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Posted: 10/25/2002 12:07:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/25/2002 12:11:21 AM EDT by gewehr44]
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/24/national/nationalspecial/24PRIN.html October 24, 2002 Now, 4 States Look to Start Tracing Shells and Bullets By FOX BUTTERFIELD BOSTON, Oct. 23 - Following the sniper shootings in the Washington area, four states are considering creating a ballistic fingerprinting system that would enable law enforcement to trace bullets or shell casings found at a crime scene to the manufacturer and buyer of the gun. The states are California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey. Currently, only Maryland and New York have such databases, and they were both put into place so recently that only a relatively small number of guns have been recorded, limiting the system's usefulness. At a news conference here today, Boston's police commissioner, Paul Evans, said he strongly favored a bill in the Massachusetts legislature that would create a ballistic fingerprinting system for all guns sold in the state, including handguns and rifles. "We think it would be a great law enforcement tool," Mr. Evans said. To illustrate the point, Mr. Evans noted that last July the Boston police seized a .22-caliber Ruger semiautomatic pistol that tests showed had been used to shoot seven people in four cities. The tests were done with technology introduced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in 1995, called the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, which allows law enforcement officials to match bullets or shell casings found at a crime scene to the gun that fired or ejected them. A match can be made because whenever a bullet is fired or a shell casing ejected, markings unique to the gun that fired them are imparted. This same technology could be used, Mr. Evans said, to go a step further and use the bullets or shell casings from a crime scene to identify the gun before it is found and then trace it to the buyer. A number of the shootings by the .22-caliber Ruger semiautomatic could have been prevented, Mr. Evans said, if the police could have quickly matched the bullets and shell casings to the gun and then to the purchaser by using a database of electronic images. In the same way, a national ballistic fingerprint database might help law enforcement officials catch the Washington sniper. The Massachusetts bill would enable such traces by requiring that all gun makers shipping a firearm into the state for sale accompany it with a test-fired bullet and shell casing. These would be sent to the Massachusetts State Police, who would record them with an electronic image and store the images in a computer. Mr. Evans said he recognized that there would be resistance from gun owners and gun rights' groups like the National Rifle Association, which opposes a national ballistic fingerprint system as tantamount to a national gun registry. But, Mr. Evans said, the Massachusetts bill was designed to help the police go after guns used in crime, not interfere with gun owners' rights. Mr. Evans said he also recognized that creating a database just of new guns sold in Massachusetts would be relatively small at first. But, he said, "We have to start somewhere." A similar bill is being introduced in the New Jersey legislature by two Democratic Assembly members, Robert Smith of Turnersville and Loretta Weinberg of Teaneck. In Connecticut, a bill to create a state ballistic fingerprint system is being introduced by State Representative Michael Lawlor, Democrat of East Haven. In California, Jack Scott, a Democratic state senator from Pasadena, said today that he would introduce a similar bill in January, and he expects widespread support in a legislature that has passed some of the strongest gun control laws in the nation. Matthew Bennett, a spokesman for Americans for Gun Safety, a gun-control group in Washington, said that if the California Legislature passed a bill creating a ballistic fingerprinting system, "It would have a gigantic effect," because the state is by far the largest market for guns in the nation. That would mean many more guns would be entered into a database, making the likelihood of tracing a crime gun much greater, and it would also "make the case more compelling for a national database," beyond the limited number of state databases, Mr. Bennett said. Earlier this week, California's attorney general, Bill Lockyer, said he supported creating a national database. "I believe that the potential for solving crimes and saving lives through the use of an effective national ballistics database is so significant that the federal government should make it a top national priority," said Mr. Lockyer, a Democrat.
Link Posted: 10/25/2002 12:14:17 AM EDT
fUCK them. They gonna come to your house and demand a bullet sample?
Link Posted: 10/25/2002 12:16:15 AM EDT
Maybe it's time we focused on purchasing uppers.[:D] If the idiot murderers had swapped uppers [including bolt carrier group] after every shot, do you think they could have linked the round to the firearm? No. Ballistic fingerprinting is joke. Changing fingerprints is as easy as changing a barrel, firing pin, and bolt. Again, more legislation based on ignorance and fear. I am of course, preaching to the choir.
Link Posted: 10/25/2002 12:27:31 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SeaDweller: fUCK them. They gonna come to your house and demand a bullet sample?
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I'll give 'em a bullet sample. Fuck, I'll give 'em three. Two in the chest, one in the head.
Link Posted: 10/25/2002 4:26:31 AM EDT
Ok, I'll throw this out... Let's assume that a law passes that requires us all to take our firearms down to collect a ballistic sample. [i]Haynes v. US, 1968[/i] ruled that it would violate the 5th amendment protections of criminals for them to register their weapons. Wouldn't it be a logical leap to say the same would apply to criminals who didn't take their firearms down for fingerprinting? So, once again, another law which will affect the law-abiding only, who are the last ones we need to be worrying about. WWoodworth
Link Posted: 10/25/2002 4:51:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/25/2002 4:52:48 AM EDT by hard-case]
Originally Posted By Stealth: Ballistic fingerprinting is joke. Changing fingerprints is as easy as changing a barrel, firing pin, and bolt. Again, more legislation based on ignorance and fear. I am of course, preaching to the choir.
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Absolutely wrong. Well, ok...ballistic fingerprinting IS a joke, but this legislation has nothing to do with fear or ignorance. I'm betting it has to do with things like this: From NJ Assembly bill A438 (Amended): NJSC 2C:58-2b:
Records. Every person engaged in the retail business of selling, leasing or otherwise transferring a handgun, as a retail dealer or otherwise, shall keep a register in which shall be entered the time of the sale, lease or other transfer, the date thereof, the name, age, date of birth, complexion, occupation, residence and a physical description including distinguishing physical characteristics, if any, of the purchaser, lessee or transferee, the name and permanent home address of the person making the sale, lease or transfer, the place of the transaction, and the make, model, manufacturer's number, caliber and other marks of identification on such handgun and such other information as the superintendent shall deem necessary for the proper enforcement of this chapter. The register shall be retained by the dealer and shall be made available at all reasonable hours for inspection by any law enforcement officer.
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Note how much info is being recorded on the purchaser, how much info is being recorded BEYOND a 'fingerprint', note that the information can be changed by the superintendent at any time, and note that all records are open and accessible to law enforcement WITHOUT ANY CAVEAT AS TO THE REASON!! NJSC 2C:58-2b:
Copies of register entries; delivery to chief of police or county clerk. Within five days of the date of the sale, assignment or transfer, the dealer shall deliver or mail by certified mail, return receipt requested, legible copies of the register forms to the office of the chief of police of the municipality in which the purchaser resides, or to the office of the captain of the precinct of the municipality in which the purchaser resides, and to the superintendent. If hand delivered a receipt shall be given to the dealer therefor.
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And now we have those selfsame records being sent and kept by the police. They call it 'ballistics fingerprinting'...I call it 'registration'. This is the first shot in the war, as far as I'm concerned.
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