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NCJ Number: 222219 Find in a Library
Title: Microstamping Calls the Shot: A Revolutionary Gun Identification Technology Finds Favor and Foes
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:35  Issue:1  Dated:January 2008  Pages:54,56,59
Author(s): Douglas Page
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines microstamping technology.
Abstract: On October 13, 2007, California lawmakers signed into law Assembly Bill 1471 (AB 1471) which implements microstamping technology, making California the first State in the Nation to mandate its use. The bill requires that all semi-automatic handguns purchased in California, beginning in 2010, have the ability to imprint identifying information on cartridges fired by the weapon, turning spent cartridges into potential evidence in civil and criminal cases. Microstamping differs from conventional ballistic fingerprinting which results from extreme pressures present in the chamber to the cartridge. The microstamping method would use microscopic engravings on the firing pin to record make, model, and serial number data on the cartridge primer, useful when matching gun casings found at a crime scene. This tool would be used to help law enforcement link victims to suspects. Pros and cons of using the technology in the future investigations are detailed.
Main Term(s): Ballistics; Gun control legislation
Index Term(s): Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATFE or ATF); Firearms identification; Investigative techniques
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