. i live i’ll La , I have a CCW for all of California, I buy my ammo in LA , the finger print law has never effected my life even a little. The amount of paranoia from gun owner over these
    little things is mind blowing .

  9. Yes, stupid law, has nothing to do with protecting the public.
    Has everything to do with disarming the public. And when the Sheeple are round it up. Everyone’s gonna say how’s that happening. It’s against the law?

  10. This proposed law is stupid but SOMEBODY needs to come up with an idea to stop mass shootings before all us gun owners have to pay. Arming EVERYONE is another stupid idea. I don’t want the crook I arrested last night to be able to buy a gun on bail since he hasn’t gone to court yet. Sooner or later they will tax the cap out of guns and ammo making it too hard to buy either. Us law abiding owners shouldn’t have to pay for others actions.

  11. The Nashville shooter, as crazy as she was, gave the politicians a blueprint on how to protect the children. They ignored her because it didn’t require a gun law or ban. Her journal stated she chose the Covenant school because it wasn’t as ‘hardened’ as her other targets. It didn’t have the security others had. We need to put more armed security in the schools or have volunteer teachers to train and arm up. Why won’t they do it? Because they fear it would take away their number one rally cry for banning the AR. Even if you point out the shooters will just move on to a different weapon, it’s ignored. We need to take these idiots to task and throw them out of their positions of power.

  12. Do they really think that the thugs with stolen guns who are not allowed by law to own a firearm are going to get this ammo?
    More near sited brain dead politics.

  13. Whether or not the serial encoding is possible or not is unimportant. The hat is important is the motivation behind the proposed law and every anti gun law before it and the ones to come. A complete disarmament of law abiding citizens. That is their endgame, period. This is how they will achieve total control once and for all. The ban on certain types of firearms is just a step to their final goal. I hear comments in my barbershop at least once a week from someone that thinks the public should have have access to what is s described as military style weapons, some even own firearms. My reply is always the same. Be careful what you vote for because sooner or later they will be at your door to get air and be you want to keep and to the people new that don’t own a firearm, if you are willing to give away one constitutional right, be ready to have them all stripped from all of us. By their own description, the constitution is nothing more to them than an outdated piece of paper wrote by White supremacists. One day f the first things the Nazis did to as disarm the public. Under the guise, they would be protected and taken care of. It’s the same with every tyrannical government and dictator. The fact that so many law abiding Americans exercise our 2nd amendment right is the very reason this country has never been invaded. Just ask the British what happens when you mess with a well armed militia. However, it appears some of our elected officials are doing their damndest to destroy this country and reshape it to their vision of what it should be and they know, they must disarm us by any means necessary for that to happen. Remember to vote wisely and for the ones that choose to silence their own voice by not voting, don’t let me here you bitching about anything.

  14. Most of our Politicians are book smart people. They don’t have the common since to rub two sticks together to start a fire. But they can think of an idea and shove it down our throats. This Bill HB 586 shows you that the thoughts and content are just wrong. One thing I have learned from my past is if your government wants you to vote on something VOTE “NO” or the opposite way. Most Politicians have NEVER lived like 80% of the rest of Americans. They can’t even put apart their dreams to come together with the other side because the feel threatened.

  15. There was an article written recently by a non-biased news organization (shocking I know!)
    The results of that article showed that the people endorsing the bill firing ONLY 200 rounds and the claim was the firearm was working “perfectly” when they took it in for cleaning and inspection.
    Pro2A and critics of the bill state nobody fires only 200 rounds at a gun range. THEY fired over 2000 rounds, and the firing pin was ruined, the firearm was shooting improperly, was constantly jamming, among other problems.
    The technology is flawed, and even if it wasn’t, talk about damage to the gun AND price of ammo skyrocketing!
    Stores have had a 4 box purchase limit on ammo for a few years now.
    Thank God for DeSantis.

  16. In the early 1990’s, our DEM Gov. Parris Glendenning passed a law that every gun sold in the State of
    Maryland had to have a fired shell casing registered with the gun serial number so that law enforcement could trace the casing back to the gun owner. Absolutely ludicrous ! After 25 years
    our new Rep. Gov. Larry Hogan terminated the process because NO SHELL CASING was ever use to
    indict anyone. According to Maryland officials, this process cost Maryland taxpayer $5 million a year and produced NOTHING. This is how crazy the DEMS can be just to pacify their uneducated base.

  17. all of the simple minded idiots are trying to run the circus and believe it or not … ALMOST succeeding. It is the attempt of the tyrannical government to take over our lives and rule US. It’s way past time to WAKE UP and STAND UP to a TYRANNICAL GOVERNMENT and take back OUR COUNTRY.

