Press Release

Bill to Require Handguns with Microstamping Technology Passes Assembly Committee

SB 452 would make it easier to solve gun crimes, as bullet casings could be traced to individual guns

SACRAMENTO – Legislation by Sen. Catherine Blakespear, D-Encinitas, that would require all semiautomatic pistols sold in California to use microstamping technology passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday.

By using microstamping, the handguns would etch unique identifiers on expended cartridges, providing law enforcement with valuable information to help identify shooters. 

SB 452, which has already been approved by the Senate, goes next to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration.

“Every time there is a shooting in the news, people ask: What can we do to help stop this?” Blakespear said. “First of all, we can do a better job of finding and catching anyone who uses handguns illegally and recklessly. SB 452 puts to use readily available technology to help law enforcement catch criminals.”

When guns are used in homicides and other crimes, law enforcement often struggles to find the shooters. In 2021, the percentage of statewide gun crimes solved by law enforcement was only 40 percent, and only 55 percent for homicides, according to the Brady Campaign.

Microstamping required by SB 452 is a reliable, innovative technology that imprints a unique code on shell casings fired from a firearm. This will help law enforcement to identify the source of a gun used in a crime, allowing for more effective investigations into homicides and other firearm-related crimes.

SB 452 would prohibit the sale or transfer of a semiautomatic pistol made after July 2027 unless it has been verified as a microstamping-enabled pistol. The legislation is co-sponsored by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Brady Campaign and Moms Demand Action. 

“Microstamping technology aids law enforcement in tracking firearms used in crimes, proving a reliable tool for investigators,” said Kris Brown, president of Brady. “With this objective data, law enforcement can quickly identify shooters and gun traffickers before they can inflict more harm on California’s communities. Microstamping’s value cannot be overstated, and SB 452 will ensure microstamping finally becomes a reality in the Golden State. Brady is grateful to Senator Blakespear and all bill co-sponsors for introducing this life-saving, cycle-breaking measure.”

Blakespear has also authored SB 417, which would require gun sellers to post warnings about the danger of having a firearm in a home, and SB 8, which would require gun owners to carry liability insurance. SB 417 passed the Senate in May and is now in the Assembly, and SB 8 is a two-year bill currently held in the Senate Insurance Committee.

Elected in November, Blakespear represents Senate District 38, which covers northern coastal San Diego County and part of inland Orange County. To learn more about the district and Blakespear, visit her Senate website.