Ballistic Imaging

Committee to Assess the Feasibility, Accuracy, and Technical Capability of a National Ballistics Database

Daniel L. Cork, John E. Rolph, Eugene S. Meieran, and Carol V. Petrie, Editors

Committee on Law and Justice

Committee on National Statistics

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

National Materials Advisory Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
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Ballistic Imaging Committee to Assess the Feasibility, Accuracy, and Technical Capability of a National Ballistics Database Daniel L. Cork, John E. Rolph, Eugene S. Meieran, and Carol V. Petrie, Editors Committee on Law and Justice Committee on National Statistics Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Materials Advisory Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE:  The  project  that  is  the  subject  of  this  report  was  approved  by  the  Governing  Board  of  the  National  Research  Council,  whose  members  are  drawn  from  the  councils  of  the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute  of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their  special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. The  project  that  is  the  subject  of  this  report  was  supported  by  contract  2003-IJ-CX-1013  between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institute of Justice. The work of  the Committee on National Statistics is provided by a consortium of federal agencies through  a grant from the National Science Foundation (Number SBR-0112521). Any opinions, find- ings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s)  and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support  for the project. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data National Research Council (U.S.). Committee to Assess the Feasibility, Accuracy, and  Technical Capability of a National Ballistics Database.   Ballistic imaging / Committee to Assess the Feasibility, Accuracy, and Technical Capability  of a National Ballistics Database ; Daniel L. Cork ... [et al.].        p. cm.   Includes bibliographical references and index.   ISBN 978-0-309-11724-1 (pbk. : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-0-309-11725-8   (pdf : alk. paper) 1.  Forensic ballistics—Atlases—Data processing—Government policy— United States. 2. Bullets—Identification—Databases. 3. Images, Photographic—Databases.  4. Electronic records—United States—Management—Data processing.  I. Cork, Daniel L. II.  Title.    HV8077.N38 2008   363.25'62—dc22                                                             2008015181 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth  Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the  Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Second printing with corrections.  Cover illustration and design by Van Nguyen. Cover images: Gun and bullets images provided by C. Sherburne/PhotoLink ©1999 PhotoDisc,  Inc. All rights reserved. Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2008). Ballistic Imaging. Committee to Assess  the Feasibility, Accuracy, and Technical Capability of a National Ballistics Database. Daniel  L. Cork, John E. Rolph, Eugene S. Meieran, and Carol V. Petrie, eds. Committee on Law and  Justice and Committee on National Statistics, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and  Education; National Materials Advisory Board, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences.  Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society  of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated  to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general wel- fare.  Upon  the  authority  of  the  charter  granted  to  it  by  the  Congress  in  1863,  the  Academy  has  a  mandate  that  requires  it  to  advise  the  federal  government  on  scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National  Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter  of  the  National  Academy  of  Sciences,  as  a  parallel  organization  of  outstanding  e   ngineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members,  sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the  federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineer- ing programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research,  and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is presi- dent of the National Academy of Engineering. The  Institute of Medicine  was  established  in  1970  by  the  National  Academy  of  Sciences  to  secure  the  services  of  eminent  members  of  appropriate  professions  in  the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Insti- tute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its  congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own  initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V.  Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The  National Research Council  was  organized  by  the  National  Academy  of  Sci- ences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the  Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government.  Functioning  in  accordance  with  general  policies  determined  by  the  Academy,  the  Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy  of  Sciences  and  the  National  Academy  of  Engineering  in  providing  services  to  the  government,  the  public,  and  the  scientific  and  engineering  communities.  The  Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine.  Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively,  of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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COMMITTEE TO ASSESS THE FEASIbILITy, ACCuRACy, AND TECHNICAL CAPAbILITy OF A NATIONAL bALLISTICS DATAbASE John E. Rolph (Chair), Marshall School of Business, University of  Southern California Eugene S. Meieran (Vice Chair), Fellow, Intel Corporation, Santa Clara,  California Alfred Blumstein, H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and  Management, Carnegie Mellon University Alicia Carriquiry, Department of Statistics, Iowa State University Scott Chumbley, Department of Materials Science and Engineering,  Iowa State University Philip J. Cook, Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University Marc De Graef, Department of Materials Science and Engineering,  Carnegie Mellon University David L. Donoho, Department of Statistics, Stanford University William F. Eddy, Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University George (Rusty) Gray, Materials Science Division, Los Alamos National  Laboratories Eric Grimson, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer  Science and Department of Medical Engineering, Massachusetts  Institute of Technology Daniel Huttenlocher, Department of Computing, Information Science,  and Business, Cornell University Michael M. Meyer, Google, Inc., Seattle, Washington Vijay Nair, Department of Statistics and Department of Industrial and  Operations Engineering, University of Michigan Angelo Ninivaggi, Plexus Corp., Neenah, Wisconsin David W. Pisenti, Consultant, Fredericksburg, Virginia Daryl Pregibon, Google, Inc., New York, New York Herman M. Reininga, Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa James K. (Chips) Stewart, CNA Corporation, Alexandria, Virginia Michael Stonebraker, Department of Computer Science,  Massachusetts Institute of Technology Harry Wechsler,* Department of Computer Science, George Mason  University Julia Weertman, Department of Materials Science and Engineering,  Northwestern University (emeritus) 

