Commerce in Weapons

For an item to be considered a PDDW for the purposes of this document, its fabrication must be practical only with the assistance of machine tools, high power presses or swages, electrical circuits, and/or industrial chemicals.   No weapon that can be constructed without the assistance of such equipment can be construed to be a PDDW regulated by this section.   For the purposes of this section, a PDDW must readily and reliably enable the killing of a human being at a distance of ten meters.   Knives and archery equipment cannot be construed as PDDW's.

A firearm is a device which propels a projectile, either by the exertion of pressure from the combustion or other expansion of a propellant constrained within a chamber, or by electromagnetic or electrostatic action.   If and only if a firearm is readily capable of propelling a projectile with a kinetic energy of 40 joules or greater, at a peak speed of 100 meters/second or greater, it is a PDDW for the purposes of this section, except as exempted above.   Any firearm cartridge or bullet readily usable in a PDDW is a PDDW item for the purposes of this section.

No restrictions can be placed on the features and characteristics of a PDDW except those set forth in § On Weapons of Mass Destruction.   In particular, except as enumerated in this section, no constraints can be placed on the bore, muzzle velocity, bullet construction and composition, action and rate of fire, cartridge capacity, grip and ergonomic characteristics, sighting devices and accuracy, attached bayonet, grenade launcher, appearance, technology, or dimensions of a firearm.

PDDW manufacturers are required to provide the state with forensic tracking data when feasible.   The manufacturer of any firearm with a rifled barrel must provide the state with a measurement of each barrel's signature as determined from a test firing, along with a description of the device.   A manufacturer of firearms or firearm components must stamp or otherwise record a unique identifier on each receiver and barrel, in a tamper-resistant manner.   A serialized unique alphanumeric identifier must be associated with the smallest unit of retail sale of expendables (principally, ammunition).   This identifier must be legibly written in a tamper-resistant manner, with ink, paint, dye, or by other means, on any projectile weighing more than 16 grams.   The identifier must be stamped, engraved, or otherwise recorded, in a tamper-resistant manner, on the shell case, when the ammunition includes cases.   When the ammunition is caseless, the identifier must by legibly written, in a tamper-resistant manner, with ink, paint, dye, or by other means, on the propellant portion of the ammunition.   A unique signature chemistry, signature object, or other tamper-resistant marker, must be associated with each unique identifier, and must be embedded within the body of each bullet, slug, shot ball, or other projectile, either mixed with ballasting material, or under a jacket, or in a fully contained cavity possibly mixed with an incendiary or other compound, or otherwise contained within the projectile, except that any unjacketed projectile consisting of a monolith of metal as hard as or harder than copper or bronze, is exempted from the requirement of internal signature marking, but must instead bear external tamper-resistant chemical staining or other treatment (particularly including the portion of the projectile that is concealed from view when the projectile is seated in a cartridge case or bonded to a propellant load), from which a forensic signature can be determined, which marking must survive ordinary firing but need not survive a deliberate attack with abrasion, heat, chemical corrosion, or other disfiguring techniques.   Any signature marker must be readily readable/measurable by a well-equipped forensics lab, perhaps through the use of specialized equipment.   Each manufacturer of such signature markers must supply the state with information necessary and sufficient to determine the manufacturer and serial number associated with a PDDW item containing those signature markers, using forensic techniques.   These signature markers must be considered PDDW items themselves.   Serial identifiers must be used in recording any transfer of custody of firearms, barrels, receivers, ammunition, cases, bullets, or any other PDDW item.   The manufacturer of a PDDW item must maintain an exhaustive database matching forensic information to serial identifiers.

No law can specify the use of a particular technique of signature marking, although (with the above exception) a minimum standard of robustness (in terms of mechanical, thermal, and chemical stresses) can be specified by law.   No such standard can effectively require a functionally significant degradation in performance or a significant degradation of price/performance ratio.

In any transfer of custody of a PDDW item (a PDDW, receiver, barrel, ammunition, bullet, cartridge case, forensic signature substance, etc.) the giver is required to verify the validity of the buyer's license before completing the transfer.   In so doing, the seller must access the license revocation/suspension database anonymously.

Additionally, the buyer must cryptographically sign a transaction document identifying the PDDW item by description and serial identifier(s) and the time and place of transaction, confirming the purchase, and the seller must cryptographically verify the signature. This act makes the buyer the custodian of record.   The buyer's signature must be verified using the public key supplied by the buyer and matching the identity specified in the PDDW license.   This public key must be certified by a state certificate authority, and the certificate must be verified either with the seller's copy of the appropriate public key of the appropriate state certificate authority, or by retrieving the appropriate public key of the appropriate state certificate authority.

