Smith & Wesson Shipping Shield Pistols to California

M&P9 Shield

Prior to the state’s current standards requiring microstamping, Smith & Wesson was able to get the M&P Shield on the California Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale.  The company is now shipping those pistols to California.  California-approved models will be available in both 9mm and .40 S&W.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • Joseph A. Clark

    S&W complains that the requirement for microstamping won’t help, is burdensome on the company, and won’t add any benefits to the gun. Yet, they keep selling firearms to California government agencies, the very same firearms that California prohibits its citizens from owning. Barrett and Wilson Combat will not sell to any California goverment entity, office, or employee of the government of California because they prohibit their citizens from owning the very firearms the government is purchasing. There are far more citizens in California than there are government entities and employees, and that’s a lot more revenue than the government could give you for a purchase. Which is more important, the short-term profit gained from selling to say, the California Highway Patrol, or the principle that the people have the right to keep and bear arms?

    • Gabe

      Don’t take this the wrong way but from your statement I can’t tell if you are for or against microstamping. I can’t tell if you are for or against S&W selling this gun in CA.

      From my point of view, I don’t hate on any company looking to make a profit. While Wilson Combat and Barrett get kudos for standing up for their standards, these 2 companies simply are not selling that much to local agencies anyway, at least far less than S&W. How many local police agencies are running high end 1911s and .50 cal rifles? However, I would guess there are a lot more running M&Ps.

      Microstamping sucks and doesn’t really provide any additional protection for anyone but as Americans, I think we can all agree that a company selling a product to the intended consumer is a good thing regardless of where they live or what their politicians say.

      • Michael

        I agree that S&W has every right to sell their guns and make a profit, but because they DO sell to CA, I have stopped purchasing all of their products. They are making a profit off of the same people that are trampling on the rights of their citizens, which is their right, but again, it is also my right to choose to not buy from them while they do so.

        Just my 2 cents.

        • Gabe

          I do not disagree, I feel the best way for Americans to vote, is by their wallet.

          I for one don’t let political views of a company or someone at a company inform my decision on what to buy. I simply try to purchase the best product I can afford. There certainly is a line at some point however, I think it’s debatable if S&W ‘supports’ the CA laws just because they sell to CA law enforcement.

          Thanks for your 2 cents and keep up the good fight. While we see this differently, we are definitely on the same side. 🙂

  • allannon

    Somewhat off-topic, but what are the rules in CA regarding removing the microstamping firing pins? I mean, the guns have to be sold with the stamps, but can the end-user swap it out?

    • Steve Truffer

      The problem is microstamping doesn’t exist, at least not after a few mags. CA effectively banned “importing” new pistols that don’t have this nonexistent technology. Its like requiring that cars have explosive piezo ignition instead of spark plugs.

      • allannon

        Yea, I’m reasonably familiar with the mechanical issues. As well as the social issues (e.g. scavenging stamped rounds from a range to falsely “mark” crime scenes).

        I’m curious about afterwards; is there any liability on the user’s part for a non-stamping gun? I mean, if it wears off, or they replace the firing pin with an aftermarket one, that sorta thing.

        And, as just occurs to me, what about transfers withing state? If I were in CA and had a gun without stamping, am I impeded from transferring it if it originally required stamping. That sorta thing.

        • Steve Truffer

          I dunno. I’m on the other side of the country. I don’t think anything has changed regarding non-unicorn pins

        • Cymond

          I’m in California and here’s my understanding: The “microstamping” thing only applies to getting a pistol added to the “safe handgun list”, it does NOT restrict the sales of older models, or the import of other models, either.

          We can still buy any of the older guns on the roster that do not have microstamping. We can still transfer guns without microstamping and off-roster guns through the ‘private party transfer’ (PPT) method, we can still get off-roster handguns through the various exemptions, like SSE.

          As said, the microstamping only applies to getting a gun on the roster for sale to private citizens, it doesn’t apply to guns already on the roster. Also, here are some explanations of exemptions to the roster.

          PPT: Private Party Transfers are exempt from the CA “roster of safe handguns” because the roster only applies to gun shops. The PPT is still required to go through the DROS system, 10-day wait, registration, etc.

          SSE: a single shot pistol does not need to be on the roster if it exceeds certain criteria for overall length and barrel length. There is no law against converting a single-shot pistol into a repeater after it is transferred, so many gunsmiths convert off-roster semi-auto pistols to single-shot with LOOOONG barrels, then sell them, and convert them back.

          Single-action revolvers are also exempt from the “safe handgun roster” if they exceed certain overall length and barrel length specifications. Some gunsmiths convert off-roster double-action revolvers to single-action, sell them, and then convert them back to double action.

          Gifts from family are also exempt from the roster, but I think it only applies to direct heritage, like between parents and children. I don’t think it applies to other relatives like siblings, aunt/uncles, nieces/nephews, etc. I’m uncertain about grandparents.
          Personal Importer: it is legal for a person moving to California to bring off-roster handguns (if they aren’t “assault weapons” of course). They are required to be registered with a $19 fee per handgun, but they can be transferred between private individuals via PPT. Each imported handgun that is not registered is a misdemeanor, I think. Imported “assault weapons” are still felonies.

          And yes, there are some unregistered legal handguns in CA. Registration occurs during transfer, so any handguns owned before the registration system was created are not registered. Homebuilt firearms are currently not required, but there are some complications with home-built handguns.

  • dan

    but its got the giant obtrusive LCI that will snag on a draw………… and a magazine disconnect.

    • Cymond

      Those aspects do suck, but they are only required to be included for transfer during the sale. They can be disabled or modified afterwards. I’m sure they magazine disconnect could be removed or disabled, and the loaded chamber indicator can probably be rounded & smoothed with a grinder.

      I agree that they shouldn’t be required, but there’s always a way.

    • james

      The LCI pops up closer to the chamber and is slanted… your front sight would snag waaaay more easily. As for the mag safety, if it’s like my FS M&P9 it can be safely removed in about 5 mins. Let’s just be happy the poor people in CA can have a shield at all. I wish the voters could get this bullshit under control.

      • Cymond

        Thank you! I moved to CA a few years ago, and was honestly surprised/confused that anyone bought small handguns (Glock 26, snubnose revolvers, etc) because concealed carry permits were unobtainable in most counties. Only recently have we seen significant progress against the “shall issue” created by the “good cause” requirement.

  • JT

    Smith and Wesson learned it’s lesson during the Clinton era. A lot of people still remember their bootlicking on the “smart gun” technology

  • jimmy

    bull, haven’t seen hide nor hair of my 2 year old order. I’ll believe in a unicorn if I see it.

  • Greensoup

    They’re definitely available because Turners has a video on their website with a guy standing in front of a rack full of boxes. That and it was central in their ad like two weeks ago. Its California and a pistol you can’t process a purchase without a serial number so they had at least a few on hand,

  • We have recently stopped selling firearms to any Government agency that bans that firearm from it’s citizens. This is on a State and/or local level. For instance if the State of California will not allow it’s residents to purchase a Glock 19 Gen. 4 then we will not sell that pistol to any government agency within the State of California. What’s good for one is good for all.