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. 18.104.22.168.4.).
- 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. 22.214.171.124)
- 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.
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