Public Health

Discover how IFM can make domestic communities safer

Implementing a standard to drive accuracy of forensic intellegence 

Nothing is more important than building safer communities within the U.S. Illegal firearms trafficking has been a prevalent issue for law enforcement, where firearms end up in the wrong hands and become the weapons used in domestic crimes more often than not. In most crimes the firearm is not recovered at the scene.  Individuals who might not normally be allowed to purchase a firearm rely on illegally trafficked guns.  Traffickers employ “straw purchasers,” which are people with clean backgrounds, to make several gun purchases to supply firearms into the criminal world.

Intentional Firearm Microstamping thwarts straw purchasers from buying a firearm for a third party if they know that there is a possibility that their purchase would be linked to a crime scene.  With the straw purchaser bearing the brunt in a crime investigation, people willing to supply firearms trafficers will dry up, limiting the trade of illegal firearms.  These are some examples of why Intentional Firearm Microstamping can be an important part of the investigative process.

Where it is Used in the U.S

 After being introduced in 1994, the idea of Intentional Firearm Microstamping has been put into the spotlight nationally as a method of boosting investigative leads and intel. A key victory in the fight for implementation was in 2007, when the AB1471 Crime Gun Identification Act was passed in the California Assembly, and then the California Senate later that year. AB1417 requires that all new models of semiautomatic handguns in the state must have a code specific to the weapon imprinted inside the firearm. In 2008, this act was passed into law. In 2013, Attorney General of the state of California, Kamala Harris, made it clear that all newly sold handguns had to have this technology within, and that all handguns created before 2013 had to be registered in the Roster of Not Unsafe Handguns.

On September 29th, 2020, bill AB- 2847 was signed into law by California governor Gavin Newsom. As AB1471 directs that the two internal sections of a firearm be microstamp ready, AB-2847 reduces the number of sections from 2 to 1. This makes the manufacturing process that much easier.

 

Putting the Pieces Together

 

Chart: “Comprehensive Planning of Criminal justice Information and Intelligence Systems: ATF’s Experience in Implementing Firearms Tracing in the United States”,

Information Technology and the Criminal Justice System, Pattavina, A. Editor,(2005) Page 188, Sage (used with permission)

Gun Violence in the US

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FBI:UCR 2017 Crime in the United States. Table 25. Percent of offenses cleared by arrest or exceptional means. Available: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2017/crime-in-the-u.s.-2017/tables/table-25

Almost 40 Americans were murdered everyday by someone with a firearm in 2017

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Firearm Homicide Deaths and Rates per 100,000. WONDER Online Database, ICD 9 1979-1998 and ICD 10 1999-2017.

For people living in a community with high violent crime rates, a group of academics found those who had only heard about violence in their community were just as likely to experience symptoms of PTSD as those who had directly witnessed it.

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https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16399921/

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