ISACS guidance provides sound foundation for marking polymer frames & receivers — Small Arms Survey


EXCERPT FROM “Behind the Curve: New Technologies, New Control Challenges” (Geneva: Small Arms Survey, 2015):

Providing guidance: the International Small Arms Control Standards

The International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS), produced by the United Nations  Coordinating Action on Small Arms (UN CASA) mechanism in collaboration with a broad  and diverse group of experts and organizations, address the issue of polymer frames and  receivers.  ISACS  provide  relevant  provisions,  specifically  from  the  module  on  marking  and record-keeping, as follows:

  • In relation to the unique markings applied at the time of manufacture, ISACS recommends for non-metallic frames to include the application of the marks:
    (…) to a metal plate permanently embedded in the material of the frame in such a way that:
    a)  the plate cannot be easily or readily removed; and
    b)  removing the plate would destroy a portion of the frame (UN CASA, 2012, cl.
  • In relation to import marking, ISACS specify that such a marking should be applied on  the metal plate or tag. If a metal plate is not present or there is insufficient space for it,  the  import  mark  can  be  applied  directly  to  the  polymer  frame:  choosing  a  location  likely to minimize wear and tear, and also duplicating the import mark on a second,  metallic part (UN CASA, 2012, cl.
  • With respect to the marking method, ISACS recommend the use of laser technology  for  all  import  marks.  ISACS  also  include  recommendations  on  the  minimum  depth  such  markings  should  have  for  both  metallic  and  non-metallic  frames  (UN  CASA,  2012, cl. 5.3.4).

While not covering all of the potential problems related to the use of polymers in firearms  manufacturing,  ISACS  provide  a  sound  foundation  for  accounting  for  this  new  trend  in  firearms manufacturing.

READ THE FULL REPORT — Behind the Curve: New Technologies, New Control Challenges