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Special coding for your bullets?

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

January 2, 2009

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - One of the bills the Senate will consider when they convene is an ammunition coding bill. It would require manufacturers to engrave a unique code on the bottom of each bullet, so it can be traced. A measure that could help in the prosecution of people using handguns to commit crimes.

A state senator from Decatur has proposed legislation that would require an ammunition coding and database system. It would require a unique serial number or marking on each bullet. Many gun rights enthusiasts say the bill is a violation of their second amendment rights.

Sheriff Kevin Sproul said, "It looks like they're trying to get around the regulation of ammunition, instead of the gun sales, but the ammunition of it."

The bill could act as an aid to law enforcement in the prosecution of cases involving handguns. Former District Attorney Ken Hodges said, "I think anything we can do to help law enforcement rack down who the culprit is in any shooting or serious crime like that would be a good thing."

The encoding would require special equipment to place the marking on bullets. That would place an added cost on the manufacturer and the people buying the bullets.  Hodges says it's a cost that may be worth paying.

"I think it would be a good thing. If you even find one killer out there it's going to be worth a few pennies per bullet purchase for people across the state."

Sproul said, "I think they have the right intent to try to help us on the criminal end to prosecute these people who are doing this illegally, not through the legal means."

If the bill passes as written, all non-coded handgun ammunition whether owned privately or commercially will have to be disposed of by January 1st of 2012.

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