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Micro Stamping Bill

Micro Stamping Bill

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Published by Nick Reisman

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Published by: Nick Reisman on Feb 29, 2012
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02/29/2012

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February29,2012
The
HonorableAndrew
M.
CuomoGovernoror
New
YorkState
New
YorkStateCapitolBuildingAlbany,
New
York12224Re:GunViolencePreventionandMicrostampingDearGovernorCuomo:WewritetodaytoaskthatyouincludemicrostampinginyourExecutiveBudget.Politicalattentionisunderstandablyfocusedontheeconomy,butprosperitymeanslittlewithoutsafetyandsecurity.Wethereforeapplaudyourrecentlyannouncedcomprehensiveinitiativetoreducegunviolence.Likeyou,webelievethatwemustdoallwecan
to
stoptheviolenceandmakesureNewYorkersareprotectedandourstreetsaresafe.Yourtargeted,community-specificprogramsexemplifythesimultaneouslyinnovativeandcommon-senseapproachNewYorkmusttakeinthefightagainstgunviolence.Yetforalltheirpromise,theseprogramswill,bydesign,helponlythosetargetedcommunities.Forthatreason,webelieveyoushouldembraceonemoresuchcommon-senseinnovationthatcanhelppreventgunviolencestatewide:microstamping.Microstamping-atechnologythattransfersauniquealphanumericcodeontothebulletcasingthatisejectedwhenasemiautomaticpistolisfired-isacost-effectivewaytohelppoliceidentifygunsusedinillegalactivities.Microstampinghelpsballisticexaminerstoquickly,consistently,andreliablytracecrimegunsbacktotheiroriginalpurchasers,providingpolicewithacrucialinvestigativelead.Microstampedcharactershavebeenshowntotransferperfectlyupto95%ofthetime.Evenacriticalstudyconcededa54%rateofflawlesstransfers.Microstampingmaycostaslittleas$0.50perfirearmandthecostsarecappedat$12.00.WecommendyourdecisiontocallforanendtoNewYork'sCombinedBallisticImagingSystem(CoBIS),anduseaportionofthesavingstoreinvestintheNationalIntegratedBallisticsInformationNetwork(NffiIN).CoBISisanineffectiveinvestigativetoolthatshouldbediscontinuedandNffiINrepresentsamarkedimprovement.However,webelievethat
 
GunViolencePreventionandMicrostampingFebruary29,2012Page2NIBIN'sstrengthsandlimitationsaresuchthatthebest,mostcomprehensivestatewidesystemwouldbeonethatreliedonbothNIBINandmicrostamping.TheNIBINdatabaseisintendedtomatchimagesofthemarksmadeonspentammunitionrecoveredatdifferentcrimescenes.Unlikethecodesimprintedbymicrostampedfirearms,thesemarksmaynotbeuniquetoasinglegunbutcommontoamakeormodel.Theyareofteninconsistentevenwhenmadebythesamegunduringthesameincident,andmaychangeovertimeasagunisused.Nomatchispossibleunlessthefollowingfactorsarepresentinatleasttwocrimesscenes:1)thesamegunisused;2)shellcasingsarerecovered;3)imagesofthosecasingsareuploadedtoNIBIN;and4)themarkingsaresubstantial1yidentical.Constrainedbytheselimitations,fewerthan2%ofNIBINsearchesleadtomatches,afractionofeventheconservativeestimateofmicrostamping'spotential.-Whilemicrostampedmarkingsofferaclearinvestigativeadvantage,requiringmicrostampingonexistingfirearmswouldbebothanunreasonableimpositiononlaw-abidinggunownersandofferlittlehopeofinfluencingcriminals.Therefore,theproposedplanwouldonlyrequiremicrostampingfornewlymanufacturedsemi-automaticpistols,gunsthataccountfor40%oftotalownershipbut80%offirearmmurders.Fromtheoutset,microstampingwillmakeitsignificantlyeasierforlawenforcementtosolvethesubstantialnumberofguncrimescommittedusingnewfirearmspurchasedinstate.Microstampingisalsoaforward-lookingsystemthatrecognizesthateveryyear,oldgunswithoutmicrostampingwillbetakenoutofcirculationtobereplacedbymicrostampedgunsthatcanbeeasilytraced.Untilthattime,theproposedreinvestmentinNIBINcanhelppolicecatchcriminalswhouseolderweaponsorgunsfromotherstates.2011wasayearinwhichNewYorkState'scrimeratereachedanearlyhistoriclow.Itwasalsoayearinwhichmorethan2,500NewYorkerswereinjuredorkilledbygunviolence.Therewere29gunmurdersinBuffalo,morethanhalfofwhichremainunsolved.237violentguncrimeswerecommittedinNassauCounty,and509moreinneighboringSuffolk.99peoplewereshotinSyracuse,andanother143leftwoundedordeadintheCityofRochester.YeteventhemostjarringstatisticscannotconveythemagnitudeofthedevastationdonetoNewYork'sfamiliesandcommunitiesbygunviolence.Everynumbermasksauniquehumantragedy:ayoungBrooklynman,freshoffearninghismastersdegree,gunneddownoutsidehisgrandmother'shouse;anOneidaCountySherriff'sDeputyandmilitaryveteranshotandkilledinruralAugusta;a15year-oldhighschoolstudentshotfivetimesinaSchenectadyapartment.Inmanycases,thesemurdersareneversolved.Microstampingcouldhelpchangethat.Morethan100NewYorkmayorsandmorethan80policedepartmentsandlawenforcementorganizationshavespokenoutinfavorofmicrostamping.Thesearethepeoplewhodealeverydaywiththedevastatingimpactofgunviolenceandcanbestproposesolutions.MicrTheendofCoBISshouldbeseenasanopportunitytogivevictimsandlawenforcementmorethanjustNIBIN'sincrementalimprovement.AsystemthatcombinesmicrostampingandNIBINrepresentsarareopportunitytodoagreatdealofpotentialgoodforverylittlecost.
 
GunViolencePreventionandMicrostampingFebruary29.2012Page3Weaskthatyoutakeyourcomprehensiveinitiativetoreducegunviolenceonestepfurtherbyincludingmicrostampinginthebudgetandgivinglawenforcementthecrime-fightingtoolstheyneed.Respectfully.

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