SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill whose backers say will better help police use shells from hand guns as evidence in criminal investigations, a spokeswoman said on Sunday.
The legislation marks a victory for gun-control activists and the second time Schwarzenegger signed one of their priority bills. In 2004 he approved a ban on private citizens owning .50 caliber rifles.
Activists had called for the legislation, which requires new models of semiautomatic handguns sold in California to have internal parts that “microstamp” shell casings with codes that identify the guns when they are fired. Revolvers are exempt.
“While I appreciate and understand that this technology is not without limitations, I am signing this bill to provide law enforcement with an additional tool for solving crimes committed with semi-automatic handguns in California,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement.