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CA Attorney General Lockyer Reports Ballistic "Fingerprinting" Flawed

Friday, January 31, 2003

Bill Lockyer (D) has finally acknowledged what NRA has been saying for some time—any ballistic "fingerprinting" scheme implemented today would be flawed and unworkable. In his report, released on Wednesday, January 29, Lockyer said, "[O]ur analysis concludes that today’s technology is not yet adequate to handle the volume associated with adding all new guns to the database and still provide useful information for investigators." And even though California’s anti-gun AG failed to mention that such a database would also infringe on the rights of millions of law-abiding Americans, his announcement should still help in efforts to derail the attempt by anti-gun extremists to waste millions of tax-payer dollars on what amounts to little more than a scheme to register guns and gun owners.

The Lockyer report comes after what seemed like several attempts to find a way to justify establishing a ballistic "fingerprinting" scheme. After a study conducted by the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Forensic Services, exposed many of the flaws with such a database, Lockyer had the results buried, then shopped around for another study. Lockyer’s DOJ turned to Dr. Jan De Kinder of the National Institute for Forensic Science in Belgium, but he also concluded a ballistic "fingerprinting" scheme would be ineffective as a crime fighting tool. Faced with the overwhelming evidence, Lockyer conceded in this week’s report that a ballistic "fingerprinting" database is simply not feasible as a tool for law enforcement.

Attorney General's report

CA DoJ report by Frederic Tulleners, Laboratory Diretor, Bureau of Forensic Services, California Department of Justice (attachment A of AG's report)

Review of CA AB1717 by Dr. Jans De Kinder,  Ballistics Section, Head National Institute for Forensic Science (NICC/INCC), Department of Justice, Vilvoordsesteenweg 98-100, Belgium (attachment D of AG's report)

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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.