February 7, 2014
Gun World co-owner Joseph Ferrero is telling customers it’s their last chance to buy some semiautomatic handguns including a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson M&P or a 9 mm Ruger LC9 because “California has effectively banned” them.
The guns, which will remain legal for sale in other states, are being snapped up as enthusiasts at his Burbank store try to get ahead of tightening restrictions that firearms makers say amount to an indirect and unconstitutional ban in the largest U.S. state.
California is the first to bar retailers from selling new models of semiautomatic handguns not equipped to imprint the weapon’s make, model and serial number on the cartridge when a bullet is fired. While microstamping technology is popular with law enforcement to help deter or solve crime, manufacturers Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (SWHC) and Sturm Ruger & Co. (RGR) say they won’t use it even if it means their guns can’t be sold in California.