  18. Enforce the laws that are on the books. Give law enforcement the ability to do
    their job. Short and long term results will be seen,
    To all have a great day.

  19. RO had posted mandatory sentences. Virginia has it 5 years mandatory for use of a firearm in Commision of a Felony.
    Guess what it is the first thing delt away. Also, the previous administration changed the criteria for a burglary upping the dollar amount the criminal can steal before it is a felony.

  20. The ammunition encoding that would be required for Pennsylvania by HB 586, is an example of what could happen when extreme liberals in the various states are supported by the Federal Administration of a senile President who appears not to comprehend the consequences of anything that he says or does. For 60 years, I have been an independent voter who has voted for almost as many liberals as conservatives. In the 2024 elections, however, I will be voting only for conservatives who understand the difference between really trying to reduce gun violence instead of taking actions that do nothing more than interfere with the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners. At the same time, I will be encouraging my fellow citizens to vote accordingly.

  21. What do you expect from a bunch of brain dead liberals ?
    Anyone that would vote to elect Fetterman shows their mentality..

  22. Nobody’s even mentioned Biden’s favorite gun the shotgun. How are you gonna do that you going to micro stamp 187 pellets. Revolvers that shoot shotgun shells will probably become very popular.

  23. There hasn’t been a law to date that effects the criminal. Always the legal owners. You want to affect the criminals. Start making mandatory sentences for crimes. Use of a gun in a robbery, mandatory 3 years. Possession by a felon, 5yrs. Gun in a murder, mandatory 25 yrs. Attempted murder, 15 yrs. Mass shootings, 50 yrs Etc….
    Maybe then they will think twice before acting on it.

  24. How on earth does the idiot that wrote this bill expect to be able to put a “serial number” on the
    base of a bullet (not cartridge case, but bullet) let alone the inside of the cartridge case.
    You have to wonder if he/she/it has ever seen a gun, let alone used one.
    Does he plan on banning reloading supplies too?
    The imprinting on the base of a bullet and probably the inside of the case, being exposed directly to
    the hot gas, would be destroyed upon firing. To imprint anything inside the case you would have to use something like a bore scope inserted into the case mouth. It would at a minimum, double the cost of the case.

  25. Every ammo manufacturer should immediately suspension ALL ammo sales to police and law enforcement in Pennsylvania. Let them be the voice of reason to kill this legislation.

  26. So I go to PA to buy magazines and stuff I can’t buy in NJ and my PA peeps will come to NJ for ammo?

  27. Kids getting their hands on firearms and school shootings.. That’s what needs addressing. This will do nothing to stop either. We know who the shooters are. What a preposterous bill and a colossal waste of taxpayers money from whoever proposed it.

  28. Not one thing I’ve read answers the real reason for this stupidity they don’t care about crime stealing not illegal robberies aren’t illegal we have no real police we have revenue enhancement officers the hole system is made for the money money these morons are bankrupting are country. The criminals have more rights than we do.

  29. This is their own fault!!! Pennsylvania has a history of making bad decisions when it comes to their elections!! The only thing they can do is better educate their voters and what we can do is use Pennsylvania as an example of what happens when progressive liberals get power!!!

  30. Democrat politicians have become infected with the new Serial Stupidity virus spawned from the interbreeding of Washington DC swamp dwellers and Commifornia liberal politicians. Never in my long life have I seen our country so diminished not only by the quality of our government but the morons who voted for them! God help us!

  31. California in the 1970’s required retailers to keep a listing of anyone who purchased ammunition. They finally realized that not once in any investigation was that information ever obtained or used. They did away with that requirement.

    Of course it has been reintroduced, and now with the provision that the ammo a person buys must match a licensed firearm.

    A ‘hot-shot’ fire crew from California came through an Arizona town, many years ago. “Where can we buy ammunition?” I told them.

  32. Residents that have an older version of the ammo they use should turn them in, one round at a time! I am not a PA resident but, come to my house to get my guns or ammo.

  33. This article, about a proposed PA state law to mandate micro-coding of all ammunition is well written and highlights the dangers of these anti-gun fanatics. The fanatics refuse to understand the difference between a legally armed citizen and an armed criminal. By their very definition, criminals do not obey the law – so why would breaking one more law?
    I would like to see an article or survey with answers to a single question: What NEW gun law would prevent the mass shootings or any other gun-related crime? I have repeatedly asked this question when the anti-gun folks demand yet another gun control law. I have never received an answer.
    Thank you for your consistently timely and interesting newsletter.
    Curtis Dickinson
    Central Illinois

    1. Curtis (My new hero!),

      Well said Brother. If someone is willing to commit one of the two highest crimes in our country (Capital murder/Treason) what makes them think the gun being illegal would be a deterrent. If they could legislate away gun violence, why not just pass another law and solve the drug problem in our country? ~Dave

  34. Hercules, you are British, right? You just don’t get what freedom is and being responsible for your own safety. Do you really think the government can protect you? Stay safe, sir.