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Carol V. Petrie, Study Director  Daniel L. Cork, Senior Program Officer Gary Fischman,** Director, National Materials Adisory Board Michael Siri, Senior Program Assistant Anthony A. Braga, Consultant Lawden Yates, Consultant   *Served until May 2004. **Served as liaison member to the committee from the National Materials Advisory Board  until becoming that board’s staff director in March 2005. i

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COMMITTEE ON LAW AND JuSTICE 2007 James Q. Wilson (Chair), School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University,  and Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los  Angeles (emeritus) Philip J. Cook (Vice Chair), Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke  University David H. Bayley, School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany, State  University of New York Richard Bonnie, Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy,  University of Virginia Law School Martha Crenshaw, Department of Political Science, Wesleyan University Robert Crutchfield, Department of Sociology, University of Washington John DiIulio, Jr., Department of Political Science, University of  Pennsylvania Steven Durlauf, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin,  Madison John Ferejohn, Hoover Institution, Stanford University Arthur Goldberger, Department of Economics, University of  Wisconsin, Madison (emeritus) Bruce Hoffman, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service,  Georgetown University Robert L. Johnson, Office of the Dean, New Jersey Medical School John H. Laub, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice,  University of Maryland Tracey Meares, Yale Law School Terrie Moffitt, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke  University Mark Moore, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University Ruth Peterson, Department of Sociology, Ohio State University Richard Rosenfeld, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice,  University of Missouri, St. Louis Robert J. Sampson, Department of Sociology, Harvard University Jeremy Travis, Office of the President, John Jay College of Criminal  Justice Christy Visher, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice,  University of Delaware Carol V. Petrie, Director ii

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COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL STATISTICS 2008 William F. Eddy (Chair), Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon  University Katharine Abraham, Department of Economics and Joint Program in  Survey Methodology, University of Maryland William DuMouchel, Lincoln Technologies, Inc., Waltham,  Massachusetts John Haltiwanger, Department of Economics, University of Maryland V. Joseph Hotz, Department of Economics, Duke University Karen Kafadar, Department of Statistics, Indiana University Douglas Massey, Department of Sociology, Princeton University Sally Morton, Statistics and Epidemiology, RTI International, Research  Triangle Park, North Carolina Vijay Nair, Department of Statistics and Department of Industrial and  Operations Engineering, University of Michigan Joseph Newhouse, Division of Health Policy Research and Education,  Harvard University Samuel H. Preston, Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania Kenneth Prewitt, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia  University Louise Ryan, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard University Roger Tourangeau, Survey Research Center, University of Michigan,  and Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland Alan Zaslavsky, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical  School Constance F. Citro, Director iii

