Skip to comments.Baloney Ballistics
Posted on 01/24/2009 12:00:38 PM PST by Twotone
Seven years ago, New York started a database of "ballistic fingerprints" for all new handguns sold in the state. The bill's backers sold it as a crime-solving device, arguing that the state would now have a sample of a spent shell and bullet for every new gun sold. This, they said, would help police connect future evidence from crime scenes to specific guns.
(Excerpt) Read more at reason.com ...
—yep—but don’t expect it to be scrapped nor this info to stop the push for “bullet identification” by a serial number—even though the sponsors of that are the folks who have the patented process—
NY is already doing it.
How much you want to bet that the politicians planning to vote it into law own stock in shell companies that will stand to make big bucks it if goes through...
Hah! I have a much better idea. What they really need to do is have a positive method to identify each firearm itself, like with some sort of a unique number stamped on the, umm, uhhh, well . . . nevermind.
Yup, they’ll claim that the reason it doesn’t work is because the scope of the database isn’t large enough. They will claim that a *national* ballistics database and mandatory ID bullets will solve the problems and return the benefits they claim.
Never mind the fact that such a database has NEVER resulted in significant convictions.
I retired from that field, wrote books on identifying firearms from fired evidence and agree that it's a poor use of manpower.
The impetus for collecting every firearm's fired tests originated from a FBI-developed computer that enabled the comparison of large numbers of like-caliber, criminal-only shooting evidence.
That grant produced the computers Drugfire and its successor, NIBIN. Both had previously worked pretty well, using the relatively small databases assembled from criminal shootings in relatively small geographical unitssuch as only two abutting counties.
Unlike a couple of decades ago when machining was done by hand, modern gunmaking methods tend to produce very similar markings among the same manufacturer's products. (Which is not helpful even for the excellent algorithms used in NIBIN).
On the plus side, this new endeavor has allowed the growth of a cadre of base-level examiners developing the years of experience necessary for the comparison of fired evidence; otherwise, it's a lot of work with little to show for it. Recently, examiners found that testfires from the factory had been mixed up!
This feel-good program reminds me of the $1B spent recently by Canada to register gun owners.