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Old June 29, 2011, 09:26 AM   #26
SDC
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Eclipse, having worked on one of these systems, I can think of several good reasons why "ballistic fingerprinting" as practiced in NY and MD is a bad idea;
- one, it requires registration of a specific firearm to a specific person, thereby allowing future confiscation (which has been the inevitable progression of registration in the past), and which should end any discussion in itself.
- two, in the experiments that I helped run, the technology isn't sufficiently advanced to narrow down the list of possible "hits" to a manageable number, without having someone sort through a large number of them one at a time, manually; eliminating this is suposed to be the reason that the technology was developed in the first place.
- three, breechface signatures can change significantly within the first 100 rounds fired out of a firearm, making the technology akin to requiring every automobile tire sold to be "fingerprinted", on the off chance that, sometime in the next 5 days, that tire might be used on a getaway car. Even if this somehow made sense, there is surely something more effective that the time and money could be spent on.
- four, revolvers don't leave cases at a crime scene.
When it's used as it should be (linking previously un-related shootings, or testing seized guns to see if they hit against unsolveds), the system works really well, but when you try to sell it as the second act in the sort of "security theatre" charade that MD and NY have, it is nothing more than lighting a bonfire of $100 bills.
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Old June 29, 2011, 09:32 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclipse
I have come across some interesting statements for those of you who have been stating that the IBIS has not helped in a single case. . . . .

Source Citation: Feinstein, Dianne. "Ballistic Fingerprinting Can Help Reduce Crime." Guns and Crime. Ed. James D. Torr. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2004. At Issue. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 29 June 2011.
Always consider the source of information, whether here on TFL, or elsewhere. Senator Feinstein is a big gun control proponent.

As you've seen, there are a variety of objections to "ballistic fingerprinting," technical, historical, political, . . . I put it in quotes because I believe that phrase gives the impression that it's more accurate than it really is. As others have noted, metal parts (such as firing pins) wear over time, can be replaced, motified, etc. I won't go so far as to say it has not helped in a single case (because I don't know if that's true), but I will go so far as to say that it does not help in enough cases to justify its use. Revolvers don't eject casings, so "BF" won't help in crimes where revolvers are used. If the gun has been disposed of, sold, stolen from the original owner, or modified (in certain, but common ways) at any time since purchase, or had enough rounds to cause wear on certain parts, BF becomes useless.

Further, why would you want to maintain a database of all firearms, or even all handguns, when the overwhelming majority of them will never be used in a crime? That's a huge drain on government resources that will never solve any crime. And as Bartholomew Roberts points out, the only thing that BF will lead to is the last registered purchaser. In many states, that may not even be the last legal purchaser. Someone may have bought the gun new, then sold it, with no legally-mandated registration or permitting required.

Finally, it smacks of registration. Historically, and around the world, registration has led to confiscation. Disarming the populace has never, to my knowledge, led to good things for that populace. If I go out and purchase a new firearm, of any kind, I already have to fill out a 4473, and undergo a NICS check. Convicted felons cannot pass a NICS check. They do not fill out 4473s. Why should I, as an upstanding citizen with no felony record, submit to having my property tracked by the government? The US Supreme Court held that a convicted felon cannot be prosecuted for the crime of failing to register a firearm, because requiring him to do so would violate his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. If felons cannot be required to register firearms, why should I?

And yes, you can compare the 1st Amendment to the 2nd, and to the 4th, and to the 8th. No, speeches, in and of themselves, do not kill people. They can do far more than that. They can effect dramatic changes in society. Still, we do not have any screening process before someone may exercise their 1st Amendment right. We do not have a process for screening someone before they can exercise any of their other constitutional rights. If we all had to register our church before we could attend, and fill out a form, or sign up with some government agency before we had access to our 4th Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure, we'd all be screaming. And yet, in the final analysis, isn't it the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms that is intended to protect all of the others for us?

[/rant]
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Old June 29, 2011, 10:03 AM   #28
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New York state has spent over 24 million dollars on COBIS, and it is the same cartridge case fingerprinting system referred to in this thread. So far in the ten years or so it has been used, it has led to NO results. There have been 2 or 3 cases in which the COBIS identified the case after the perp was on trial. So for millions of dollars there have been no crimes solved with the system. On the other hand, Maryland was smart enough to abandon their version of COBIS after fruitless years and millions of dollars.

Amazingly, some politicians are now pushing a sysytem called micro stamping that supposedly would engrave the firing pin to mark the case with the serial number of the gun. It has yet to pass, but NY state is worse than the Federal government at wasting money so eventually they will buy this, I fear. It is easy to obscure the engraving. It's no more than typical anti gun maneuvering.
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Old June 29, 2011, 10:12 AM   #29
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More food for thought:
http://smallestminority.blogspot.com...ng-doesnt.html

Note that the same gun makes different breechface marks depending on the type of ammunition used. How useful would a fingerprint be if it looked different depending on what was touched?

Also see: California Feasability Study
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Old June 29, 2011, 10:54 AM   #30
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Quote:
I am just wondering on how you view this as an attack on the "right to bear arms," when it is only cataloging what types of guns are made and what their markings are. For one it is not as if they are tracking down every single person that has a gun and taking it from them.

