(Received 17 November 1994; accepted 5 May 1995)
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To help determine the potential of secondary gunshot residue (GSR) transfer from officers onto subjects to be tested for GSR, the presence of GSR on non-shooting patrol officers' hands were evaluated. Forty-three officers were sampled with adhesive-lift discs, which were subsequently concentrated and analyzed by scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) microanalysis. GSR levels on the officers' hands were lower than expected considering that a firearm was carried and handled by all officers. Only three of the 43 officers had unique GSR particles. No officer had more than one unique GSR particle. Twenty-five of the 43 officers had no particles of GSR on their hands. Although the potential for secondary transfer contamination from an arresting officer to a subject exists, the low empirical numbers of GSR particles found on these non-shooting officers suggest that the potential for this occurrence is relatively low.
Criminalist, California Laboratory of Forensic Science, Yorba Linda, CA
Senior Criminalist, Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department, Forensic Science Services, Santa Ana, CA
Stock #: JFS13882J