State Ammunition Microstamping

Microstamping & Ballistic Identification in Oklahoma

Posted on Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Oklahoma has no laws regarding firearm microstamping or ballistic identification.

See our Microstamping & Ballistic Identification policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issues.

Microstamping & Ballistic Identification in Vermont

Posted on Friday, February 20th, 2015

Vermont has no laws regarding firearm microstamping or ballistic identification.

See our Microstamping & Ballistic Identification policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Microstamping & Ballistic Identification in New York

Posted on Friday, February 20th, 2015

New York law requires any firearms manufacturer that ships, transports or delivers a handgun to any person in New York to include a separate sealed container with a shell casing of a bullet or projectile discharged from the handgun, along with additional information that identifies the handgun and shell casing.1 Any state-licensed gunsmith or firearms dealer must, within ten days of delivering a handgun received on or after March 1, 2001, forward to the Division of State Police the sealed container enclosing the shell casing from the handgun.2 The state police must enter the pertinent ballistic information into an automated electronic databank (the “Combined Ballistic Identification System” or “CoBIS”) designed to ensure compatibility with national ballistic technology.3

See our Ballistic Identification policy summary and our Microstamping policy summary for comprehensive discussions of these issues.

  1. N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law § 396-ff(2). []
  2. N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law § 396-ff(5). []
  3. N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law § 396-ff(6). For detailed information on CoBIS, see N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 9, § 472.1 et seq. []

Microstamping & Ballistic Identification in Connecticut

Posted on Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Connecticut requires that the Division of Scientific Services (Division) of the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection establish a firearms evidence databank.1 The databank is a computer-based system that scans a “test fire” (discharged ammunition consisting of a cartridge case or bullet or fragment thereof containing sufficient microscopic characteristics to compare with other discharged ammunition) from a handgun and stores an image of the test fire in a manner suitable for retrieval and comparison to other test fires and other evidence in a criminal investigation.2

The databank may be used to: 1) compare two or more cartridge cases, bullets or other projectiles submitted to the Division laboratory or produced at the laboratory from a handgun; or 2) verify by microscopic examination any resulting match upon the request of a police department as part of a criminal investigation.3 Any image of a cartridge case, bullet or fragment of a cartridge or bullet that is not matched by a databank search shall be stored in the databank for future searches.4

A police department shall submit to the laboratory any handgun that comes into police custody as the result of a criminal investigation, as found property, or for destruction, prior to the return or the destruction of the handgun.5 The laboratory shall collect a test fire from each submitted handgun within 60 days of submission, and label the test fire with the handgun manufacturer, type of weapon, serial number, date of the test fire and name of the person collecting the test fire.6 Police departments are required to collect a test fire from every handgun that is to be issued to an employee.7

The Division may permit a police department that complies with all laboratory guidelines and regulations adopted by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection regarding the operation of the databank to: 1) collect test fires from handguns that come into the custody of the police department; 2) set up a remote terminal to enter test fire images directly into the databank; and 3) search the databank.8

The laboratory may share databank information with other law enforcement agencies, both within and outside Connecticut, and may participate in a national firearms evidence databank program.9

Connecticut has no laws regarding firearm microstamping.

See our Ballistic Identification policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-7h(b)(1). []
  2. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-7h(a)(1), (5). []
  3. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-7h(b)(2). []
  4. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-7h(b)(3). []
  5. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-7h(c)(1). []
  6. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-7h(c)(2). []
  7. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-7h(d)(1). []
  8. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-7h(b)(4). []
  9. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-7h(e). Additional requirements for submitting test fires and handguns to the database and for searching the database are detailed under Conn. Agencies Regs. §§ 29-7h-1—29-7h-6. []

Microstamping & Ballistic Identification in Missouri

Posted on Friday, January 30th, 2015

Missouri has no laws regarding firearm microstamping or ballistic identification.

See our Ballistic Identification and Firearm Microstamping policy summary for comprehensive discussions of these issues.

Microstamping & Ballistic Identification in New Hampshire

Posted on Thursday, January 29th, 2015

New Hampshire has no laws regarding microstamping or ballistic identification.

See our Ballistic Identification and Firearm Microstamping policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of these issues.

