Smith & Wesson, Sturm, Ruger Exit California Market Over Gun Rules

by Categorized: Firearms, Government Date:

Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger are pulling out of the California market for the sale of some new firearms, Reuters and Fox News report, as the nation’s biggest state rolls out rules requiring gun-makers to offer microstamping of serial numbers on ammunition for new and redesigned models.

The whole gun industry, led by the National Shooting Sports Foundation in Newtown, is fighting the California law, and efforts in other states to adopt similar laws. They say the technology is costly but ineffective in solving crime, and is not sufficiently developed for mass production

It should come as no surprise that Smith & Wesson, of Springfield, is leading the charge against microstamping.  The historic gunmaker has been burned before, when it complied with government rules on smart-gun technology.

Late in the Clinton administration, a coalition of federal agencies and cities tried to adopt rules favoring the purchase of firearms that had advanced safety standards, including technology that could make it harder for people to use stolen or illegally purchased guns.  Seven manufacturers, including Colt’s and Sturm, Ruger, filed a lawsuit saying the proposed rules were unconstitutional.

But Smith & Wesson sided with the government — and paid the price in a backlash by customers.

See The Courant’s Daily Buzz question today; Should Bullets Be Microstamped?

Most companies in the industry, including Colt’s, decline to say publicly how they’re progressing in smart-gun technology, as they oppose mandates but could gain an advantage by coming out first with workable systems.

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