March 16, 2009 By Wayne Hanson
This is a photo of the various markings that can be added to a firing pin. The photo is by Michael Beddow, of the University of California at Davis. UC Davis conducted a study on microstamping which concluded, in part, that while engraving would only cost from $2-$8 per firing pin, the codes engraved on the face of the firing pin "could easily be removed with household tools."
Following last week's announcement that the Connecticut General Assembly would hear a bill to require microstamping of the firing pins of semi-automatic pistols, firearms manufacturers -- many based in Connecticut -- this morning announced opposition to the measure. The manufacturers said in a release that microstamping -- engraving the weapon's serial number on the firing pin to mark each shell casing -- would cost a great deal to reconfigure the manufacturing process. One company, Colt Firearms, stated last year that they would consider leaving the state if microstamping became law, according to the release.
The manufacturers claim the microstamping technology is patented, unreliable and sole-sourced, although the legislation itself -- SB 353 -- states that the attorney general must certify "that the technology used to create the imprint is available to more than one manufacturer unencumbered by any patent restrictions."
"This feel-good legislation will do more harm than good," said Carlton Chen of Colt Firearms. "Let us not make a mistake with the unintended consequences of driving businesses and jobs out of Connecticut."