Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

Micro-Stamping | Ballistic "Fingerprinting"

The concept of “micro-stamping” is that a firearm’s firing pin or other internal parts could imprint, onto fired ammunition cartridge cases, unique microscopic codes, that the codes could be entered into a computerized database before the firearm leaves the factory, and that police investigators could pick up a cartridge case left at a crime scene, identify the markings on the case, run them against the database, and identify the criminal involved.

However, micro-stamping has repeatedly failed in tests, micro-stamped markings are easily removed, most guns do not automatically eject fired cartridge cases, only new guns—a small percentage of all guns—would be micro-stamped, most gun crimes cannot be solved by micro-stamping, most crimes don’t require micro-stamping to be solved, and most criminals get guns through unregulated channels that would not be affected by a micro-stamping requirement.

In 2008, the National Academy of Sciences evaluated the feasibility, accuracy and technical capability of a possible national database of so-called “ballistic images” from new guns sold in the United States. Citing a number of factors, the evaluation concluded, “A national reference ballistic image database should not be established.”

Issue Articles


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Microstamping on gun rights

In 1983, Clint Eastwood reprised his “Dirty Harry” role in the movie “Sudden Impact,” set in the San ...


Monday, January 27, 2014

Smith & Wesson, Ruger quit California over stamping requirement

A new gun law proponents say helps law enforcement has driven Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger out ...


Friday, January 24, 2014

Smith & Wesson joins 'microstamp' fight

Gun maker Smith & Wesson announced Thursday that it would stop selling newly designed semiautomatic pistols in California ...


Friday, January 24, 2014

California's Most Ambitious Handgun Ban Now Underway

In 1976, the Brady Campaign, then known as the National Council to Control Handguns, said that the first ...


Friday, January 24, 2014

Anti-gun Buttinskis Seek to Politicize NYPD's Firearm Procurements

Since reporting on Jersey City, N.J., Mayor Steven Fulop's adoption of a gun control questionnaire for firearms vendors ...


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Smith & Wesson to stop selling guns in California due to microstamping law

Smith & Wesson announced late Wednesday evening that it will stop selling its handguns in California rather than ...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Massachusetts: 2014 Legislative Session Convened Last Week

Recently, the 2013-2014 legislative session reconvened on Beacon Hill.  As reported last year, a series of public hearings ...

Friday, December 20, 2013

District of Columbia: Microstamping Implementation Delayed Once Again

On Tuesday, December 17, the D.C. Council decided once again to delay microstamping implementation in the District after ...


Monday, May 20, 2013

California: Microstamping law to take effect

The law, signed by then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, made California the first state to require micro stamping, which ...


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New York: Gun ID legislation may trigger exodus of gunmakers Remington, Colt

Two venerable American gun manufacturers -- Remington and Colt -- could head for the West their weapons helped ...

More Like This From Around The NRA


Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.