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NATIONAL MATERIALS ADvISORy bOARD 2007 Katharine G. Frase (Chair), IBM Corporate Technology and Intellectual  Property, Somers, New York Lyle H. Schwartz (Vice Chair), Consultant, Chevy Chase, Maryland John Allison, Ford Research Laboratories, Dearborn, Michigan Paul Becher, Metals and Ceramic Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Cheryl R. Blanchard, Zimmer, Inc., Warsaw, Indiana Everett E. Bloom, Metal and Ceramics Division, Oak Ridge National  Laboratory Barbara D. Boyan, Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical  Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology L. Catherine Brinson, Departments of Mechanical Engineering and  Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University John W. Cahn, University of Washington Dianne Chong, Materials and Process Technology and Structural Technology,  Prototyping and Quality, The Boeing Company, St. Louis, Missouri Paul Citron, Medtronic, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota (retired) Fiona Doyle, Department of Materials Science and Engineering,  University of California, Berkeley Sossina M. Haile, Associate Professor of Materials Science and of  Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology Carol A. Handwerker, Department of Materials Engineering, Purdue  University Elizabeth Holm, Sandia National Laboratories, Hoboken, New Jersey Andrew T. Hunt, nGimat Company, Atlanta, Georgia David W. Johnson, Jr., Senior Advisor, Stevens Institute of Technology Robert H. Latiff, SAIC, Alexandria, Virginia Terry Lowe, Los Alamos National Laboratory Kenneth H. Sandhage, Department of Materials Science and Engineering,  Georgia Institute of Technology Linda Schadler, Materials Science and Engineering, Rensselaer  Polytechnic Institute Robert E. Schafrik, Materials and Process Engineering Department, GE  Aircraft Engines, Cincinnati, Ohio James C. Seferis, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of  Washington Sharon L. Smith, Advanced Technologies, Lockheed Martin Corporation,  Bethesda, Maryland Gary Fischman, Director ix

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Preface The  Committee  to  Assess  the  Feasibility,  Accuracy,  and  Technical  C   apability of a National Ballistics Database is pleased to submit this final  report and wishes to thank the many people who have contributed to our  work over the committee’s lifetime. This project was sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ),  Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. We are grateful for  the  support  of  NIJ  staff  and  their  participation  in  our  meetings.  We  are  particularly indebted to Christopher Miles, the program manager for this  project,  and  to  John  Morgan,  deputy  director,  NIJ  Office  of  Science  and  Technology, for their assistance and their patience as our committee worked  through this complex project. Through a separate contract initiated by NIJ, the National Institute of  Standards and Technology (NIST) was engaged to conduct experiments in  support of the committee’s work. As described in Chapters 7 and 8 of this  report, NIST’s work for the panel focused on the potential of one possible  major enhancement to current ballistic imaging technology: a change from  two-dimensional photography to three-dimensional surface measurements.  Just as this committee required extensive collaboration between disparate  units within the National Academies and representation from a breadth of  disciplines, so too did the NIST experimental work for the committee draw  together staff from several NIST units, and we have benefited greatly from  this  collaboration.  Susan  Ballou,  Office  of  Law  Enforcement  Standards,  provided excellent oversight of the NIST team, and Theodore Vorburger,  Surface Metrology Division, was unstinting in his zeal for this work. NIST  subcontracted  and  partnered  in  this  work  with  Benjamin  Bachrach  of  xi

