On July 31, 2020, California Bill AB 2847, which revises the criteria for handguns to be certified for sale in California by requiring microstamping in one place on a discharged cartridge, was passed by California’s Senate Public Safety Committee. AB 2847 was proposed following litigation surrounding California’s adoption of Cal. Penal Code § 31910 (b)(7)(A) regarding “unsafe handguns,” which requires microstamping of the handgun’s make, model, and serial number on two places on a discharged cartridge.
The adopted penal code provisions provide that the microstamping requirement becomes effective once the California Department of Justice certifies that the technology necessary for the microstamping is “available.” The State certified that the microstamping technology was “available” in 2013, but later clarified that their determination was based on “the lack of any patent restrictions on the imprinting technology, not the availability of the technology itself.” As such, the NSSF and SAAMI filed a lawsuit seeking to have these penal code provisions invalidated, as compliance with the code’s “dual placement microstamping” was practically impossible. As a result of this microstamping requirement, major firearms manufacturers, including Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co. have opted to stop selling new models of their handguns in California. 
While litigation surrounding Cal. Penal Code § 31910 is ongoing, AB 2847 was introduced to ease compliance with the penal code’s microstamping provisions by requiring microstamping in only one location. Despite this, critics of microstamping requirements argue that microstamping, like other attempted “ballistic fingerprinting” databases maintained in other states, is “impractical, expensive, and ultimately ineffective.” Additionally, critics take issue with a provision of AB 2847 which requires that each time a new handgun is added to California’s roster, three certified handguns, which are not compliant with AB 2847, must be removed from the roster. AB 2847 will now move to California’s Senate Appropriations Committee for further consideration.
Renzulli Law Firm, LLP will continue to monitor the NSSF/SAAMI litigation and the movement of AB 2847 through the California legislature.  If you have any questions concerning firearms related legislation, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.