Firearms And Fingerprints In The Crime

Firearms Transfer Thumbprint Card

The roles of firearms and fingerprint examiners in the crime laboratory are numerous and varied. Firearms examiners are frequently called upon to do many things that do not fall under the traditional heading of firearms identification. Examples include serial number restoration with chemical etchants, gunshot residue analysis for barium nitrate, and shooting incident reconstruction. Similarly, fingerprint examiners must be proficient in specialized methods of photography, the application of...

Identifying the Use of a Sound Suppressor

Inertia Bullet Puller

Sometimes the backyard gunsmith does not fully accomplish his goal of converting a semiautomatic weapon to fully automatic, resulting in a weapon that will occasionally fire in the fully automatic mode. Actual test-firing is often the only way to confirm this. The firearms examiner can load two or three rounds initially and attempt to get the weapon to fire multiple rounds with one pull of the trigger. If this is unsuccessful, a full magazine may be used. By examining the internal workings of...

Firearms And The Evidence They Provide

Forensic Guns

A firearm is a weapon that is capable of firing a projectile and using an explosive charge as a propellant. The broadest category of firearms includes two types handguns and long guns. Handguns are designed to Semiautomatic pistol Courtesy of the author Semiautomatic pistol Courtesy of the author be fired while held in the hand, and long guns are designed to be fired from the shoulder. Handguns include revolvers and pistols, examples of which appear in the accompanying photographs. Pistols are...

Firearms Examination Equipment

Bullet Tool Marks Forensic Science

The specialized equipment used by firearms examiners includes microscopes, measuring tools, testing tools, and balances. These tools enable the examiner to carry out the various aspects of firearms examination and comparison. The need for proficiency with microscopes emphasizes the importance of examiners having an academic background in science. Other equipment, such as measuring and weighing devices, are also familiar items to anyone who has a science background. The firearms or tool marks...

The Contributions of Henry Goddard in London

One of the early pioneers in the field of criminal investigation, Henry Fielding 1707-54 , is credited with developing the Bow Street Runners in England, forerunners of modern detectives. Fielding is also well known as a novelist and playwright. One of the last of the Bow Street Runners, Henry Goddard 1800-83 , is recognized as one of the first individuals to recognize the potential of firearms evidence as an aid in identifying the criminals involved. In 1835 Goddard successfully identified a...

Johannes purkinje and the first attempt at fingerprint classification

Fingerprinting owes its prominence to certain icons whose research and discipline greatly advanced the field. These researchers took great time to study, take personal notes, and ultimately invent this new field but were never rewarded by seeing their work benefit anyone. Each one nonetheless contributed to advance the field. Johannes Evangelista Purkinje, also known as, Jan or John Purkinje, is one of these scientists who advanced the field of fingerprinting. He was born in 1787 in what was...

Staged Crime Scene Is Uncovered By Investigators

Pictures Kitchen Crime Scene

In this case the careful inspection of the victim and the crime scene by the firearms examiner and the latent print examiner revealed that the crime scene had been staged. Such observations are the product of training, experience, and individual skills of perception. Training and experience can be had by anyone perceptive skills are another matter. Analogous to athletic ability, either you have it or you do not. Basic innate abilities can be honed and developed, but that can only go so far....