Assemblywoman urges new identification technique for guns in N.J.



New Jersey lawmakers are considering a proposal to require all newly manufactured handguns sold in the state to be micro-stamped.

The serial number, make, and model would be engraved with lasers on the internal working parts of a handgun and that information would be imprinted on each cartridge case when a gun is fired.

That would help solve crimes, said Assemblywoman Joann Downey, D-Monmouth.

“Why wouldn’t we want to make it easier for law enforcement,” she asked. “Why wouldn’t we want to make it so that it’s a deterrent for people who actually have handguns?”

Scott Bach, the executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, opposes the measure.

“The whole premise is flawed. It assumes that criminals use a registered gun,” he said. “Anybody who thinks that criminals use registered guns in New Jersey doesn’t understand how things work here.”

Bob Viden, who owns Bob’s Little Sport Shop in Glassboro, said the legislation could have a drastic effect on handgun sales.

“It would ban a lot of handguns just because they’re not made with the microstamping on them,” he said. “These guns have been around for years, and they’re still being manufactured. There’s no reason to ban them.”

No gun manufacturer has used the micro-stamp technology. The gun lobby has taken legal action against a similar law in California.

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