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Laser Photonics is offering firearm-manufacturers fibre laser-marking machines for microstamping.

Using a fibre laser system for direct parts marking increases quality, throughput and makes permanent marks.

The Laser Photonics laser-marking systems can now be used for microstamping, a new application.

This provides links between crime-scene evidence and the original weapon.

These etched or engraved markings on gun parts in turn generate unique marks on spent cartridge cases; microstamped marks can also be applied to individual pieces of ammunition.

These marks can be rapidly examined at crime scenes using equipment as simple as a magnifying glass.

The goal of microstamping is that if a fired case from a ballistic imprinting firearm is left at a crime scene, it should generally be possible to obtain the unique firearm ID from the case and trace the gun from the manufacturer, to the distributor, to the dealer and to at least the first retail customer.

Although more in-depth studies are needed on the durability of microstamped marks under various firing conditions and their susceptibility to tampering, as well as on their cost impact for manufacturers and consumers, proponents of microstamping believe it is a step in the right direction.

California recently passed a law to require microstamping on internal parts of new semi-automatic pistols sold in the state by 2010.

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