Kinsey, Guzman to introduce bill that would mandate encoding ammunition for retail sale with serial numbers in Pa.
HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Reps. Stephen Kinsey and Manuel Guzman today announced that they will soon introduce legislation that would mandate ammunition manufacturers to encode ammunition for retail sale with serial numbers, making the bullet a more useable piece of evidence for law enforcement to solve more crimes in the wake of increasing gun violence.
The bill would also require manufacturers to provide the serial numbers to the Pennsylvania State Police, who would be responsible for keeping a database on all encoded ammunition sold in Pennsylvania and allow law enforcement to easily trace the ownership of any ammunition involved in a crime.
“Our commonwealth has experienced an uptick in gun violence, and very few of these crimes have resulted in an arrest or conviction because all that’s left at the crime scene is a victim and spent shell-casings,” said Kinsey, D-Phila. “Our bill that would require every piece of ammunition sold in this state to be encoded with identifying serial numbers -- much like the guns they’re discharged from. It is time for us to keep track of these lethal weapons and ensure that we have the tools necessary to convict individuals who use their firearms for unlawful purposes.”
“Police investigations involving firearms go cold over a lack of evidence too often,” said Guzman, D-Berks. “By encoding ammunition, we will provide a much-needed tool in the fight to reduce firearm violence, while shortening the time it takes to solve these heinous crimes.”
The lawmakers said that their proposal is a much more reliable method of forensic tracing than current systems like ballistic fingerprinting since identifying a bullet’s code would not require any special skills or equipment and would provide as an objective identifier.