  35. I suggest then , manufactures quit selling ammo to that state. When people have to drive to another state to get ammo, they will put pressure on their legislators to do something. Also the state will loose a lot of money in taxes from the sales.

  36. All these new gun laws really are repressive to the law abiding and do nothing to deter criminals. Plus, if registering ammo really does help law enforcement catch the bad guys, what good is that when liberal DAs and judges turn them right back out on the streets? It is also truly unfair to pass laws which will surely (in most cases) be successfully challenged in court and we have to pay for that twice. We have to pay for the NRA, SAF, ISRA, etc. (through dues and donations) to challenge the law and pay taxes to the state to defend the laws. It costs $millions both ways. Not fair. Stay safe.

  37. To “We the People”,, Its past time to jail these “law” makers. Heck its way past time. We should have jailed or prisoned these violators a long time ago. A fair trial….then prison or hung. Violating our Constitution does have severe consiquences.

  38. Has anyone though of exactly how large a federal and state bureaucracy would have to be to keep track of identification numbers and supply chain to make this happen, {I didn’t say work’ Because it won’t} The Billions of rounds, ferm .22 rimfire, to all the amm8unition the military consumes ,,,, How quickly will the tracking system run out of the ability to keep track of those numbers from the factories to the distributors, to the suppliers, to the sporting goods shops, t the mail order houses, to the end purchaser ……Yes how many Billions of dollars the Taxpayers would have to cough up in taxes and enforcement costs ……..

  39. I think this law is great. It will open up a whole new black market to everyone barred from possessing firearms but, will again not cate. While punishing everyone else. Makes perfect sense.

  40. This does seem to be an admin heavy and overly bureaucratic process that will achieve little other than give boxtickers a pointless job.

    However, something has to be done to quell runaway gun violence in this country.

    There is an exaggerated fear of needing “self-defence” when the reality is otherwise.

    Concealed carry requirements are being repealed, which is idiotic. Simply idiotic.

    Mass shootings continue apace.

    So, what can be done to control the needless gun violence in the US?

  41. You are right. That is the stupidest bill I have ever heard of. Only California could come up with something that stupid. Newsom is beyond naive.

  42. This is a dumb ass law. People who wish to get around the law. Will get into there car, drive over to the next state. Buy there ammo and drive back home. Or have a friend in other states buy ammo and have it sent to them.

  43. I live in PA, a stone’s throw from delaware (let’s go brandon!). This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I’ll definitely be “urging” the local pols to vote against this.
    If it does pass, I would suggest that ammo manufacturers stop selling to police and government agencies in PA. They would have my support in this. But, as stated, this wouldn’t eliminate criminals from getting ammo any way they could.

  44. I live in PA, a stone’s throw from delaware (let’s go brandon!). This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I’ll definitely be “urging” the local pols to vote against this.
    If it does pass, I would suggest that ammo manufacturers stop selling to police and government agencies in PA. They would have my support in this. But, as stated, this wouldn’t eliminate criminals from getting ammo any way they could.

  45. I wouldn’t expect this from any other state but Pennsylvania. Look who they voted into office for a senator. Need I say more?

  46. Forgive me if I am mistaken here but it would appear from the accompanying photo in the article that the “Example” Cartridge bears the identifying Serial Number on it’s Primer and thus once it was fired, the spent shell retrieved and processed for Reloading the New Primer would bear no identification. Would that then constitute a “Ghost Cartridge”???

  47. Which is more stupid in Pennsylvania, HB586 or electing a vegetable (John Fetterman) to the Senate?

  48. Soooo, you better pick up all your spent shells. They are all registered to you and anyone who picks them up could reload them and commit a crime with your fingerprint.

  49. If common sense is so common why do our law makers or for that matter anyone in our government have so little?

  50. Interesting article showing the stupidity of gun control freaks and their ignorance of reality. Hopefully it’ll be destroyed in court before the start date. Proves how corrupt the PA legislature, Governor, and all DemoRAT members are.

  51. Correct me if I’m wrong, but NanoTag Laser Micro Imprinting became law in 2011 and given the size of the printing is only ~30-microns in diameter is virtually invisible to the naked eye and can be imprinted inside a Cartridge Casing instead of locating them on the outside of the cartridge casing…

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