Microstamping Technology Legislation Moves Forward

April 16, 2021

Julia Friedmann, West End Strategy Team
jfriedmann@westendstrategy.com; 202.702.3302

Microstamping Ballistic Identification Technology Gains Momentum as States Introduce Gun Violence Prevention Measures

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence celebrates proposed legislation supporting microstamping technology in New Jersey, Illinois, California to reduce gun violence

WASHINGTON — As the gun violence epidemic in America devastatingly claims nearly 40,000 lives each year, a growing number of states are introducing legislation to encourage the use of innovative microstamping technology to link cartridge casings left at shooting scenes to the firearm used in the shooting and trace it back to its first purchaser. Most recently, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced yesterday that he will be supporting microstamping legislation in his new gun violence prevention legislative package, adding New Jersey to the growing list of states like California, Illinois, and New York where legislation supporting microstamping technology is making its way through the legislature. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) applauded the governor’s actions today and continued its call to implement microstamping technology nationwide. 

Microstamping is a technology that stamps alpha-numeric code onto a gun’s cartridge case as it is fired, and is a reliable tool that can help solve gun crimes, identify gun trafficking networks, and reduce gun violence in turn helping to foster better relationships between law enforcement and communities with disproportionately high rates of unsolved gun crimes. Law enforcement can match spent cartridge casings to a specific firearm in the same way law enforcement uses a license plate to quickly identify the make, model, VIN, and registered owner of a car.

This week Josh Horwitz, Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, offered testimony before the California and Illinois state legislatures ahead of their consideration of key microstamping legislation. 

Following New Jersey Gov. Murphy’s announcement that he is including microstamping in a gun safety legislative package announced yesterday, Horwitz released a statement praising the governor’s leadership:

“Microstamping technology is innovative technology that states can use right now to address the American epidemic of gun violence. Fewer than half of all gun homicides ever result in identifying a suspect for arrest, and this number is even worse for Black and Brown communities that bear disproportionate costs of gun violence. Microstamping technology, by imprinting an alpha-numeric code that acts like a license plate for an expended cartridge casing, allows law enforcement to quickly and accurately trace the firearm used in a crime without physically recovering it. Solving gun homicides is critical for families of victims to help them recover from trauma and interrupt cycles of gun violence within communities. 

“I thank Governor Phil Murphy for including microstamping technology as a pillar of gun violence prevention to create a safer New Jersey. I am encouraged by the action in states like New Jersey — in addition to California, Illinois and New York — to take steps to require the use of microstamping technology and I look forward to seeing these bills become law sometime soon.”

CSGV and its affiliate organization, the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (EFSGV), have long led nationwide efforts to adopt and implement microstamping technology. The most recent EFSGV report on the effective public safety potential of microstamping to prevent gun violence is part of the organization’s resource library, which also includes state- and county-level statistics about gun deaths; extensive analysis of U.S. firearm homicide, firearm suicide, and community gun violence; and research on gun violence prevention policies such as extreme risk protection laws and universal background checks.


About the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

Founded in 1974, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is the nation’s oldest gun violence prevention organization. We believe gun violence should be rare and abnormal. CSGV develops and advocates for evidence-based solutions to reduce gun injury and death in all its forms.


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