Press Release

Legislation to Require Handguns to Have Microstamping Technology Sent to Governor

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

SACRAMENTO – The Senate on Thursday approved legislation by Sen. Catherine Blakespear, D-Encinitas, that would require all semiautomatic pistols sold in California to use microstamping technology and sent it to Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign.

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

“SB 452 is another important step in helping us reduce gun violence and hold accountable people who illegally use guns,” Blakespear said. “This legislation puts to use readily available technology to help law enforcement catch criminals and identify the guns used willfully or recklessly.”

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.

“To interrupt cycles of violence, our law enforcement agencies must be equipped with reliable tools to track firearms used in crimes,” said Kris Brown, president of Brady. “Microstamping offers objective data to help quickly identify shooters and gun traffickers before they can inflict more harm on California’s communities. This is a crucial, life-saving measure in the fight to end gun violence. Brady is grateful to Senator Blakespear and all SB452 co-sponsors for making microstamping a reality for the Golden State.”

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 Jan. 1, 2028, 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.

Blakespear has also authored SB 417, which would require gun sellers to post warnings about the danger of having a firearm in a home. SB 417 passed the Legislature and was sent last week to Newsom for consideration.

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