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Microstamping is an easily defeatable waste of money

The Another Voice article by Derek P. Champagne stated that a law requiring the microstamping process in all semi-automatic pistols sold in New York would be a valuable tool in solving violent gun crimes. This is not true. If it was true, there would be some data proving its effectiveness. There are no credible studies to back up this opinion.

As far as New York is concerned, his statement that 60 percent of guns used in crimes upstate were sold in New York must include rifles and shotguns. Only government and individuals with pistol permits are allowed to purchase handguns in New York. The violent crime rate of people who have pistol permits is so low that there is no category for it.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has stated that most of the criminals' handguns used in New York are illegally imported from other states. Therefore a microstamping bill would not affect those weapons and would be totally useless.

If all the states passed the bill and microstamping worked, the big problem is that it is easily defeated. Most semi-automatic pistols have easily replaced barrels and firing pins and can be changed in a few minutes.

If the gun has a fixed barrel, the microstamping can easily be removed with the use of a file, power drill, valve-grinding compound and about a half hour or less of time. The process is so simple it does not need the skill of a gunsmith or even a good mechanic.

The third weakness is that a person who intended to commit a violent gun crime could go to a range (even a police range) and pick up a handful of cases. He can then use a brass catcher on the gun used in the crime and scatter the picked up cases at the scene. This could really confuse the investigation of the crime.

We were told a decade ago that the Combined Ballistic Information System would aid police agencies when a gun was involved in a crime. The taxpayers have wasted about $40 million for this system and so far, it has not resulted in aiding any shooting investigation and the conviction of a criminal.

The downstate legislators are always looking for new "gun control" bills. New York is in the top percentage of states having strict and draconian gun laws, but they have little effect on violent gun crime. The reason is because criminals don't obey gun laws any more than they obey other laws.

Forty million dollars wasted on the Combined Ballistic Information System could have been better used by spending it on technology that actually worked. The funding for it should be ended now and the money directed to better law enforcement that takes criminals off the streets.

Those who write about gun laws and suggest passage should learn about technology, examine credible data and not confuse opinion with facts.

Budd Schroeder is chairman of the board of SCOPE, the Shooter's Committee on Political Education.

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