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Firearms & Toolmarks

The Firearms Section is staffed by Firearms Examiners and Firearms Technicians that routinely analyze physical evidence involving a firearm or a tool. Typical examinations performed by the Firearms Section are microscopic comparisons of bullets, cartridge cases, cartridges, shotgun shells, wads and tool marks submitted to the laboratory to known test samples from a firearm or tool. These examinations of the unique microscopic imperfections on evidence and tests can determine if the crime scene evidence and/or the firearm or tool can be positively linked. Other examinations performed by the Firearms Section include function / malfunction testing of firearms, trigger pull analysis of firearms, analysis of shot pellets, distance determinations and serial number restorations.

In addition to conducting analysis on firearms, cartridge cases, bullets and other ammunition components, the I-MCFSA Firearms Section is a participating partner in the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN) utilizing the BrassTrax 3D system. NIBIN is a computer imaging database of fired cartridge cases from previous crime scenes or firearms that is networked with other cities and states. A firearm used in a shooting crime in Indianapolis may also have been used in a similar fashion in another area. NIBIN was developed to assist Firearms Examiners as a searching tool to associate crime scenes, even years later, by allowing the Firearms Examiners to develop a correlation list of potential cases that can then be analyzed microscopically to confirm any links or hits. To date, the I-MCFSA Firearms Section has made over 300 NIBIN hits.