California's attorney general said Thursday he's pushing for a law requiring handgun ammunition sold in the state to carry a microscopic code that would enable law enforcement to trace bullets back to the buyer. . . .
The statewide tracking system would catalog serial numbers on bullet casings and slugs in a database along with information about buyers, who would show identification when making a purchase.
"It's a good tool to fight gangs and other criminal activity," Lockyer said.
[R]andy Rossi, director of the Justice Department's firearms division, said the system has vast potential based on recent field tests in which 200 engraved handgun bullets were fired at walls, car doors and gelatin designed to replicate human targets. Of the 181 bullets recovered, 180 had codes intact and readable.
Estimated costs to manufacturers would run a penny or less for each bullet . . . .
While I don't have a problem with this idea in theory, I have doubts about how it would work in practice. If only California has this requirement, criminals will just buy ammunition from out of state. It has the potential for creating an instant black market in unmarked ammunition. And what happens when a law abiding gun owner's ammunition is stolen or lost, and then winds up at a crime scene?