Smith & Wesson announced late Wednesday that they will no longer market new semi-automatic pistols in California due to the state’s microstamping law.
California currently requires that all handguns sold in the state be approved to meet all current laws and added to a roster. Once approved, the manufacturer has to pay $200 per model, per year to remain on the list. However, if the laws change, such as the state’s recent implementation of microstamping, the guns on the list would have to be reexamined.
There are currently 1,152 approved models in the state’s database. In an alert sent out by the Calguns foundation last week, this is expected to nosedive dramatically in the coming years.
In a statement released from Smith yesterday, “Smith & Wesson does not and will not include microstamping in its firearms. 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.
I think California’s microstamping law is going to raise some interesting questions regarding gun bans. Although outright gun bans are supposed to be illegal, unless the state is basing its decision on aesthetically offensive characteristics, it may be legal for a state to require nonexistent technology before a firearm will be approved for sale. That is effectively what California has done with its microstamping law.