Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel Sponsors Live
Great Neck - Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel held a live fire demonstration for state legislators and law enforcement officials last month to demonstrate the effectiveness of microstamping and to urge the Senate to pass her landmark firearms microstamping legislation (A.9819A). Schimel was joined at the New York State Police Academy Firing Range by Todd Lizotte, the co-inventor of microstamping technology, and Joshua Horwitz, the Executive Director of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence.
Microstamping, which is used to identify guns used in crimes, allows law enforcement officials to trace firearms through cartridge casings found at crime scenes, even if the crime gun is never found. Assembly bill A.9819A, 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.
"When a person is murdered or victimized with a firearm we want to know who fired that gun. No shooter has the right to hide behind a blank shell casing," said Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel. Police investigators work hard to catch the perpetrators who prey on our communities, prosecutors work hard to build cases against these criminals, and victims of gun violence and their families deserve some degree of justice for the heinous crimes they have endured. It is unacceptable not to embrace this effective crime-fighting tool."
At the live fire demonstration, several rounds of bullets were fired from a semiautomatic pistol equipped with microstamping capability. Todd Lizotte, the co-inventor of microstamping technology and Managing Director of Pivotal Development, then examined the spent cartridge casings under a microscope so that law enforcement officials and legislators attending the demonstration could see the visible markings that were made when the gun was fired.
Assemblyman Steve Englebright of East Setauket, who observed the live fire test, said, "The results were clear as a bell. The microstamp registered clearly, repeatedly and legibly on the cartridge even though the gun had been fired 5,800 times prior to that day. I call on the Senate to join law enforcement, Assemblywoman Schimel and myself in getting this bill passed and signed into law before the end of session."
Manufacturers will incur minimal costs to adopt microstamping technology, which is estimated to cost between fifty cents and six dollars per firearm.
"I'm offering this technology royalty free to any manufacturer making guns for the United States domestic market because I think it's an important tool for law enforcement," said Todd Lizotte, co-inventor of microstamping technology. "Microstamping provides the opportunity to link a spent cartridge casing directly to the gun that fired it even if that gun is never recovered."
Despite widespread support from several law enforcement agencies and endorsements from more than 50 police departments from across the state, efforts to introduce similar legislation in the Senate appear to have stalled. At a press conference in April, Senator Martin Golden of Brooklyn praised Schimel's microstamping bill and said he would introduce similar legislation in the Senate within 30 days. More than a month has passed and a microstamping bill has yet to be introduced in the Senate due to pressure from special interests tied to the gun lobby.