Crouch: CoBIS, A Kin To Micro-stamping, Repealed

Cites flawed technology; has failed to solve one crime since inception
March 28, 2012

Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch (R,I-Guilford) today announced the repeal of CoBIS, the Combined Ballistic Identification System, in this year’s state budget. According to the law, gun sellers were required to send firearms to a CoBIS center where fired shell casings from those guns would be entered into a statewide databank.

“This program was created in 2001, and not one crime has been solved as a result,” said Crouch. “We have spent $32 million on this program with nothing to show for it. I firmly believe that taxpayer dollars can be better invested elsewhere rather then being spent on failed and flawed technology. I am happy to have supported this repeal.”

Under CoBIS, firearms dealers had to ship all new firearms to the regional CoBIS center for testing before they could be sold. While at the CoBIS center, New York State Police would shoot each firearm, certifying a ballistic sample from a pistol or revolver, and then enter the data into the CoBIS databank that identifies the firearm by make, model, caliber, serial number and gun type.

Problems with CoBIS resulted in a long list of faults with the technology, including different brands of ammunition producing different markings, the process of microscopically examining all potential “hits”, and markings on cartridge casings can be readily altered, among many other problems.

“This program has very similar theology to that of micro-stamping,” said Crouch. “We cannot continue to vote for legislation that proves to be useless and wastes taxpayer dollars. We have to remember that crimes are committed by using illegal firearms, not licensed, registered firearms held by law-abiding citizens. Any effort that mandates firearm sellers and businesses and goes after our constitutional right to bear arms I will not support.”