Laws and Loopholes

CA Legislature Moves to Strengthen Unsafe Handgun Act


Longtime Brady Champion, Assemblymember David Chiu released language of a bill designed to strengthen the existing Unsafe Handgun Act (UHA). A key portion of the UHA mandated manufacturers to produce handguns that stamp microscopic characters that are linked to the handgun’s make, model, and serial number onto each fired shell casing.

Chiu's office issued a summary that explains his fix. "Since microstamping requirements only apply to new handgun models, the gun industry has effectively boycotted this law (as well as other new requirements of the UHA) by refusing to develop new handgun models for sale in California. So far, no firearm manufacturer has submitted a handgun for certification to DOJ that incorporates microstamping technology.

Importantly, while the gun industry and activists have asserted that they do not have the capacity to microstamp cartridges from two places on the interior of a firearm (as required under AB 1471), they have conceded that they are able to do so from one place."

AB 2847 eases compliance by requiring that newly developed semiautomatic pistol models etch microstamping characters on one place on the interior of the firearm, as opposed to two. Additionally, AB 2847 furthers implementation of the new UHA requirements by directing the Attorney General to remove three previously grandfathered handgun models from the roster for each new compliant handgun model that is introduced.

Microstamping technology will significantly improve law enforcement’s ability to identify shooters and gun traffickers, apprehend them before they do more harm, and hold them accountable. Incorporating other UHA design safety standards in more handguns sold in California would also help prevent accidental shootings.

Brady California is proud to be the sponsor of this bill.