Empire State gun rights advocates fear GOP cave on microstamping

New York State Republicans in the State Senate can stop another excessive gun control bill gun advocates said replicates a useless law that was terminated in 2012.


“The Microstamping bill is another example of very bad policy by liberal Democrats who have no understanding or appreciation of exactly what the Second Amendment means,” said state Sen. Lee M. Zeldin (R.-Shirley), who represents parts of Suffolk County, in Eastern Long Island. “Once again, we have a policy where law abiding citizens are adversely impacted by a strict gun control law that has little to no impact on criminals.”

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association members are concerned that a speedy passage of the bill in the Assembly will move the proposed law to a Senate that is already in their bad graces over passage of the SAFE Act in January 2013, said Thomas H. King president of NYSRPA, the largest National Rifle Association state association in the nation with over 41,000 members.

“Having the Microstamping bill pass through the Senate would be the straw that broke the camel’s back,” he said.  “There would be no hope for Republicans.”

Democrats heavily outweigh Republicans in the Assembly, therefore gun owners will have to depend on the Senate, he said.  “It’s going to be up to the Senate to stand for their core supporters and say: No – enough is enough!”

The microstamping proposal ignores a significant reality that the technology can be manipulated with household tools, said Zeldin who is a congressional candidate for NY-1. “In the Senate I strongly advocate for this bill to either not come up for a vote, or if it does, be voted down.”


The microstamping technique encodes a nanoscopic portion of the serial number onto the firing pin of the gun. Each time the gun is fired there is an imprint on the firing pin that allows the portion to be imprinted onto the primer, said King.

The Combined Ballistic Identification System, which has a similar encoding method than Microstamping, was the law in New York and was repealed after 10 years of failure, he said. “COBIS is exactly the same problem – there is no proven technology it works.”

The repeal bill that was signed into law by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in 2012 justified its repeal for these reasons:

It is the conclusion of two studies by the California Department of Justice conducted two years ago and a 2004 study conducted by the Maryland State Police that the ballistic database systems in these states are a waste of time, money and manpower. The Maryland report cited the complete failure of the New York Combined Ballistic Identification System (CoBIS) to produce a single “hit” on a gun crime as complete failure of that system. The CoBIS system is costing taxpayers approximately $4 million per year and it is a certainty that the State Police could find a better use for those millions.

“What we are saying right now about Microstamping and what we were saying against COBIS is the same,” said King. “COBIS proved us right.”


NYSRPA told the opposition that the gun control measure would fail, he said. “They were told way up front that it would not work, and they went ahead with it anyway.”

COBIS was an epic failure and huge waste of tax payer dollars, said Zeldin, who is a U.S. Army veteran and former JAG attorney. “All of these different gun control laws that keep getting proposed and passed in Albany has increased a sense of forcing gun manufactures out of New York to more gun friendly states.”

Strict gun control laws are ineffectual, he said. “These laws make us less safe, not more-safe.”

Capitalizing on the raw emotion of the public following a tragic shooting, some politicians pass gun control measures because they think it will help them get reelected, he said. “I question whether some of the advocates really do believe these proposals are good law.”

Grassroots organizer for the Patriot Action Network, Carl R. Gottstein Jr., said the SAFE Act is already having a devastating effect on gun manufacturing in the state. “Microstamping is yet another draconian attempt to drive a legal business out of the state because authoritarian liberals do not like it.”

The signs of departure are there, he said. “Manufacturing jobs are leaving.  Remington is nearly gone. More will follow.”

King said if microstamping is made law, gun manufacturers will stop shipping to New York in the same manner they stopped shipping to California.


“After Microstamping was passed, Ruger and Smith& Wesson and a couple of other companies have refused to ship Microstamped firearms into California.”

Gottstein who is a candidate for State Assembly Distr. 108 said legal gun owners should not be a target for ineffectual laws. “Microstamping will infringe on the right to shoot the arms we have a right to bear.”

Microstamping works to the benefit of criminals, said the Rensselaer County resident. “The microstamp can be removed with sand paper and elbow grease.”

Zeldin said Albany politicians are headed down the same path as before.

“There is an overlap between the substance and intentions of COBIS and the Microstamping law,” he said. “The fact that it is so easily defeatable hammers home the point that we are once again having a debate over legislation that is going to hurt law abiding gun owners and have a practically-zero impact on criminals.”

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