Microstamping Bills are an Economic Disaster in the Waiting

If legislators in New York and Connecticut approve proposed microstamping bills in 2013, it will cost both states hundreds of jobs and the loss of at least two iconic American firearms manufacturers.

Remington Arms in Ilion, N.Y., and Colt Arms of Harford, Conn., say they will close their plants and move to Midwest states with less restrictive gun laws if they are forced to implement microstamping technology.

Microstamping, or ballistic imprinting, is a patented process that uses laser technology to engrave the make, model and serial number on the tip of the firing pin to allow an imprint of that information on spent cartridge cases.

Supporters say it will allow authorities to identify registered guns used in crimes. Opponents say the process is costly and doesn't work.

New York and Connecticut are among seven states that are considering proposed microstamping legislation. The others are Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maryland, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

California adopted a microstamping bill in 2007 -- AB 1471 -- that has not been implemented "pending investigations into the feasibility of microstamping and patent encumberment."

There is also a federal microstamping bill, H.R.5266 -- the National Crime Gun Identification Act of 2008 -- sponsored by Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) that has not made it out of committee and probably won't anytime in the foreseeable future.

New York State Sen. James Seward, a Republican whose district includes Ilion, said Remington employs 1,100 workers in the 8,000-resident village. Its loss would be a devastating blow to the region's economy, he said.

"You're talking about a company that has options in other states. Why should they be in a state that's hostile to legal gun manufacturing?" Seward said. "There could be serious negative economic impact with the passage of microstamping and other gun-control laws."

In March, Remington executive Stephen Jackson warned New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that forced microstamping could prompt the company to "reconsider its commitment to the New York market altogether rather than spend the astronomical sums of money" necessary to incorporate microstamping into its manufacturing process.

Ilion Mayor John Stephens told FoxNews.com that the proposed microstamping bill is a classic example of unneeded laws that do more damage than good. "I don't think it would help anything," he said. "It would probably be more of a hindrance than anything else. A criminal is going to obtain a weapon if they want to obtain a weapon."

In Connecticut, Colt executives say the state's proposed microstamping bill is nothing more than "feel-good legislation" crafted by gun-control advocates seeking approval from a constituency that does not understand the ramifications of adopting such measures on manufacturers.