Assembly Passes Michelle Schimel's
Landmark Crime-Fighting Legislation

photo Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel unveils next generation crime-fighting tool at a microstamping press conference on April 14, 2008. Schimel is joined by (L to R) Assemblyman Charles Lavine, Port Washington Police Chief William Kilfoil, Assemblyman Steven Englebright, Chief Lloyd Perkins, President of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, and Senator Martin Golden of Brooklyn.

Great Neck - Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel is pleased to announce the passage of her landmark firearms microstamping legislation (A.9819A) by the New York State Assembly. This crime-fighting technology is designed to aid law enforcement in investigating and solving homicides and other gun related crimes by microstamping the cartridge at discharge.

Assemblywoman Schimel's microstamping legislation requires all semiautomatic pistols manufactured or delivered to any licensed firearms dealer in the State of New York to be capable of microstamping ammunition by January 1, 2010.

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. This technology allows law enforcement officials to trace firearms through cartridge casings found at crime scenes, even if the crime gun is never found. Investigators can learn the identity of its original retail purchaser by using the tracing system, which searches manufacturer and dealer sales records. This will provide law enforcement with rapid leads at crime scenes in the first few hours after a homicide or other gun related crime.

"The crime-solving potential of microstamping technology is enormous. This innovative tool will aid law enforcement in investigating, arresting, and convicting more perpetrators of gun related crimes, and will help victims of gun violence and their families obtain some degree of justice," said Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel.

Schimel, a board member of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence since 1994, has the support of several law enforcement agencies.

Senator Martin Golden of Brooklyn is a proponent of microstamping technology. "As a former New York City Police Officer, I support using all technology available to solve crimes and make the Empire State the safest it can be. It is my goal to work with all interested parties to create legislation that will make the utilization of microstamping a reality, a measure that will enhance crime fighting for our law enforcement officers. By making our streets safer we will be improving the lives of New Yorkers from Montauk to Buffalo and from Brooklyn to Messina," said Senator Martin Golden of Brooklyn.

photo (L to R) Port Washington Police Chief William Kilfoil, Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, Senator Martin Golden of Brooklyn and Chief Lloyd Perkins, President of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police.

This legislation will not place any restrictions on gun ownership or access, will not require any new databases, and will not impose any new costs on the state. Manufacturers will incur minimal costs to adopt this technology, which is estimated to cost between fifty cents and one dollar per firearm.

"Straw purchases for semiautomatic pistols would virtually come to a halt under this legislation. Legal purchasers who buy guns for traffickers will be deterred once they know crimes committed with these guns can be traced directly back to them. This will be a strong deterrent to gun violence," said Chief Lloyd Perkins, President of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, nearly 40% of all homicides go unsolved each year. In 2005, the national clearance rate for homicide cases was 62%, with 3,235 unsolved gun related homicides nationwide. While these statistics are sobering, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In the future, New York could see a higher percentage of closed firearm cases if law enforcement officials could identify crime guns solely from cartridge cases collected at crime scenes.

"Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel's microstamping bill (A.9819A) adds another tool to help police agencies successfully investigate and prosecute those who engage in the possession and use of illegal weapons. It will serve to make New York a safer state and I applaud Ms. Schimel for introducing this bill," said Chief William Kilfoil of the Port Washington Police District.