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xii PREFACE Intelligent Automation, Inc., whose insights from past and current three- dimensional analysis of bullet and cartridge evidence gave shape to many  of  the  committee’s  discussions.  As  the  work  developed,  James  Filliben  of  NIST’s  statistical  unit  oversaw  the  final  experiment  design  and  analysis  plan, and he provided outstanding assistance. We are grateful to all the cur- rent and former NIST staff who worked on this project, including Dewey  Foreman, John Libert, Brian Renegar, Mike Riley, John Song, James Yen,  and Alan Zhang. Throughout  the  panel’s  deliberations,  we  benefited  from  the  counsel  of  two  consultants,  Anthony  Braga  and  Lawden  Yates.  Braga,  a  senior  research  associate  and  lecturer  at  the  Kennedy  School  of  Government  at  Harvard University, provided empirical analysis and extended and elabo- rated on previous work on the use of ballistic imaging in the Boston area.  His paper on the latter topic appears as Appendix A.  When the committee was being formed, it was decided not to include  an  active  firearms  examiner.  Instead,  the  committee  had  the  counsel  of  Lawden  Yates,  a  former  firearms  and  toolmark  examiner  and  laboratory  director,  who  also  served  as  general  counsel  to  the  Alabama  Department  of Forensic Sciences and as assistant district attorney for Blount and Saint  Clair Counties, Alabama. He provided invaluable information and advice  to the committee on a range of technical matters. Though motivated by questions concerning a new data collection sys- tem, this project also required a comprehensive review and assessment of  the  current  National  Integrated  Ballistic  Information  Network  (NIBIN)  Program  of  the  Bureau  of  Alcohol,  Tobacco,  Firearms,  and  Explosives  (ATF). The ATF responded to our requests with exceptional openness and  enthusiasm.  In  particular,  we  are  grateful  for  the  assistance  of  Benjamin  Wilson, firearms project manager at ATF’s Office of Laboratory Services.  The committee’s analyses, described in Chapter 8, required image acquisi- tion and analysis by staff at ATF’s Ammendale, Maryland, laboratory; we  appreciate the effort of firearms examiner Martin Ols and the other ATF  examiners  who  contributed  to  this  work.  We  also  appreciate  the  initial  guidance  to  our  work  provided  by  Robert  Thompson  and  by  Patricia  Galupo, former director of the NIBIN program. ATF afforded the commit- tee and staff the opportunity to participate in a meeting of its NIBIN Users’  Congress, which proved most valuable. In  March  2005,  a  nondisclosure  agreement  was  negotiated  between  Forensic Technology WAI Inc. (FTI) and the National Academies to facili- tate a site visit to FTI’s headquarters in Montréal by selected members of  the committee. FTI is the creator and manufacturer of the equipment and  software  (IBIS)  used  by  the  nation’s  forensic  laboratories  to  create  and  maintain a database of ballistic images consisting of evidence collected from  crime  scenes  or  confiscated  during  arrests.  The  nondisclosure  agreement 

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xiii PREFACE covered  information  about  this  system  that  FTI  and  the  National  Acad- emies Office of Legal Counsel agreed are proprietary within the meaning  of Exemption 4 of the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. Section  552(b)(4).  The meeting, which took place at FTI’s offices in Montreal on  March 22, provided a detailed understanding of the features and capabili- ties  of  the  imaging  technology  developed  by  FTI.  Only  information  that  was not designated as proprietary information is included, referenced, or  quoted in this final report. The committee is grateful to FTI for its coopera- tion and for the high degree of professionalism and scientific competence it  demonstrated at this meeting.  We  are  particularly  grateful  for  a  thoughtful  and  candid  discussion  with  FTI  technical  staff;  both  Michael  McLean,  project  manager  for  the  Integrated  Ballistics  Identification  System  (IBIS),  and  Pete  Gagliardi,  vice  president  of  marketing  and  strategic  planning,  took  special  interest  in  the committee’s work and provided much useful information. Along with  McLean, Alain Beauchamp gave a useful presentation at a committee meet- ing and responded to other committee requests for information. We appre- ciate the contributions of other past and present FTI staff, including Robert  Walsh, chairman and president; René Bélanger, vice president and general  manager;  John  O’Neil,  firearms  examiner  consultant;  Michael  Clamen;  Cybele Daley; Tim Heaney; Serge Labrecque; and Danny Roberge. Gerald  Zeosky,  inspector  and  director  of  the  New  York  State  Police  Forensic  Investigation  Center  (FIC),  and  John  Hicks,  director  of  forensic  services for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, were  invited to a committee meeting to describe their state’s Combined Ballistic  Information  System  (CoBIS),  a  state-level  reference  ballistic  image  data- base.  Following  that  presentation,  both  men  then  invited  the  committee  and staff to the FIC in Albany to perform experimental runs on the CoBIS  database. During that visit (and a follow-up visit by committee staff), FIC  staff gave freely of their time and talent; for this, we are particularly grate- ful  to  Rebecca  Barretta,  James  Campbell,  Mike  D’Allaird,  Craig  Grazier,  and Mark Heller. Similarly,  a  presentation  to  the  committee  by  deputy  chief  Denis  M   cCarthy  of  the  New  York  City  Police  Department  (NYPD)  led  to  an  invitation to visit and perform limited analyses using the NYPD’s ballistic  image  database,  which  uses  the  same  technology  as  the  NIBIN  program  but  is  not  directly  linked.  At  that  visit  to  the  NYPD  crime  laboratory  in  Jamaica,  Queens,  Lt.  James  Kenny,  commanding  officer  of  the  firearms  analysis  section,  and  detective  Anthony  Pellicio,  firearms  examiner  and  microscopist were extremely helpful. Over the course of the study, every committee member visited at least  one  NIBIN  installation  at  a  state  or  local  law  enforcement  agency,  and  various members also visited the ATF national laboratories in Ammendale, 

