Schimel and Kavanagh Hail Inclusion of Microstamping in Assembly Budget

Assembly would give law enforcement critical tool to solve violent crimes
March 13, 2012
Albany – State Assemblymembers Michelle Schimel and Brian Kavanagh hailed the inclusion of microstamping in the Assembly budget proposal passed today. Microstamping would replace the existing, less effective Combined Ballistic Identification System (CoBIS), which the Governor has proposed to eliminate in his Executive Budget.

Microstamping allows law enforcement to trace firearms through shell casings found at crime scenes, even if the crime gun is never found. In passing microstamping, the Assembly heeded the call of gun violence victims and their families, anti-crime advocates, and law enforcement who have called for microstamping to be enacted in the budget due to be completed by the end of the month.

“Microstamping is about public safety and placing criminals behind bars,” said Schimel, who has sponsored legislation calling for microstamping for several years. “This technology will save taxpayers’ dollars by enabling law enforcement to solve gun crimes quicker. At a time when government has to save money and be more efficient, microstamping will help reduce the number of man-hours needed to solve gun crimes. I praise my Assembly colleagues for realizing the urgent need for microstamping in New York State, and I strongly urge the State Senate and Governor to join us and include it in the final budget.”

Kavanagh said, “With violent gun crimes continuing to be a scourge throughout the state, it is essential that we give police the best tools available to solve them. Microstamping is a straightforward mechanism that is very difficult for all but the most sophisticated criminals to thwart and has no significant effect on law-abiding gun owners. The Senate should join us in taking this simple step to solve violent crimes and end some of the carnage.”

Last month, family members of gun violence victims, advocates, law enforcement officials, and members of the Assembly and Senate, held a press conference urging the State Senate to include microstamping in their budget proposal.

“I want to thank my Assembly colleagues for including microstamping in their budget resolution,” said State Senator Jose Peralta, the microstamping bill’s Senate sponsor. “Throughout New York State, hundreds of shooting cases, including murders, go unsolved every year because police are unable to connect evidence found at the scene of a shooting to a perpetrator. Often the best leads at the scene are shell casings, but, in the absence of microstamping technology, police are rarely able to connect a shell casing back to the gun that fired it. Microstamping is a 21st Century law enforcement tool that can make cities and towns across New York safer by helping put violent gun criminals behind bars.”

“By including microstamping in its budget proposal, the Assembly has sent an important message: New York must provide law enforcement with this critical crime-solving tool. Now, it's time for the Senate to step up and do the same,” said Senator Daniel Squadron, who co-sponsors microstamping legislation in the Senate. “Failure to act will deprive police of the ability to connect shell casings with their guns - and let hundreds of murder and gun violence cases continue to go unsolved each year.”

Hundreds of gun-related crimes go unsolved each year in New York State because the crime gun is never recovered and police are unable to connect the shell casings left at the scene of a shooting to the criminal who pulled the trigger. Microstamping ensures that when a gun is fired, information identifying the make, model and serial number of the gun is stamped onto the cartridge as numbers and letters.

Over 100 mayors and 80 law enforcement organizations and police departments from across the state have endorsed microstamping.

Jackie Hilly, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, said, “Mothers, fathers and children from across New York die every day from gun violence, yet many of those crimes go unsolved. Families are left devastated without justice or closure and law enforcement is left frustrated by the lack of useful evidence and its inability to solve gun crimes. The inclusion of microstamping in the Assembly budget is an important step toward providing law enforcement with the tools needed to put criminals behind bars. We strongly urge the Senate and the Governor to follow the lead of the Assembly. It is critical that microstamping is enacted into law as soon as possible, the right of all New Yorkers to be safe and free from gun violence depends on it.”