The powerful gun lobby’s influence has once again prevented common sense legislation that would provide law enforcement with a tool to catch criminals. The New York State Assembly included microstamping in their budget proposal in response to the Governor repealing CoBIS [Combined Ballistic Identification System] in his executive budget. The gun lobby has prevailed to keep microstamping out of the final budget.
Case after case remain unsolved even though there is a preponderance of evidence such as shell casings left behind at the scene of neighborhood killings. These unsolved cases demand a solution that is not unlike the metal stamping used on automobiles, vehicle Identification numbers (VIN). The terrorist who left a Nissan Pathfinder in Times Square in 2010 was identified through the car’s VIN number. The break in the case occurred when a NYPD Detective went under the vehicle and obtained the hidden metal stamped VIN number, which identified the owner of record, who in turn, sold it to the suspect.
Like the VIN number on a car, the sole purpose of microstamping is to provide police with a more accurate method to track down the owner of a gun that is used in a crime. The gun lobby’s rallying cry is that microstamping is another piece of legislation that takes away rights from law abiding gun owners. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
In a letter to Governor Cuomo, Remington, a large gun manufacturer in Illinois, went so far as to threaten to leave the New York market if the state implemented microstamping. This is tantamount to extortion.
Violent gun crime continues to spike. Law enforcement deaths are on the rise. It is a sad day for New York when the gun lobby can trump public safety once again.
Assemb. Michelle Schimel, D-Great Neck, represents New York's 16th district.