Queens pols seek vote on microstamping bill

State Sen. Jose Peralta (l.) greets Assemblywomen Grace Meng (c.) and Michelle Schimel on the steps of Queens Borough Hall, where the legislators called on the Senate to bring a bill on microstamping semi-automatic handguns to the floor. Photo by Christina Santucci
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A Queens lawmaker called out state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and his party Monday, urging the Republican leader to bring a controversial gun control measure to a vote during a special session in Albany.

Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) asked Skelos and his colleagues to visit the five boroughs, especially in light of a recent spike in gun violence, in order to see why the city’s lawmakers, along with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, support microstamping.

“Come in from the suburbs and upstate,” Peralta said.

“Bring your members along with you. Instead of keeping each other company at a fancy hotel, get out and talk to people,” he said.

Microstamping is the process of engraving the end of every firing pin in semi-automatic handguns with a unique, microscopic code. When the firing pin hits the back of a shell casing, creating a small explosion and ejecting a bullet, that code is stamped onto the shell, in theory allowing any law enforcement officials who might happen to find it at a crime scene to trace where the gun was made and to whom it was first sold.

The bill has already passed the Democratic-controlled state Assembly several times, but has not yet been brought to a vote in the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans.

But a spokesman for Skelos countered that a microstamping bill was already brought to a vote in the Senate when it was Democratically controlled several years ago, and that it could not even pass then.

“We did not take up the microstamping bill this year,” said Scott Reif. “It’s an unproven technology, and we will continue to look at the issue.”

The National Rifle Association and other gun-advocacy groups are fierce opponents of the plan, calling it ineffective and an assault on the federal right to bear arms.

A video on the NRA website contends that the firing pins could be altered too easily, while other arguments against the process question how often the stamps would be legible.

The NRA and other gun groups have poured money into election coffers in the Empire State, according to Peralta.

Peralta, the sponsor of the bill in the Senate, was speaking in front of Queens Borough Hall, at 120-55 Queens Blvd., alongside the other sponsor, Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel (D-Great Neck) and Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing).

Meng is running for Congress and vowed to push for microstamping on a federal level, along with several other gun-control initiatives, including requiring employees of arms dealers and gunsmiths to submit to a criminal background check, requiring a background check for the sale of every firearm and allowing a judge to take away guns from someone deemed mentally ill.

The push for microstamping comes when Albany may convene for an emergency session to deal with tax issues affecting condominium and co-op owners in the city, but Peralta wants the microstamping bill heard as well.

Between July 2 and 8, 77 New Yorkers were shot, according to Meng’s office, a 28 percent increase over last year.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Updated 10:59 am, July 19, 2012
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Reader feedback

TL671 says:
Killing jobs is the only possible effect of the continuing to push this unproven, unreliable, easily defeated, expensive, patented process, with huge potential for abuse by criminals. Remington has already stated, that if microstamping becomes law they will pack up there operation and leave NY, taking their 1000 jobs with them. If you think the other firearms manufacturers in your state will not follow suit, you are severally mistaken. As to the potential for abuse I mentioned, what is to stop the criminal element from hanging out at gun ranges and picking up the fired, microstamped brass of the law abiding citizens who are shooting there, and spreading them around there particular crime scenes? While their own firearms having either come from a state that does not require this job killing nonsense, or being a revolver that does not eject cases, or most likely having been defaced by something as simple as a file to no longer imprint on the primer of the case. your complete lack of knowledge and common sense(did you not learn from cobis?) will surely cost your state jobs, if not your political career, not that the latter is a bad thing, we need to rid our entire political system of those of you who continue to restrict our freedoms.
July 19, 2012, 6:21 am
John Q from NY says:
NYC already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, and yet the criminals are still committing crimes with guns. That's because representatives like Peralta, Meng, and Schimel have failed to figure out that gun control laws, like Micro-Stamping, only restrict the law abiding gun owner and have little to no impact on the real criminals.
Micro-Stamping, if passed, would only be implemented on new semi-automatic handguns sold in NY to law abiding citizens.
Micro-stamping would only aid in solving crimes committed with this small group of handguns. And even then it would only lead investigators to the last LEGAL owner of that handgun. How many gun related crimes are committed by legal gun owners in NYC? Legal owners are easy to track down because the handguns and their owners are currently registered with the NY State Police.
Micro-stamping is feel good legislation supported by representatives who want to feel like they are helping their community but in reality they are only hurting them. If they really wanted to help their community, they would stop trying to place further restrictions on them and instead let them exercise their 2nd Amendment rights. Go after the criminals, not the law-abiding citizen.
July 19, 2012, 9:06 am
Paul from Patchogue says:
Same thing as CoBIS -
July 19, 2012, 9:11 am
Longscout from New York State says:
Microstamping is apparently the least well understood technology among elected state officials of any other issue of significance they might address: the way to understand it best is to look up published scientific reports written by such eminent authorities as the Forensic Graduate Team at the Univ. of CA at Davis. Bottom Line: It does not work in California. Some majority New York legislators in one chamber of the Legislature seem to be confounded by the results and conclusions reported by those studies, seem to be telling the rest of us "...but, don't you understand: This is New York, not California! I KNOW it will work here!" Nope. The weather may be different but not so much when the sun is shining -- sun, illumination -- on the facts.
July 19, 2012, 1:07 pm
DeMouk from Bronx says:
Please stop wasting time(and money) on this and other anti gun boondoggles. This law, like COBIS, would only affect law abiding gun ownwers and solve no crimes.
July 19, 2012, 2:56 pm
BHirsh from Miami FL says:
The answer should be "No."

The answer should ALWAYS be "No."
July 19, 2012, 7:05 pm

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