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OPINION: Thoughts on Microstamping

Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel meets Chicago top cop Jody Weis to discuss microstamping.

I recently met with Jody Weis, Deputy Director of the Chicago Crime Commission. Our discussion centered on reducing illegal guns in their respective states of New York and Illinois.

Mr. Weis is the former Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. He spent 23 years in the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he investigated terrorism, narcotics, and violent crime matters. In addition, Mr. Weis also served on the Houston SWAT team and was a bomb technician.

As the sponsor of a microstamping bill in the New York State Assembly, I met with Mr. Weis after learning of his interest in microstamping technology from a national news show where he spoke about his plan to push for microstamping legislation in Illinois.

This technology enables shell cartridges in semi-automatic handguns to be microstamped with an alpha-numeric code that allows law enforcement to trace the shell casing back to the first purchaser of the gun without having to recover the firearm.

The meeting was very productive. Both of us agreed that I should reach out to members of the Illinois State Legislature. I hope my bill will soon become law in New York State.

Michelle Schimel is the New York State Assembly representative for the 16th Assembly District. She was first elected in a Special Election held on March 27, 2007.

UngaBungaBinga February 06, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Yet another failed technologly (like COBIS) that NY will throw money it doesn't have at. All any semi-intelligent criminal will have to do to in order to defeat microstaming is to switch to a revolver. Revolvers for those who know nothing about guns do not leave casings thereby rendering micostamping useless as a crime fighting tool. I guess that's why Maryland and California decided not to WASTE money on it.
Alan Chwick February 06, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Sadly, MS will fail over time, as time and use of the firearm will alter the impressions. As stated above, this would be another FAILURE as CoBIS has been.
Dave February 06, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Again, microstamping will fail miserably at solving any gun crimes. It is a waste of money, just like the COBIS system, which has costed NY tens of millions, and hasn't solved a SINGLE crime. Not one. Microstamping is an easily defeated technology, and a waste of money. Anyone who pushes agendas like this are simply trying to justify their jobs by passing meaningless legislation to grab a few headlines. Shame on you for pushing laws that don't do a thing to prevent crime, and shame on you for not supporting the 2nd amendment.
NYB February 06, 2012 at 06:55 PM
A miniscule percentage of pistol license holders in New York State actually commit crimes, fewer commit gun crimes. Crime rates among concealed carry license/permit holders nationwide are LOWER than those of police officers. Crime guns are typically stolen and a stolen gun can be altered in seconds with household tools. The technology isn't resilient enough to last more than a few hundred rounds before the parts need to be replaced. The legislation is a product of the patent holder attempting to make money...nothing more. You are being USED. Also, CPD is one of the most corrupt policing organizations int he US, probly not a great idea to take direction from their members.
adda February 06, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Assemblywoman Schimel, As previously mentioned above and many times before, this technology is not yet ready for commercial use as the costs to the fabricators would be staggering to retool, etc. Essentially, forcing them to move out of state (say...Pennsylvania). Moreover, do REALLY want to be a sponsor of a bill/law that will force the 4 firearms manufactures to leave the state and take all the tax dollars; both business & personnel (remember NYS is still in a budget deficit). You may not be aware that some of the people who work at a Yonkers firearms factory may live in your district! I also seem to recall that Nassau County has "bigger fish to fry" than trying to stop something that a criminal doesn't really worry about. Work on that first, please.
Adina Genn (Editor) February 06, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Please keep comments civil.
RFR February 06, 2012 at 07:45 PM
I certainly hope that Assemblywoman Schimel is reading the comments and understands the simplicity of the argument against microstamping and isn't just assuming the buzz phrase, "it will reduce crime!" as factual. Too many of our NY State politicians jump on a particular gun control measure for politicial expediency without any clue as to the details of the law. (And example would be a Congresswoman attempting to ban muzzle brakes because they "make bullets deadlier". They of course do no such thing but it sounded good on the television interviews.) As for MS, this is nothing more than an outright attempt to ban handguns as NO manufacturer on this planet produces nor plans to produce a weapon with MS technology. This would be akin to saying, "all cars must get 100mpg" by 2013 or they can't be driven. See? We're not banning cars at all - just ones that don't get 100mpg."
UngaBungaBinga February 06, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Two studies of microstamping were performed by UC Davis; one in 2006 and another in 2008. The 2006 study concluded: At the current time it is not recommended that a mandate for implementation of this technology in all semiautomatic handguns in the state of California be made. Further testing, analysis and evaluation is required. The 2008 study was slightly more optimistic, saying that it was feasible but variable. Of more interest, though was the following: Tests … showed a wide range of results depending on the weapon, the ammunition used and the type of code examined, Beddow found. Generally, the letter/number codes on the face of the firing pin and the gear codes transferred well to cartridge cases … The researchers did not have access to patented information allowing them to read the bar- or gear-codes, and so could not determine if these remained legible enough to be useful. Codes engraved on the face of the firing pin could easily be removed with household tools, Beddow found. http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/01/bruce-w-krafft/just-how-practical-is-microstamping/
