Firearms

Forensic scientist examining weapon.

Top: Forensic scientist uses a comparision microscope look at ballistic striations, searching for class and/or individual characteristics. Bottom: Forensic scientist test fires a weapon for operability.

Firearms/Tool Marks 2011 Activity
405 Reports issued
2,842 Evidence items analyzed
500 Digital images of cartridge casings entered into NIBIN for comparison
38 "Cold Hits" identified linking open cases including robbery, assaults and murder cases
19 Superior Court Testimony by Unit's Firearms Examiners
1,103 Firearms destroyed
NIBIN Total Activity Since 2002
4,387 Images entered
339 "Cold Hits" that have aided investigations and contributed to prosecutions and convictions

The Firearms Identification Unit is responsible for identifying, examining and analyzing guns and related expended ammunition components.

Firearms examiners perform all test-firing, microscopic analyses, distance determinations, serial number restorations and tool mark examinations in criminal cases.

National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN)

Staff uses specialized microscopes and computers to capture digital images of firing pin impressions and breach-face marks on expended cartridge casings as part of NIBIN

NIBIN is a computer network maintained by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that enables partner crime laboratories to search ballistic databases nationally for links to other crime scene cartridge casings and test-fired crime weapons.

Destruction of Weapons

By law, the Superintendent of State Police is authorized to destroy "nuisance" weapons-guns or firearms-which are unwanted, surrendered or which have been used in the commission of a crime.