A transaction document identifies the prior chain of custody, exactly one buyer, exactly one seller, exactly one date and time of transaction, and the description (including number/quantity) and serial identifier of some number of identical PDDW items all of which have the same serial identifier.

The seller can reveal the contents of the transaction document only according to the terms specified in § Right to Secrecy, except as specified in this section; it is assumed that the buyer wishes the transaction to be held in confidence whether or not he explicitly so states.   It is the legal responsibility of the seller to archive an encryption of each transaction document for safekeeping, in at least one physically separate facility.   The seller must keep a transaction document until the corresponding PDDW item has been destroyed, or upon the death, irreversible incapacitation, or disqualification of the seller as detailed below.   Decryption of stored and archived transaction documents must be feasible only by the seller and by whatever agent the seller has designated for transfer of transaction documents upon death or irreversible incapacitation as detailed below. In encrypted form, the transaction document must not reveal any information about the time and place of the transaction, the identity and characteristics of the PDDW item, or the recipient of the PDDW item.

Neither a court nor any other organ of the state can demand or accept the contents of a PDDW item transaction document unless the corresponding PDDW item is believed to have been used in the commission of a crime, or to have been transferred to an individual whose PDDW license is suspended or revoked.   In particular, those contents can only be demanded if a PDDW item forensic signature determined in a criminal investigation matches one or more PDDW item forensic signatures in a manufacturer's database.   The state can submit a forensic signature believed to be associated with the commission of a crime to any PDDW manufacturer, who must inform the state of the serial number or numbers associated with any entries in its forensic database that match the forensic profile.   The chain of custody is determined based on the candidate serial identifer(s), sequentially, beginning with the manufacturer.   Any such demand must identify the desired transaction document with a single serial identifier, and no further information.   The contents can only be accepted if they were lawfully demanded, or if a serial identifier or set thereof, identified as required to render demand legitimate, is published in an anonymously accessible forum of automated distribution, or if a license is suspended or revoked, and a citizen volunteers a decrypted transaction document for a matching PDDW item.

The state must electronically announce all suspensions and revocations of PDDW licenses, and the serial identifiers of all PDDW items used in crimes, such that the public at large is alerted in a timely manner. All such announcements must include the nature, time, and place, of the crime which prompted the announcement.   All individuals who have sold a PDDW item must examine all their transaction documents at least once a month, and supply the state with decryptions of all documents for transactions which involve the transfer of a PDDW item to an individual whose PDDW license is suspended or revoked, or the transfer of a PDDW item which has been used in a crime.   The state must destroy any record of the unencrypted contents of PDDW item transaction documents within three months of obtaining them.

Upon the death, irreversible mental incapacitation, or disqualification from ownership of a PDDW, of an individual who has sold one or more PDDW items, each transaction record must be delivered in readable form by a designated agent to the most recent prior custodian who is either an individual still alive and mentally capable, or a still-active incorporated entity, except that if a vigilant search for such a prior custodian fails to locate any, or reveals that none are still extant and qualified, then the designated agent becomes the new custodian of that transaction record, and must submit to the state the serial identifiers contained in that transaction record, in documents he has cryptographically signed.

In order that the actions described in the previous paragraph can be taken, it is the responsibility of the seller to arrange for the accessibility of his record database by designating and enlisting an agent capable of decrypting stored and archived transaction records, and contractually charged with the obligation of seeing to the transfer of these records as detailed above.   This agent cannot be part of the state, cannot be an incorporated entity, must be a resident of the same county as the seller, must not be disqualified from holding a PDDW license, and must not obtain any of the seller's transaction records prior to the death or irreversible incapacitation of the seller.   Except on the occasion that the agent becomes the custodian of the transaction record as explained in the previous paragraph, he must not observe or otherwise examine any portion of the contents of each transaction record except for the pre-transaction chain of custody recorded therein, and must destroy any transaction records he obtains in the course of fulfilling his above-described obligation once he has fulfilled that obligation.   The new custodian of a transaction record must attend to the same array of responsibilities that a seller must, including proper off-premises archiving, and designation and enlistment of an agent capable of fulfilling the obligations described in this and the previous paragraph.

The deliberate divulgence of a transaction record contrary to the terms of this section is a minor crime.

Except where the immediate military dictates of physical national defense require it, no heavy PDDW can be exported.   In particular, no weapon designed to disable vehicles (cars, trucks, planes, trains, boats, etc) or to destroy buildings, or to kill more than one person at a time, or to kill a person in such a way that the weapon need not be tended by an operator, and based on explosives, projectiles, combustion, directed energy (EM or particulate radiation of a nature and intensity sufficient to injure or kill a healthy full-grown person through its direct, immediate or eventual effects, except that potential injury to eyes cannot be considered), or toxins, must not be exported except under the above-described exceptional circumstance.

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This is a preliminary draft. Pending changes are in The To-Do List