Larry February 06, 2012 at 08:11 PM
as stated before, this is untested technology easily defeated with household tools or by using a revolver. again, it is a gun ban tool, not a crime fighting tool. then there is the fact that gun mfg's. will leave the state taking jobs and revenue with them, which is bad enough, but they will not be allowed to even sell guns in the state w/o micro stamping which is in effect a gun ban. where will law enforcement get replacement firearms if non-micro stamped firearms cannot be sold in NY? and to use chicago as an ally and example. are you kidding me? any politician anywhere would do themselves a favor by NOT modeling any program after any from that corrupt administration. Assemblywomen Schimel please take note. Here's a thought--ever notice on the evening news the "bad guys" all seem to be wearing hoodies to avoid being I.D.ed? how about banning hoodies to aid in the I.D. of the criminals? might even catch them with their illegal gun. to echo the analogy above, see we're not banning all sweatshirts, just the hooded ones that could be used as a disguise during a crime.
NYB February 06, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Example of Nassau politician logic: In Nassau County, the only people who get "Full Carry" licenses which allow them to have and carry concealed a registered handgun outside of the home are a) rich people with political influence and b) people who can demonstrate that they are at an increased risk of becoming a crime victim. When you notify the licensing authorities that you are at an increased risk of becoming a crime victim, they confiscate your guns and license so that "the criminals won't victimize you and then use them against you." Thereby, only the rich get these types of permits. Relevance: Someone should investigate how much money the patent holder of microstamping technology has contributed to the campaigns of the professional politicians who are pushing for the legislation to require its use in New York and elsewhere.
DPM February 06, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Put bluntly Ms. Schimel, I don't trust you or your anti-gun nonsense. You milked us for 10 years and 44 million with your CoBIS stunt and still push for it. As a police officer myself, I say no, no, and no to microstamping and yes, yes, yes to law abiding citizens who wish to exercise their rights under the 2nd Amendment.
ron james February 06, 2012 at 09:51 PM
And yet another gigantic waste of taxpayer money just so some liberal Democrat anti-gunner can say "look what I did !". In reality all that would be accomplished is the further punishing of law abiding citizens. Then this Democrat can move on to some other idiotic waste of taxpayer money.
Eric L February 06, 2012 at 10:24 PM
A very poor idea Ms. Schimel. As a constituent I wish you would work towards relaxing New York's ridiculous gun laws instead of layering new ones on new ones.
NYB February 06, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Think of the CHILDREN!
John Chalker February 06, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Law abiding US citizens should enjoy their 2nd Amendment Right. Driving a car is a privilege. The 2nd Amendment is (so far) a Right. There's a big difference between the two. You're a nice lady who means the best, but you should find a better cause.
John Smith February 06, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Ohhh, I need to keep my comments civil, huh? OK, I will do that: Dear Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, This legislation is complete bunk, and we know that it serves only to advance your political career. Everyone knows that Microstamping can be defeating in one minute by filing down the firing pin with a ladie's emery board, so this legislation does absolutely NOTHING to deter crime, nor catch criminals. You swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States! So stop betraying your oath, and start supporting The Second Amendment.
cliff Spieles February 07, 2012 at 12:00 AM
As a police officer in a busy city I understand that we need to keep firearms away from criminals. Microstamping will have no effect on firearm related crimes in NYS because criminals get their firearms illegally (mostly from out of state). If you really want to stop firearm related crimes STOP letting criminals out of jail so fast. In my 9 years as a beat cop, Im arresting the same people over and over again. If NYS would just keep the bad guys in jail firearm crimes would drop drastically
LosTresGusanos February 07, 2012 at 05:27 AM
First of all, you represent the people of the state of New York, Assemblywoman Schimel, not Illinois. We have plenty of things to do here in case you've forgotten. Perhaps if you need a reminder, we can show you at the voting booth next election. Secondly, the majority of cops I know realize that microstamping is utterly useless. All it will do - which I believe is your true intent - is regulate guns out of existence. Let me tell you something: The 4 million members plus of the NRA and I will fight you tooth and nail every step of the way.
Greg February 22, 2012 at 05:21 AM
Great, ANOTHER waste of taxpayer money on a harebrained idea so a politician can pat herself on the back and claim she did something. What, $44 MILLION wasted on CoBIS isnt enough? We have to drive firearms manufacturers over the state line into PA and lose jobs and tax revenue? Brilliant.
john agilaiaro February 29, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Schimel and other local petty politicians are nothing but inept people unable to hold a real job they only waste our money while engage in flim flaming us,
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