California Supreme Court Forces Impossible-to-Obey Laws onto Gun Manufacturers

California Supreme Court Forces Impossible-to-Obey Laws onto Gun Manufacturers June 29, 2018

AP reporter Juliet Williams tweeted something very curious.

“In ruling on bullet-stamping law, California Supreme Court says state laws cannot be invalidated on the grounds that complying with them is impossible.”

Wait, what?

On Thursday, the state Supreme Court tossed a lawsuit that that sought to block an unusual law — one that requires new semi-automatic handgun models to have identifying information on their bullet cases.  Well, that’s a nice idea, but the technology simply does not exist.  Essentially, this law is requiring gun manufacturers solve crimes before they happen.

Why stop with mere identifying marks?  Why not have a photo of the future criminal, their home address, and potential motives also stamped on the casing as well?  If we’re talking about “things that would be nice, but aren’t possible,” why not just ask the gun manufacturers to eliminate hatred and anger while they’re at it?

This law mandates a criteria to which it is not possible to comply, yet the court ruled unanimously that the gun manufacturers must do it anyway.  This is a first in the nation, according to KomoNews:

Attorneys for the state acknowledged that microstamping technology is “emerging” but said lawmakers often enact laws to force industries to innovate.

Writing for six of the justices, Associate Justice Goodwin Liu said impossibility can sometimes lead courts to excuse a failure to comply with a law, but it can’t be the basis for invalidating it.

Larry Keane, general counsel for one of the plaintiffs, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said he may ask the court to reconsider its ruling because it appeared to misunderstand the aim of the lawsuit.

It was not seeking to invalidate the state law but to block its enforcement until technology made it possible to comply with the stamping requirement, Keane said.

“It is undisputed and not contested by the state that it is literally impossible to comply,” he said.

Under currently available technology, only the tip of the firing pin can be microstamped, not the cartridge primer.

But reality does not get a vote, apparently, in the state of California.

Image Credit: MaxPixels

Hat Tip: KomoNews

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