October 2005

Downrange: 10/05

SERIAL NUMBERS SHELVED FOR NOW

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has shelved a gun-control measure that would have required manufacturers to stamp microscopic serial numbers on all handgun ammunition sold in California.

The bill, SB 357, has passed the Senate and is pending in an Assembly fiscal committee. The legislation would require manufacturers to imprint or etch a serial number on the end of each slug or bullet starting in 2009. Boxes of cartridges bearing the same number could then be linked to buyers’ driver licenses recorded at the time of sale.

Lockyer said coding handgun ammunition could help identify suspects in many murders and other violent crimes. No other state or country has attempted to set up such a system.

Representatives of the firearms industry warned that serialization would be prohibitively expensive. As a result, there were fears that this bill could pose a financial burden on some law enforcement personnel who are required to buy ammunition for training.

Prominent organizations have declined to endorse the bill, said Lawrence Keane, general counsel of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute, or SAAMI. Keane and others have warned the required manufacturing modifications would either drive companies out of business or result in steep price increases.

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NEW ZEALAND TO DESTROY OLD REMINGTONS

Police in New Zealand will destroy $200,000 worth of Remington rifles when they upgrade to semi-automatics. Reason: They’re abiding by a United Nations convention designed to prevent the illicit trade of weapons.

During the next 12 months police will spend $3 million, replacing 880 Remington rifles with semi-automatics. Rather than resell them, as has been done in the past, the guns will be melted down.

The UN measure to combat illicit trade in small arms was ratified in New York in 2001.

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ATTENTION, BUSINESS OWNERS!

Historically, Gun Tests has only been available through mail subscriptions — you couldn’t find it on a newsstand rack anywhere.

In response to a number of requests from gun-related businesses (including FFL licensees, gun stores, shooting schools, and other retailers), we are now offering a new program that will enable businesses to buy copies of Gun Tests in bulk for reselling to their customers.

If you are the owner of a gun-related business, and you might be interested in buying a number of copies of Gun Tests for your customers each month (at a special price), contact Jennifer Jimolka at JJimolka@belvoir.com or call her at (203) 857-3144.

I hope this will help more gun owners learn about Gun Tests and the positive, practical buying and training information we bring you every month.


-Todd Woodard