The Latest: California Justices Toss Bullet Stamping Suit | California News | US News: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on a ruling by the California Supreme Court on a state bullet stamping law (all times local): 10:45 a.m. The California Supreme Court says state laws cannot be invalidated on the grounds that complying with them is impossible. The unanimous ruling on Thursday rejected a lawsuit by gun rights groups that sought to throw out a California law that requires new models of semi-automatic handguns to stamp identifying information on bullet casings. The groups argued that technology did not exist to meet the stamping requirements, and a law can't mandate something that's not possible.
(Actually, I think the term "Bullet Stamping" is misleading; the intent is not to serialize the actual projectile, but to emboss on the base of the cartridge a code which uniquely identifies the firearm which fired the cartridge.)
So .. the whole "Bullet-Stamping" thingie is no longer an issue in California.
Because the Supreme Court of the State of California doesn't care that it's technically impossible to comply with the law. Which implies that the law will be enacted.
I addressed it twice in 2014: here and here.
(BTW .. most alternatives include stamping or embossing unique serial numbers on the base of a cartridge when the gun is fired the identifiers would supposedly identify the guj from which the round was fired.. That doesn't do much for rounds fired from a revolver, which are not automatically ejected onto a 'crime scene".)Embossed serial numbers from firing pins and breaches of firerms can easily be sanded down or filled in until the actual serial number is obfuscated to the point where they are unreliable in a Court of Law.
The last time I addressed the issue was 2014, when I finally admitted that California had their heads so far up their nether regions that they were unlikely to ever change their unrealistic rhetoric.
Things have changed. Sort of.
California DID ... finally ... take a closer look at the mechanics of the issue and realize that they were wasting time, money and political power on a never-win issue. So they said "do it anyway", and washed their hands of the issue.
ONE OF THE ISSUES in this inane law is that the details were .. unclear.
Ultimately, EVERY gun part which might be used to stamp an unique identifier onto either the primer or the base of a cartridge is readily (and cheaply) replaceable ... or subject to obfuscation by use of a file or an emery board..
There is no part of a semi-automatic pistol which cannot be replaced or altered .. even temporarily ... with a "Box Stock" part within a matter of seconds. Which makes the concept that imprinting a "serial number" on the base of a cartridge not only unrealistic, but laughable.
You may argue that the "frame" of a handgun is inviolate. It isn't; if I have a file and sandpaper.
While California is working hard to accept 20th Century realities... they still have a long way to go.
But a "We Did Our Best" is not good enough in a court of law.'
And it's still anti-Second Amendment to register a gun.
(updated August 05, 2018, to recognize that the California Supreme court rejected an argument which would have invalidated the new law)