Sunday, May 5, 2013

Are tool mark analysis and firearms exams part of gun buy back programs

I've trained a number of firearms analysts and folks involved with examining tool marks at crime scenes in the use of Photoshop. With this in mind, I've received a few e-mails from media outlets about the general policies involved with gun buy back programs. Specifically, folks want to know if the weapons that are turned in are checked against unsolved crimes.

The short answer is, I don't know. The long answer is that some do and some don't. Many agencies have the capabilities - but choose not to for public relations purposes. Others simply don't have the staff, or enough staff to handle the work of processing the hundreds of weapons turned in during these programs - in addition to those recovered during regular investigations.

I've often wondered how long it will be until a retired analyst, or other such expert, hangs a shingle and contracts with their local agency to perform the service - or takes on regional business. Something to think about given the amount of unsolved firearms related crimes on the books nationwide.

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