Journal Published Online: 01 May 1998
Volume 43, Issue 3

Automated Firearms Evidence Comparison: A Forensic Tool for Firearms Identification—An Update



The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) laboratories is applying the new technology of computerized image analysis for the identification of bullets and cartridge casings recovered in open cases, and to a database of test fired weapons. The Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS) accomplishes these comparisons in minutes, when the same task using conventional microscopical techniques would require weeks to carefully sort through the firearm evidence. The networking of remote Data Acquisition Stations (DAS) can build a regional firearms evidence database, making the IBIS a powerful resource for the investigation of violent firearm crimes from multiple jurisdictions. A technical overview of the IBIS image acquisition hardware, image storage, case data input, “surface signature” analysis, and correlation scoring to an image database is reported.

Author Information

Tontarski, RE
Fire Investigation, Research and Education (F.I.R.E.) Center, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Washington, DC
Thompson, RM
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, San Francisco Laboratory Center, Walnut Creek, CA
Pages: 7
Price: $25.00
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Stock #: JFS16196J
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS16196J