Author Topic: Are forensic ballistic records kept by the government for every gun sold?  (Read 877 times)

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Offline rdcinhou

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Yesterday in a discussion with two of my brothers, my older brother (also a gun owner) asserted that when a gun is test-fired by the manufacturer, the ballistic records of the test-fired bullets are then sent to the government to enter into a database.

I had never heard of this claim so I went searching for information on the subject (including on this forum - overt plug for the great search features here!).

I was not able to find a confirmation of his wide-sweeping claim, but what I did find I will share with you.

NIST Forensic Database Firearms and Toolmarks Table - table of the different databases (and links) and who maintains them:
https://www.nist.gov/oles/forensic-database-firearms-and-toolmarks-table

Summary:
  • Headstamps (what's printed on the base of cartridges)
  • Ammunition (detailed dimensions of cartridges and bullets by manufacturer, including history)
  • General Rifling Characteristics (enables shortlisting weapons that a bullet may have been fired from)
  • National Integrated Ballistic Information Network ("admissions" to the database are from bullets fired/collected in a crime or guns tested for comparison in investigation of a crime)
  • Reference Ammunition File (post firing-test dimensional database maintained by the FBI of ammunition submitted for test firing)
Are Guns Registered in a National Firearms Registry (2015)
https://www.concealedcarry.com/law/are-guns-registered/

Gives some background on the history from the Gun Control Act of 1968 to the Firearm Owners' Protection Act (FOPA) of 1986 and what the government is allowed to keep record-wise. It also lists some states and jurisdictions that require registration and/or reporting (for new residents).  It also describes some "Limited Government Gun Databases" that are post-FOPA:
  • Multiple Sales Reports
  • Suspect Guns
  • Traced Guns
  • Out of Business Records
  • Theft Guns

I strongly doubt his claim as it would mean hundreds of thousands of rounds every year that manufacturers would have to capture, bag, tag with serial number, model number, etc. and then ship to a government agency that would have to digitally scan and enter the information.
CZ24, 27, 38, 40P, 45, 52, Vzor 50, 70, 75BΩ, 75D PCR, P01, P07, Phantom, SP01 Tactical, Shadow 2 (Blue, Urban Gray), P09, P10C, P10F, 82, 83, 85 PreB, 97BE, 100, 1911A1, 2075BD RAMI, 452 American, 550 Urban Counter Sniper, 805 Bren, Drake G2, Duo & Z, vz24

Offline Grendel

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Re: Are forensic ballistic records kept by the government for every gun sold?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2020, 10:35:40 AM »
No. There would be no point. All that would be necessary to defeat the 'index' would be a barrel change.
Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges - Tacitus

Inter arma enim silent leges - Cicero

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Offline Atomic Punk

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Re: Are forensic ballistic records kept by the government for every gun sold?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2020, 01:12:02 PM »
No. Canada, some anti-gun states, and DC mandated a system like this and I've read that they've never been used to solve a case. Canada recently did away with theirs after spending millions because it turned out to be useless. 

Offline Practical Shooter

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Re: Are forensic ballistic records kept by the government for every gun sold?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2020, 05:07:50 PM »
Again, no point, as record of gun sales are only limited in time, and not required for many private sales, so after a few years, it would be pretty hard to find the actual owner of the say weapon (but all depending on the State).

Offline SI VIS PACEM PARRABELLUM

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Re: Are forensic ballistic records kept by the government for every gun sold?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2020, 04:43:14 AM »
Also the ballistic imprint the barrel leaves on a bullet when new will not be exactly the same 10,000 rounds down the road. They do wear and change with use.

Offline John A.

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Re: Are forensic ballistic records kept by the government for every gun sold?
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2020, 09:02:03 AM »
It just serves to show that the firearm was test fired.

I don't think there was ever a federal law implemented for anything of the sort.

When people ignorant of guns make gun laws, you end up with ignorant gun laws.

Offline Trblshtr

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Re: Are forensic ballistic records kept by the government for every gun sold?
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2020, 10:10:30 PM »
Both Maryland and New York had a requirement that any gun sold in their states had to have a spent casing sent to the state, which would be photographed and cataloged (MD from 2000 to 2015, NY soon after till 2012).  In neither case did these "efforts" provide information that led to any arrests.  Millions of taxpayer dollars were expended, though.  https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/bs-md-bullet-casings-20151107-story.html
Steve

Offline armoredman

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Re: Are forensic ballistic records kept by the government for every gun sold?
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2020, 11:48:32 PM »
I remember working in a gun shop and wondering why new guns had a small packet with a single expended brass in it. It was for Maryland compliance. We would throw them in the brass bucket for reloaders.

Offline Tyerone

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Not until the UN "Small Arms Treaty" is ratified, then we'll have the pleasure of being tracked by some genocidal countries, lol.
John F'n Kerry SOS under Obama signed the treaty.

46 Senators (all democrat except for 2 "independents" King and Bernie Sanders) voted against:
upholding Second Amendment rights and preventing the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 06:03:15 AM by Tyerone »

Offline MifflinKid

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Expecting a case fired in a gun at the time of manufacture to look the same as a case fired in it after having 100 or many more rounds fired through it is probably wishful thinking. Breech faces, extractors, ejectors and firing pin/striker noses wear slightly with each firing.

Having lived through Maryland's expensive experiment it should be evident to most thinking people that it was never going to work.

BTW, after Maryland gave up on the idea, the state listed its case comparison equipment on Ebay. By then the company that manufactured it had gone out of business and parts for it were no longer available. I do not know if it ever sold.

Offline The Guardian

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Expecting a case fired in a gun at the time of manufacture to look the same as a case fired in it after having 100 or many more rounds fired through it is probably wishful thinking. Breech faces, extractors, ejectors and firing pin/striker noses wear slightly with each firing.


Very sensible point......this concept of every guns barrel leaves markings on a bullet like a fingerprint is without a doubt one of  biggest lies the legal system perpetuates.  It falls into the category of tell a lie enough until it becomes the truth and is accepted as fact......oh, don't get me wrong just because its false "science" the system will still put folks away based on the perpetuated "fingerprint" analogy its just an established falsehood that jury's are seemingly eager to believe and the system is more than happy to use in every unethical way.  ::)
“I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them."  John Wayne as J.B. Books in "The Shootist" 1976