Smith & Wesson

Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
January 23, 2014

Firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson will no longer ship new semi-automatic pistols to California, preferring to turn away from the nation’s most populous market rather than comply with a controversial new gun law.

The publicly-traded company posted the announcement on its website in reaction to the state implementing Assembly Bill 1471, which requires new or redesigned semi-automatic pistols have a “microstamping” feature that indelibly marks bullet casings with a unique code when a gun is fired.

The law doesn’t apply to weapons purchased by law enforcement agencies.

“Smith & Wesson does not and will not include microstamping in its firearms,” the company said in a press release dated today. “A number of studies have indicated that microstamping is unreliable, serves no safety purpose, is cost prohibitive and, most importantly, is not proven to aid in preventing or solving crimes.”

Firearms companies and gun-rights advocates say the technology doesn’t work. Earlier this month, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearms manufacturers’ trade group, sued the state for requiring microstamping for all new semi-automatic handguns.

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