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National Academy of Sciences Says a “Ballistic Imaging” Database “Should Not Be Established”

Thursday, April 10, 2008

On March 5, the National Academy of Sciences released Ballistic Imaging, the report of a committee assigned to evaluate the feasibility, accuracy and technical capability of a possible national database of so-called “ballistic images” from new guns sold in the United States.

The committee, which included several supporters of gun control, considered dozens of factors, including the uniqueness of images, the ability of imaging systems to capture images, the odds against images in a database being matched with cartridge cases and/or bullets found at crime scenes, the “huge existing supply of weapons and ammunition that would not be entered into the database,” and the fact that criminals could beat the system by using guns that do not leave cases at crime scenes, such as revolvers. The committee concluded, “A national reference ballistic image database should not be established.”

The committee’s chairman, John Rolph, a professor of statistics at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, said, “current technology for collecting and comparing toolmarks [left on bullets and cases] is not sufficiently precise in distinguishing extremely fine marks among so many images.” He noted, “the type or brand of ammunition used in the initial firing of a gun would not necessarily be the same as the ammunition later used in a crime [and the] difference could be a significant source of error.”

Instead of a national “ballistic image” database, the report recommended improving BATFE’s database of crime-related ballistic evidence, the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). It also recommended research on micro-stamping of guns and ammunition, noting that studies have not determined how durable micro-stamped marks are under various firing conditions, how susceptible they are to tampering, or what their cost would be to manufacturers and consumers.

Neither an imaging database nor micro-stamping technology has been proven to help police solve crimes, or that it is necessary for that purpose. Moreover, neither could be effective without registration of guns and ammunition, a ban on private sales of guns and ammunition, and a ban on the manufacture, importation, sale and possession of guns from which images have not been taken, guns that do not stamp codes on fired ammunition, and uncoded ammunition.

Nevertheless, in February, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) introduced a bill in Congress (S. 2605, H.R. 5266) to require that new semi-automatic pistols be equipped with special breech faces, firing pins, or other internal parts that micro-stamp unique codes on ammunition upon firing. California imposed such a requirement in 2007, and in more than a dozen states so-called “encoded ammunition” bills have been introduced to require that bullets and cases be micro-stamped with codes by the manufacturer, and most such bills would also require people to dispose of their uncoded ammunition.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Missouri: Permitless Carry Self-Defense Legislation Overwhelmingly Passes House, Headed to Senate

Today, the Missouri House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed House Bill 1468.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Michigan: Important Firearm Preemption Legislation Will Likely Receive Committee Vote Next Week

Next Wednesday, May 4, the House Local Government Committee is tentatively scheduled to consider and vote on House Bill 4795, as substituted.  HB 4795, sponsored by Chairman Lee Chatfield (R-District 107), is important legislation aimed ...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Connecticut: Anti-Gun Bills Expected for Floor Vote Tomorrow

One or both of the anti-gun bills, House Bill 5054 and House Bill 5623, may be called as early as tomorrow to go to the House floor for consideration by the full House of Representatives.  Both HB 5054 and ...

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Hillary Clinton to Attack Gun Owners Her “Very First Day” in Office

In what has become as reliable as clockwork, with the passing of another week comes another Hillary Clinton attack on gun owners. This time, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination explained to supporters her ...

Friday, April 29, 2016

Louisiana: House Committee to Vote Tuesday on Dangerous Bill Gutting Louisiana’s Firearms Preemption Law

Imagine the City of New Orleans having the statutory authority to pass any law they wanted governing the sale, purchase, possession, ownership, transfer, transportation, license, or registration of firearms and ammunition.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

California: Anti-Gun Bills Still Alive After Policy Committee Deadline

After a busy week of hearings, Friday April 22nd marked the deadline for bills with a fiscal note to be passed out of their respective policy committees. Bills not meeting this deadline are considered defeated ...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Oklahoma: Hunting with Suppressors Legislation Signed into Law

Yesterday, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed House Bill 2637 into law and it goes into effect immediately.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Merrick Garland MUST NOT be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Senate needs to hear from you TODAY that Merrick Garland MUST NOT be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

NRA Statement on President Obama's Latest Gun Control

Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) issued the following statements on President Obama’s latest gun control push.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Political Report | Disarmament Cloaked as "Common Sense"

Gun control advocates have been at their civilian-disarmament campaign for so long that astute observers will notice the same tactics and approaches returning time and again to the political landscape. When the American public rejects ...

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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.