The concept of microstamping is fairly well-known by now. It involves a laser-engraved number of a firing pin which transfers that code number to the primer of a cartridge. Its proponents argue that it will allow police to identify firearms used in crimes by shell casings left at the scene. That is, if only it was reliable and worked as its inventor and the gun control lobby said it would.
It is one of those things that sounds great in theory but fails in the real world. That hasn’t stopped states like California from adopting it or New York from strongly considering it.
The New York Times published an article online today entitled “New Method to Track Gun Use Stalled by Foes.” It will appear in the print edition tomorrow. The article describes the technology, the opposition to it by gun rights groups, and some of the studies done on its efficacy.
Its inventor, Todd Lizotte, who claims to be pro-Second Amendment and a member of the NRA had wanted his patent on the process to lapse into the public domain. The patent issue is critical for it to go into operation in California. He and his backers just didn’t figure in the tech industry savvy of the CalGuns Foundations whose officers know a thing or two about patents.
In California, legislation signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007 has been held up while the attorney general’s office makes sure the technology is unencumbered by patents. A gun rights group, the Calguns Foundation, went so far as to pay a $555 fee to extend a lapsing patent held by the developer to further delay the law from taking effect.
“It was a lot cheaper to keep the patent in force than to litigate over the issues,” said Gene Hoffman, the chairman of the foundation, adding that he believed the law amounted to a gun ban in California.
For the cost of two hours (or less) of a good attorney, the CalGuns Foundation has stymied the law’s implementation by keeping the patent in force.What an absolutely brilliant move! Gene Hoffman and his group are the masters of strategy and guerrilla tactics and this is just one more example of it.
H/T Brandon Combs