It was thought that firearms reference collections in forensic science laboratories are liable to come under scrutiny. A survey was carried out to ascertain how many forensic science laboratories have such collections, what uses are made of them, and the views of examiners about replacing them with images available using modern information technology. It was found that the vast majority of laboratories with a firearms section have a reference collection and virtually all the remaining laboratories have access to one. Although most examiners are prepared to consider using images, the use of collections for such purposes as repairs and research shows that reference collections cannot be completely disbanded.
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