Giglio: CoBIS, Similar To Micro-stamping, Repealed In Budget

Law has failed to solve one crime since inception

Assemblyman Joseph M. Giglio (R,I,C-Gowanda) today announced the repeal of CoBIS, the Combined Ballistic Identification System, in one of this year’s state budget bills. 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. Giglio noted that the state has spent $32 million on CoBIS since the creation of the program in January of 2001, and not one crime has been solved with this technology.

“This was flawed technology and failed to produce the result that anti-gun advocates desired,” said Giglio. “This was a bureaucratic nightmare for firearm sellers and an unnecessary cost that they had to absorb or pass on to their customers. I am proud to have supported the repeal of this law.”

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.

“The purpose of this system was to help solve crimes,” said Giglio. “That’s all well and good, except when the majority of crimes committed are done with illegal guns, not licensed, legal and registered firearms. Micro-stamping contains the same faults and goes beyond CoBIS to further restrict firearm manufacturers, dealers, owners and sportsmen from enjoying their constitutional right to bear arms. We need to learn from this experience and not waste time and money with micro-stamping.”