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xi PREFACE Maryland, and Walnut Creek, California. We thank all involved for their  time  and  talent.  Subgroups  of  the  committee  also  visited  firearms  and  ammunition manufacturers and developers of microstamping technologies.  We are grateful to all those who helped make the visits smooth and infor- mative, including from Federal Cartridge Company, Gary Svendsen, Mike  Larsen,  Mike  Hollen,  Ken  Croteau,  and  Rick  Vickerman;  from  Hi-Point  Firearms, Tom Deeb; and from Beretta Firearms, Jeffrey Reh, general coun- sel. Todd Lizotte of Hitachi Via Electronics attended a committee meeting  and  generously  spent  time  discussing  the  microstamping  of  firing  pins  and  other  firearms  parts  at  his  facility  in  Londonderry,  New  Hampshire.  Ammunition Coding Systems, a Seattle-based firm acting as a proponent of  a methodology for microstamping ammunition that was then under active  consideration by the California legislature, convened a very helpful session  with the firm’s staff and related contractors in Seattle for a group of com- mittee members. We thank Steven Mace, Russell Ford, John Knickerbocker,  David  Howell,  Patrick  Grace,  and  Paul  Curry  for  their  guidance  in  that  meeting.  We  also  appreciate  the  participation  of  Randy  Rossi,  California  Department of Justice, in the Seattle subcommittee discussion. Ann Davis, Virginia Division of Forensic Sciences, was president of the  Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE) when our com- mittee  began  operations.  She  offered  comments  at  our  first  meeting  and  assembled a liaison committee to interact with the committee as needed; for  these contributions, we are grateful. Lucien Haag (Forensic Science Services,  Inc., Carefree, Arizona) attended and participated in a panel discussion at a  committee meeting in Chandler, Arizona, and subsequently discussed trials  that he had performed on microstamped firing pins for a committee meeting  in Washington; we thank him for the information he shared with us. We appreciate the time taken by other experts to present issues to our  committee, including Kenneth Green of the Sporting Arms and Ammuni- tion Manufacturers’ Institute, Inc., and Marianne Hinkle, former assistant  U.S. attorney for the district of Massachusetts. At the committee’s meeting  in Chandler, Arizona—hosted by committee vice chair Eugene Meieran at  Intel  Corporation—we  made  use  of  the  fact  that  several  NIBIN  sites  are  located  in  the  Phoenix  metropolitan  area.  Representatives  of  the  various  NIBIN-hosting law enforcement agencies participated in a very useful panel  discussion:  they  included  Judie  Welch,  Eric  Brown,  and  Randy  Leister  of  the Phoenix Police Department Crime Laboratory;  Patrick Chavez of  the  City  of  Mesa  Crime  Laboratory;  Steve  Valdez  of  the  City  of  Scottsdale  Crime Laboratory; Dustin Engel of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office;  and Vince Figarelli and Lisa Peloza of the Arizona Department of  Public  Safety. Emily  Ann  Meyer  provided  initial  literature  collection  for  the  com- mittee during her service as a research associate with the National Materials 

