Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Joint Statement On Ballistic "Fingerprinting"

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Wayne LaPierre Executive Vice-President National Rifle Association & Chris W. Cox Executive Director, National Rifle Association - Institute for Legislative Action
In times of exasperation over inexplicable tragedy, it`s reasonable to search for preventative solutions. Yet despite our collective horror, proposals must be evaluated with objectivity, weighing possible benefit against certain costs that must be measured in terms of both financial reality and personal freedom. The National Rifle Association has always welcomed any technology that obstructs criminal behavior while respecting the rights of law-abiding citizens. For that reason, NRA is on record supporting H.R. 3491, The Ballistic Imaging Evaluation and Study Act of 2001, and its Senate counterpart S. 2581, since their introduction more than 6 months ago. But we cannot support a ballistic "fingerprinting" proposition (H.R. 408 & S. 3096), that even a passing glance reveals is flawed, unworkable and infringes on the rights of tens of millions of law-abiding Americans. Ballistic "fingerprinting" is a misleading phrase, because human fingerprints or DNA or other biometric data can`t be altered. But ballistic abrasion patterns can change for a variety of reasons. Still, for ballistic "fingerprinting" to work as proposed, all of the following assumptions must materialize:
  • That the firearm barrel and firing pin have not been modified, replaced, deformed from normal use, or intentionally falsified with new ballistic markings.
  • That all 200 million firearms lawfully possessed by Americans are brought into labs and fired to gather individual ballistic "fingerprinting."
  • That all violent criminals, and people who might become one, also bring in their firearms for "fingerprinting."
  • That all ballistic "fingerprinting" files are stored in a national database.
  • That an expended bullet or shell casing be recovered from a crime scene.
  • That the bullet or shell casing conclusively match the ballistic "fingerprinting" of a firearm owned by a person stored in the database.
  • That the firearm has not been sold, transferred, stolen or gifted to another person.
  • That the person, now a criminal suspect, still possess that firearm at a current address.
Besides the impossibility of this sequence of events, there`s serious debate within the law enforcement community whether such ballistic "fingerprinting" is reliable. Police criminalists and forensic scientists have studied such a system and called it "impractical." (California Department of Justice, Bureau of Forensic Services). So it defies reason why a criminal or terrorist intent on violence would not avail himself of a firearm never subjected to "fingerprinting," altered into anonymity, or imported from another country. But for lawful gun owners, this scheme is national gun registration, and certain to produce confusion, misidentification and wrongful suspicion. That`s why ballistic "fingerprinting" of handguns in Maryland and New York, the only states that require it, hasn`t solved a single gun crime. Maryland and New York taxpayers might rightfully ask whether the millions of dollars required to create and maintain such a system could be better spent on vital law enforcement needs. Before squandering billions of dollars to deploy such a system nationwide, American taxpayers - despite national alarm in the wake of tragedy - should ask that question, too. The NRA welcomes participation in an objective and unemotional evaluation of the entire concept of ballistic imaging, or any other technologies, in search of any reasonable contribution to the process of law enforcement.
TRENDING NOW
Maryland: Pro-Carry Legislation Pending Final Vote on House Floor

Monday, March 20, 2017

Maryland: Pro-Carry Legislation Pending Final Vote on House Floor

Today, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 on second reading.

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Today, March 21, the provisions of the critical self-defense legislation, Sub. Senate Bill 199, go into effect.  Thanks to your active involvement last session, this bill was signed by Governor Kasich last December.  This law ...

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Yesterday, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 by a 97-41 vote.

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

The Illinois House of Representatives could consider House Bill 2354 at any time.

Are Ear Plugs Better Than a Suppressor?

Hunting  

News  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Are Ear Plugs Better Than a Suppressor?

On March 13, the gun control group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, posted a tweet claiming:  “FACT:  Silencers do not protect your hearing.”  An infographic accompanied the tweet with the additional claim “You know what protects ...

Idaho: Senate Passes Concealed Carry Amendment

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Idaho: Senate Passes Concealed Carry Amendment

Yesterday, March 20, the Idaho Senate passed House Bill 93 by a 35-0 vote.  Introduced by state Representative Don Cheatham (R-3B) and sponsored on the floor by state Senator Marv Hagedorn (R-14), HB 93 would amend current law ...

European Parliament Passes Stringent New Gun Controls

News  

Friday, March 17, 2017

European Parliament Passes Stringent New Gun Controls

On March 14, the European Union completed one of the final steps in imposing stringent new gun controls across the political bloc, when the European Parliament approved legislation to alter the EU Firearms Directive by ...

North Dakota: Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Passes Committee and Headed to Senate Floor

Monday, March 20, 2017

North Dakota: Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Passes Committee and Headed to Senate Floor

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended do-pass to House Bill 1169 by a 4-2 vote.  HB 1169 could go to the Senate floor as early as tomorrow.  Please contact your state Senator and politely urge them to ...

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Yesterday, March 21, the Senate passed anti-gun Senate Bill 115 with a 12-9 vote.  SB 115 was sent to the Assembly for further consideration.  Sponsored by state Senator Moises Denis (D-2), SB 115 would expand the list ...

Pro-gun Bills Introduced to Reform FOPA, Protect Interstate Transport of Firearms for Lawful Use

Gun Laws  

News  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Pro-gun Bills Introduced to Reform FOPA, Protect Interstate Transport of Firearms for Lawful Use

Pro-gun members of Congress have introduced legislation to protect travelers who are transporting firearms interstate for lawful purposes.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.