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Bullet Cartridges Could ID Criminals

Updated:
CAPITOL HILL (AP) -- A test. Only a test. Gun shots rang out in a House office basement today as a Capitol police officer fired a semiautomatic pistol into the chest of a man-sized paper silhouette.

Gun advocates say had the paper target been a real victim, investigators might have found enough evidence for a conviction in the bullet cartridges left at the scene.

A technique called "microstamping" allows identifying information from a gun to be transferred onto bullet cartridges.

Congressional sponsors of a bill that would require semiautomatic pistols to be equipped with microscopic characters identifying make, model and serial number. At firing, the characters would be imprinted on each cartridge case.

One sponsor said it would be a smart way to reduce gun violence without infringing on ownership rights. The gun lobby is opposed.
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