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New York microstamping law not ready for prime time

By Cam Edwards

It’s hard to keep track of all of the gun control laws that have been passed by New York lawmakers over the past couple of years, so if you’d forgotten that Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill requiring all new handguns sold in the state to be microstamped back in 2022, you’re not alone. But according to Gothamist, plans to rollout the new mandate are inching along, though a task force set up to determine the technology’s feasibility has already blown past one deadline.

Last June, Gov. Kathy Hochul and state lawmakers made New York the second state in the country to approve a measure requiring microstamping technology — in which a small, unique code is etched into bullet casings when they’re fired — in new semiautomatic pistols. The bill’s passage came amid worries over instances of gun violence statewide.

But the law came with a major caveat: Four years before the measure takes effect, the state Division of Criminal Justice Services must certify whether microstamping is “technologically viable.” Under the law, that was supposed to happen within 180 days of Hochul’s signature — which put the deadline in December 2022.

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