Microstamping & Ballistic Identification in Pennsylvania

Posted on Monday, January 26th, 2015

Pennsylvania has no laws regarding microstamping or ballistic identification.

See our Ballistic Identification and Firearm Microstamping policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of these issues.

Microstamping & Ballistic Identification in California

Posted on Monday, January 12th, 2015

See our Microstamping & Ballistic Identification policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Microstamping: In 2007, California became the first jurisdiction in the nation to enact legislation requiring handgun microstamping. Microstamping means equipping a firearm with a microscopic array of characters that can be used to identify the make, model, and serial number of the firearm, that are etched in two or more places on the interior surface or internal working parts of the firearm, and that are transferred by imprinting on each cartridge case when the firearm is fired.1 Microstamping would enable law enforcement to use California’s handgun purchaser database to match a cartridge case found at a crime scene to the individual who purchased the handgun. The technology is a valuable crime-fighting tool because it helps law enforcement solve gun crimes where the actual firearms have not been recovered.

California’s Crime Gun Identification Act of 2007 requires all new models of semiautomatic pistols manufactured for sale in the state to be designed and equipped with microstamping technology. The law stated that it would go into effect as soon as the state Department of Justice (“DOJ”) certified that the technology used to create the imprint is available to more than one manufacturer unencumbered by any patent restrictions.2 DOJ certified that such technology is available unencumbered by any patent restrictions on May 17, 2013.3 However, this requirement has been challenged by the gun lobby in federal court and the outcome of this litigation is still pending.

DOJ may also approve a method of equal or greater reliability and effectiveness in identifying the specific serial number of a firearm from spent cartridge casings discharged by that firearm to be thereafter required if this new method is also unencumbered by any patent restrictions.4

Ballistics Identification: In 2007, California adopted a law, effective January 1, 2009, authorizing local law enforcement agencies to enter representative samples of fired bullets and cartridge cases collected at crime scenes, from test-fires of firearms recovered at crime scenes, and other firearm information needed to investigate crimes into the U.S. Department of Justice, National Integrated Ballistic Information network (“NIBIN”).5 The law also requires the California DOJ to develop a protocol for law enforcement agencies to submit this information to NIBIN.6

In addition, in 2000, California adopted a law that required the Attorney General to conduct a study evaluating the feasibility and potential benefits of a statewide ballistics identification system.7 The Attorney General’s report, released to the public on January 29, 2003, states that automated ballistics fingerprinting systems are already assisting forensic experts using relatively small databases to compare cartridge cases recovered at crime scenes, and noted that the expansion of such databases to include hundreds of thousands of newly-manufactured firearms may potentially serve as a vital crime-solving tool. The report cautions, however, that under existing technology, adding the large volume of new guns sold in California could overburden the fingerprinting database, while providing limited useful forensic information to criminal investigators. The Attorney General is optimistic that technology will evolve rapidly to overcome these barriers to an effective ballistics fingerprinting system in California, and noted that further studies on the system are underway.8

  1. Cal. Penal Code § 31910(b)(7). []
  2. Cal. Penal Code § 31910(b)(7)(A), 32000. []
  3. See Cal. Dept. of Justice, Firearms Bureau, Certification of Microstamping Technology Bureau of Firearms pursuant to Penal Code section 31910, subdivision (b)(7)(A) (May 17, 2013), at http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/firearms/infobuls/2013-BOF-03.pdf. []
  4. Cal. Penal Code § 31910(b)(7)(B). []
  5. Cal. Penal Code § 11108.10(a). []
  6. Cal. Penal Code § 11108.10(b). []
  7. Cal. Penal Code § 34350. []
  8. California Department of Justice, Feasibility of a California Ballistics Identification System (January 2003), available at: http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/pdfs/firearms/pdf/03-013_report.pdf?. []

Microstamping & Ballistic Identification in Washington

Posted on Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Washington has no laws regarding microstamping or ballistic identification.

See our Microstamping / Ballistic Identification policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of these issues.

Microstamping & Ballistic Identification in Illinois

Posted on Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Illinois has no laws regarding firearm microstamping or ballistic identification.

See our Microstamping & Ballistic Identification policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.