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x PREFACE Advisory Board (NMAB). Michael Siri, senior program assistant with the  Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) deftly provided logistical sup- port to the committee in the later phases of its work; he was preceded as  program assistant and coordinator for the committee’s activities by Ralph  Patterson during his tenure with the Committee on Law and Justice. Special  thanks are due to Barbara Boyd for pinch-hitting as program assistant for  one of our committee meetings during a gap in staffing and for generally  providing back-up assistance when needed. Toni Marechaux, former direc- tor of the NMAB, contributed to the formation of the committee and its  early  work,  and  we  have  also  benefited  from  the  counsel  of  Constance  Citro,  CNSTAT  director,  and  Jane  Ross,  director  of  the  Center  for  Eco- nomic, Governance, and International Studies of the Division of Behavioral  and Social Sciences and Education.  We were extremely fortunate to have two experienced and extremely  capable individuals as staff: Carol Petrie and Daniel Cork. Carol was par- ticularly  helpful  in  the  process  of  forming  the  committee,  managing  the  panel’s consultations with its sponsor and other external parties, organiz- ing  meetings,  and  stewarding  this  report  through  the  Academies’  review  process. Dan managed much of the panel’s analytic work and had primary  responsibility  for  drafting  the  report.  Together  they  organized  the  work  of the committee and guided its evaluation of the NIBIN program and its  consideration  of  a  national  reference  ballistic  image  database.  To  say  we  have benefited enormously from their talents and knowledge and are very  grateful to have had the opportunity to work with them is a considerable  understatement. Regardless of the committee’s expertise and commitment,  this report would have significantly less value than we believe it does have,  but for Carol’s and Dan’s contributions. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for  their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with proce- dures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research  Council  (NRC).  The  purpose  of  this  independent  review  is  to  provide  candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the  published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets  institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the  study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confiden- tial to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their participation in the review  of this report: William A. Ellingson, Nuclear Engineering Division, Argonne  National  Laboratory;  David  L.  Faigman,  Hastings  College  of  Law,  Uni- versity  of  California,  San  Francisco;  Stephen  E.  Fienberg,  Department  of  Statistics,  Carnegie  Mellon  University;  Barry  A.J.  Fisher,  Los  Angeles  County  Sheriff’s  Department  Crime  Laboratory,  Los  Angeles,  California;  David  C.  Hoaglin,  Abt  Associates  Inc.,  Cambridge,  Massachusetts;  Paul 

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xi PREFACE F. Johnson, Emeritus Professor of Ceramic Engineering, Alfred University,  Alfred, New York; Alan F. Karr, Director’s Office, National Institute of Sta- tistical Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; Diane Lambert,  Google, Inc., New York, New York; Lyle H. Schwartz, Consultant, Chevy  Chase,  Maryland;  Pete  Striupaitis,  Northeastern  Illinois  Regional  Crime  Laboratory,  Vernon  Hills,  Illinois;  Charles  F.  Wellford,  Department  of  Criminology,  University  of  Maryland;  and  James  Q.  Wilson,  School  of  Public Policy, Pepperdine University. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive com- ments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or  recommendations  nor  did  they  see  the  final  draft  of  the  report  before  its  release. The review of the report was overseen by John C. Bailar, III, Pro- fessor Emeritus, Department of Health Studies, The University of Chicago,  and Hyla S. Napadensky, Office of President, Napadensky Energetics, Inc.,  Grand Marais, Minnesota. Appointed by the NRC, they were responsible  for  making  certain  that  an  independent  examination  of  the  report  was  carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review  comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of  this report rests entirely with the authoring panel and the institution. John E. Rolph, Chair Eugene S. Meieran, Vice Chair Committee to Assess the Feasibility, Accuracy, and  Technical Capability of a National Ballistics Database

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Contents Executive Summary  1 Part I   Context for Ballistic Imaging Analysis   1  Introduction  11   2  Firearms and Ammunition: Physics, Manufacturing, and   Sources of Variability  30   3  Firearms Identification and the Use of Ballistic Evidence  53 Part II   Current Ballistic Imaging and Databases   4  Current Ballistic Imaging Technology  91   5  Current Ballistic Image Databases: NIBIN and the State  Reference Databases  133   6  Operational and Technical Enhancements to NIBIN  162   7  Three-Dimensional Measurement and Ballistic Imaging  186 Part III  Implications for a National Reference Ballistic Image   Database   8  Experimental Evidence on Sources of Variability and   Imaging Standards  199   9  Feasibility of a National Reference Ballistic Image Database  223 xii

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xiii CONTENTS Part IV  Future Directions   10  Microstamping: Alternative Technology for Tracing to   Point of Sale  255   11  Best Standards for Future Developments in   Computer-Assisted Firearms Identification  272 References  281 Appendixes   A   Gun Enforcement and Ballistic Imaging      Technology in Boston  293     Anthony A. Braga   B  Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff  312

