Smith & Wesson says goodbye, California over ‘microstamping’ law

Julie Golob
Julie Golob, of Glasgow, Mont., captain of the Smith & Wesson shooting team, practices her trade at an indoor shooting range / Photo credit:

Celebrated American gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson announced Wednesday that rather than comply with a new California microstamping requirement, it it will no longer market its semi-automatic handguns in the Golden State. This came after Sturm, Ruger & Co., another American armorer, announced the same decision earlier this month.

Microstamping is a procedure that engraves a unique signature on a semi-automatic pistol’s firing pin, that, in turn, would theoretically stamp it on a shell casing when fired. The National Shooting Sports Foundation filed a suit last week against the state over the microstamping requirement, according to The Washington Times.

“As our products fall off the roster due to California’s interpretation of the Unsafe Handgun Act, we will continue to work with the NRA and the NSSF [National Shooting Sports Foundation] to oppose this poorly conceived law which mandates the unproven and unreliable  concept of microstamping and makes it impossible for Californians to have access to the best products with the latest innovations,” Smith & Wesson President and CEO James Debney said in making the announcement.

The company said that its popular line of M&P pistols, with the exception of the M&P Shield, will fall under the new California mandate and will therefore no longer be available there.

The Times reported:

Smith & Wesson will continue to sell revolvers, bolt action rifles and its newly-launched Shield and SDVE pistols in California. 

The District of Columbia is the only other place in the country that has mandated microstamping. It was supposed to go into effect on Jan. 1, but the city council passed an emergency measure in December to postpone it until 2016.

At the Las Vegas SHOT gun show 2014 last week, Sturm, Ruger & Co. commented on its own decision to

“We’re being forced out of the state by the California Department of Justice,” said Mike Fifer, CEO of Ruger Firearms. “This insistence on microstamping, which doesn’t work, is denying you your rights to have access to these guns.”

At this rate, California homeowners will soon be replacing signs reading, “This Property Protected by Smith & Wesson,” with signs saying, “This Property protected by Frisbee and Whamo.”

Watch the local CBS News footage below, then check out, “Pentagon to relax uniform rules to make religious allowances; beards, turbans, jewelry OK.”


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