Smith & Wesson Corp. announced today that although it continually seeks ways to refine and improve its firearms so that consumers have access to the best possible products, the State of California is making that impossible when it comes to California residents.
Under Californias Unsafe Handgun Act, any new semi-automatic pistol introduced into that state must comply with microstamping laws. In addition, California asserts that anything other than a cosmetic change to a handgun already on the California Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale, including performance enhancements and other improvements, requires it to be removed from the roster and retested. For semi-automatic pistols, this means it must comply with the microstamping requirements, as well.
Smith & Wesson does not and will not include microstamping in its firearms.
A number of studies have indicated that microstamping is unreliable, serves no safety purpose, is cost prohibitive and, most importantly, is not proven to aid in preventing or solving crimes. The microstamping mandate and the companys unwillingness to adopt this so-called technology will result in a diminishing number of Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistols available for purchase by California residents.
This is not a problem unique to Smith & Wesson. The microstamping legislation and Californias position regarding performance enhancements and other improvements creates the same challenge for all firearm manufacturers, since presumably all of them refine and improve their products over time.
Smith & Wesson currently produces a California-compliant version of its M&P Shield and SDVE pistols. Both of these new products were launched last week at SHOT Show® in Las Vegas and are expected to begin shipping within 90 days. They are expected to more than offset the impact of those M&P pistol models that will not remain on the Roster.