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Tables, Figures, and Boxes TAbLES 1-1  Gun Homicides and Crime Gun Recoveries in 32 Cities in 2000, 25 4-1  Summary Results of George Study of IBIS Cartridge Case  Comparison Performance, 114 4-2  Summary Results of Forensic Technology WAI, Inc., Benchmark  Evaluation, 120 5-1  NIBIN Usage Data, May 2003–April 2004, 152 8-1  Number of Same-Gun Matches Found in Top 10 Ranks, Two- Dimensional/IBIS Analysis of DKT Exhibit Set, 208 8-2  Number of Same-Gun Matches Found in Top 10 Ranks, Three- Dimensional/NIST Analysis of DKT Exhibit Set, 209 8-3  Number of Same-Gun Matches Found in Top 10 Ranks, Two- Dimensional/IBIS Analysis of NBIDE Exhibit Set, 210 8-4  Number of Same-Gun Matches Found in Top 10 Ranks, Three- Dimensional/NIST Analysis of NBIDE Exhibit Set, 211 8-5  Summary of IBIS Comparisons for Full 144-Exhibit   NBIDE Set, 213 8-6  Summary of Overlap Metrics for Three-Dimensional Images, 215 8-7  IBIS Comparison Results, DKT Exhibit Set Extract in CoBIS  Database, 220 xix

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xx TABLES, FIGURES, AND BOXES 9-1  Firearms Manufactured in and Exported from the United States,  2002–2004, 225 9-2  Values of  K(a) for Various Configurations of N and α for the  Optimistic Scenario, 248 9-3  Values of K(a) for Various Configurations of N and α for the  Pessimistic Scenario, 249 9-4  Values of K(a) for Various Configurations of n1 – 1, n2, D1, D2, and  a for the Optimistic Scenario, 250 9-5  Values of K(a) for Various Configurations of n1 – 1, n2, D1, D2, and  a for the Pessimistic Scenario, 251 A-1  Staffing Levels of the Boston Police Department Ballistics Unit,  1993–2003, 300 A-2  Crime Types in 104 Sets of Boston IBIS-Suggested Matches, 303 A-3  Results of Information Linked by IBIS-Suggested Matches on  Investigations by Boston Law Enforcement Agencies, 2003, 305 FIguRES 1-1  Crimes committed with firearms, 1973–2003, 23 1-2  Firearms crime rates, 1973–2003, 24 1-3  Homicides committed with firearms, 1973–2003, 24 2-1  Breech faces with firing pin holes: Two firearms, 33 2-2  Breech face markings and firing pin impressions for three  ammunition types and two firearm brands, 42 4-1  IBIS breech face images, 99 4-2  Sample “cover sheet:” Top 10 ranking report from an IBIS  comparison, 105 4-3  Sample matched pairs of breech face and firing pin images, 119 5-1  Geographic distribution of NIBIN sites, 140 8-1  IBIS two-dimensional images and rendered three-dimensional  surfaces, breech face, and firing pin impressions from one   casing, 205 8-2  Empirical distribution of matching and nonmatching pairwise  comparisons, 214 A-1  Types of investigative information linked by IBIS-suggested  matches, 296 A-2  Boston Police Department ballistics matches, 1990–2003, 299

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xxi TABLES, FIGURES, AND BOXES A-3  Serious gun crime incidents in Boston, 1990–2003, 299 A-4  Recovered handguns in Boston, 1991–2003, 302 bOxES 1-1  “Ballistics” Terminology, 15 1-2  Content of a Reference Ballistic Image Database, 16 2-1  Nonfiring Manufacturing Marks, 51 3-1  Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE) Theory  of Identification and Range of Conclusions, 59 3-2  Examples of Subclass Carryover, 61 3-3  Highlights in the History of Traditional Firearms Identification, 62 3-4  Recent Court Decisions: “To the Exclusion of All Other Guns,” 83 4-1  “IBIS” Terminology, 94 4-2  CSI Ballistic Imaging, 125 5-1  Criteria for Participation in the NIBIN Program, 135 5-2  DRUGFIRE, 136 5-3  NIBIN Definition of “Hit,” 151 6-1  Recommendations from 2005 U.S. Department of Justice Inspector  General Audit of NIBIN Program, 164 6-2  New York City Police Department “Fast Brass” Processing, 171 8-1  Design of Test-Fire Cartridge Sets, 201 8-2  Exhibit Set Tested in Work with CoBIS Database, 219 9-1  Tracing Guns, 228

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