Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ammunition Encoding: Indiana Edition

Tam and Sebastian (among many others) have written of the various "ammunition encoding" bills introduced in State legislatures across the country, pushed by lobbyists working for the company that worked out the process (this is not free enterprise capitalism, it's petty mechantilism. See: "Smith, Adam").

In Indiana, it's House Bill 1260 and we're about 11 months late noticing; it was introduced, went to committee and hit (some) shooting forums in January, 2008. The legislator who introduced this ludicrosity is District 98 Representative William Crawford ( As a veteran of the Korean War, we might expect the Honorable William Crawford to have a keen grasp of the importance of armed self-defense and the impracticality of this proposed law; as a Representative from one of the less well-off portions of Marion County (roughly the I-70 corridor on the East Side, part of "The Swamp"), we might think he would appreciate the importance of reloading to individuals of lesser means. We would be wrong.

However, the most recent news (i.e., 11 months out of date) I can find on H.B. 1260 is this:
"Indiana State Rep. VanHaaften, who is the Chairman of the committee [Public Policy --RX] that HB 126o is in (requiring ammunition manufacturers to encode primers on pistol and rifle ammo sold in Indiana) has responded by writing he will not give HB 1260 a hearing." Haven't been able to trace it back to the source and the description "encoded primers," implying firing pins that microstamp, is at odds with the actual bill calling to laser-engrave tiny numbers on the backs of bullets, so don't take it as gospel that the bill is done for.

For those who believe firearms are solely a partisan issue or for people like me, who often suspect just about nobody in De Gummint wants us to have -- oh, gasp, shock, horror, guns -- it is interesting and perhaps instructive to note that both Representatives in this little feint and parry are Democrats.

The outrage is two-pronged; not only is it an affront to the inherent human right of armed self-defense, it is also attempted manipulation of legislation for commercial advantage: the short-sighted dweebs who developed the process are quite happy to try making you a criminal as a byblow of their efforts to make money. While there is honor in honest profit, using State government in the manner of highwayman's musket is anything but an honest method. If a product is so unwanted that folks can only be made to buy it under threat of arrest, it's got no reason to exist.


Anonymous said...

"using State government in the manner of highwayman's musket anything but an honest method."

Oh, you mean - like mandated auto insurance! And many other examples of mandated thievery.


Roberta X said...


--Though I will note that auto insurance is not totally mandated: you have the option of posting a bond. (Unless they've dumped that highly expensive workaround).

I'd buy auto insurance anyway; my vehicular misadventures are well-documented. Conversely, the first (and most successful, if we can score it that way) of my recent automobile crashes was caused by an elderly couple who, in defiance of the law, had no insurance whatsoever. Another example of a "law" that applies only to those who would behave the same even if it were not there.

Come to think if it, the auto-insurance requirement is a law that compels an action that would happen anyway in other circumstance, too: try getting a car loan (or mortgage!) that doesn't require you to carry insurance on the property being purchased.

Tell me again why we needed it?

Anonymous said...

I've changed my mind about microstamping. The inventor is just going about it all wrong. He is trying to get the government to mandate something law enforcement might want stamped on the bullets instead of something the consumer might want engraved on each bullet.

Anonymous said...

I simply wonder how effective it would be as a law enforcement do you prove the fired casing was not just dropped out of a pocket, stolen from a range, etc? And how long until someone figured out a way to nullify it or create a fake stamp?

Auto insurance is a royal pain...and requiring it still doesn't do much good against those who refuse to carry it. But damn, all those payments I have made, with no claims, is money pissed into the wind. And not just a little money, either.