Press Release

Legislation to Require Handguns to Have Microstamping Technology Signed by Governor

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

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday signed legislation by Sen. Catherine Blakespear, D-Encinitas, to require all semiautomatic pistols sold in California to use microstamping technology.

With microstamping, the handguns will etch unique identifiers on expended cartridges, providing law enforcement with valuable information to help identify shooters. Blakespear joined Newsom, other legislators and gun safety advocates at a Capitol press conference to celebrate the signing.

“I thank Gov. Newsom for co-sponsoring and signing SB 452, which is another big step forward in our efforts to reduce gun violence, protect the public and catch criminals,” Blakespear said. “SB 452 will put to use readily available technology to help law enforcement identify the guns used illegally and the people behind them. I applaud Gov. Newsom for his leadership on this issue.”

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.

“Disrupting the cycles of violence is imperative to ending the gun violence epidemic,” said Kris Brown, president of Brady. “Microstamping will help our law enforcement agencies do just that by equipping them with reliable tools to track firearms used in crimes. This objective data will help quickly identify shooters and gun traffickers before they can inflict more harm on California’s communities. Brady is grateful to Senator Blakespear, and all SB 452 co-sponsors, for getting this bill to the finish line and thanks Governor Newsom for signing this life-saving legislation into law.”

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 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 it is on Newsom’s desk awaiting action.

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.