rugerIn 2007, California signed a law that recently went into effect. All new semi-automatic handguns must have microstamping technology. This means that when you fire the gun, it will stamp the gun’s make model and serial number onto the bullet casing in theory making it easy for law enforcement to trace those shell casings (if they are still around) to the gun that fired the dastardly bullet.

What is the purpose of this law? On the surface it appears to be a decent attempt to trace gun crimes, but let’s face it that will only work if decent upright criminals use legal guns that contain the technology and leave their bullet casings behind. It seems more like another attempt to control access to guns for decent upright citizens who want to continue to have the right to defend themselves against bodily harm and a tyrannical government.

Now folks in California will be having a difficult time purchasing semi-automatic handguns since two of the largest manufacturers are pulling their semi-automatic lines: Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger. Both companies have commented that the technology not only adds expense, but destroys the integrity of their product and rather than comply, they chose to leave. Eventually, if other manufacturers follow suit, it stands to reason that buying a semi-automatic handgun in California will no longer be an available option. The gun control zealots just won another battle.

What does this mean for hunters? Well, it is a warning shot across the bow. Once the handguns start being unavailable, and if the gun control lobby sees success, I imagine the next step is to apply the law to all guns. Either gun manufacturers will be forced out of business, or guns will become too expensive to own. Either way, we are slowly losing the war for our rights.

You may say, “Who cares, that’s just crazy liberal California!” but Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York are also considering this new law.  California also has great hunting that we may soon lose as they slowly legislate away guns. Mule deer, Columbia blacktail, desert and rocky mountain big horn sheep, Tule, Rocky Mountain and Roosevelt elk, pronghorn, pigs and birds may all be unavailable to hunt in California someday.

What do we do about it?  This is one of those things we have to fight by our vote and in our courts. Microstamping may seem a minor fight in the war to save our guns, but it is one step close to controlling the general population. It’s also disturbing to note that only private citizens must bear the load of having microstamped shell casings, law enforcement is exempt…