In ballistic crimes, especially murders, the IBIS would be used to narrow down the suspects they already have. Say they have 4 suspects in a murder case and two have registered guns, both of which do not fit within the range the IBIS and the Ballistic expert has given. Whereas out of the other two suspects one is more plausible then the other to have committed the crime, and if they are fast enough on the case (and if the suspect hasn't has time to get rid of the gun) then they could gain a warrant and take them to court.
Also you cannot compare the freedom of speech and the right to bear arms, it’s not proportional. Speeches don't kill people, guns can (depending on who is controlling them at the time.) Religions would be considered a motive within crimes (primarily found in family related crimes.)
You say free speech isn’t proportional (nor do I see a requirement for it to be proportional in the Bill of Rights" as the words “Shall not be infringed” do not imply any sort of proportional interpretation) because it doesn’t kill and yet I would argue that it can and does. Hitler certainly used speech to incite people to commit horrible crimes and yelling "Fire" inside a packed building can yield the same result on a much smaller scale.

Look at certain un-named groups in the Middle East who promote a line of thought using speech that directly results in violence with a religious or secular theme.... (Im not debating these themes simply highlighting that speech can certainly be used as a weapon)

Further the owning of a firearm in no way entitles the state to presume it is going to be used for some crime, indeed if were to presume things are going to be used for crimes then maybe we should also include cars and maybe we should profile the bumpers in case we have a hit and run. What you end up with quite quickly is an almost endless list of thing that can cause harm and it’s simply not possible to track all of them individually. Further cars are not protected by specific mention in the Bill of Rights and "Arms" are....One might even be able to make the case that "Arms" could or might include a greater range of weapons than just guns... It might include knives and it might include all varieties of weapons or a greater scope than just firearms....

If we look at it statically Cars and Household poisons (each individually) end up killing more Americans each year than all gun incidents of any kind.

Statistically about 1/3 of all "gun crimes" are actually suicide lumped in with justified force, accidents and violent actions which are all termed as a crime by the antis.

http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10_sy.html

You have to be very careful about laws and restrictions.... they have a way of making you less free... and no better protected..
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Old June 29, 2011, 10:58 AM   #31
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I think it is important to stick to credible sources such as the California study and the National Academies study.

It's also important to note the differences in how the IBIS worked in the cases cited by Feinstein and how Feinstein claims the system she wants will work to solve crime. In the cases she cited, law enforcement had recovered the suspects guns and used shell casings to connect the guns to shell casings from other crimes. This meant that the casings from the recovered gun were being compared to a relatively small pool of casings recovered from a crime scene. This is a perfectly legitimate use of forensic technology that can produce useful results. These were not examples of law enforcement tracing down a gun they didn't have by matching a recovered shell casing to a particular shell casing from a huge pool of shell casings from every newly sold gun.

Law enforcement already had the guns. Law enforcement was looking to match a far smaller pool of shell casings (those recovered at crime scenes.)
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Old June 29, 2011, 11:56 AM   #32
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Thanks for the links

Mr. Roberts: Thanks for the links to my Ballistic Fingerprinting piece. I concur that we should stick to the official studies - studies which prove that "ballistic fingerprinting" isn't what it is touted to be - it's a waste of time and money.

It's also a back-door into firearm registration, and the only thing registration is good for is eventual confiscation.

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Old June 29, 2011, 10:29 PM   #33
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Now Eclipse keep in mind that Im one of those folks who realizes that Ballistic Fingerprinting is constitutional and Im not worried about the gov't using a fired case from one of my guns to seize them.. My objection to it is obvious one and is available simply from reading the propaganda from the Feinstein bunch you cited above...and if you are a critical thinker, you can figure it out.

Hint: Fingerprints

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Old June 30, 2011, 01:59 PM   #34
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Quote:
I am just wondering on how you view this as an attack on the "right to bear arms," when it is only cataloging what types of guns are made and what their markings are. For one it is not as if they are tracking down every single person that has a gun and taking it from them.
...yet...

A database of fired cased, linking them to specific guns is useless, without registration saying who has the guns, assuming it is of any use at all, from a technology standpoint. IT has been repeatedly proven that the so called "ballistic fingerprint" is in no way as clear and definable as the human fingerprint. But it isn't about reality, or even what you can convince a jury to believe, its about political power, and the appearance of "doing something" for the promoters of the scheme, as well as the real power and influence that comes from being able to spend large amounts of the public's money.

The microstamping scheme is especially insidious, because on the surface, it seems so reasonable, but like many things, the devil is in the details. One detail consistanly not brought up by proponents of microstamping is that the technology to make the special microstamps is patented, propriatary, and belongs to only ONE company! There isn't much better for your business than the government passing a law that everyone has to buy your product!
Follow the money, and its obvious.

Ballistic Fingerprinting, microstamping, and other ideas (such as serial numbered ammunition) are wonderful things for politicans to promote, because to those without the technical background to understand how they are being lied to, they sound like great tools to fight crime. It makes the politicans look like they are doing something good for the people, when the reality is that all they are doing is wasting tax money.

WE do not like lists of guns and their owners. Registration has historically lead to restrictions and confiscation, around the world, and in the USA as well. Don't fall for the mantra that "it can't happen here". It has, and it will.

Even if ballistic fingerprinting was what they claimed it was (and it isn't, and cannot be), decades of use and millions of dollars spent with, at most, a handful of cases where it contributed evidence is NOT a good use of taxpayer monies.
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Old June 30, 2011, 02:27 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
. . . . the technology to make the special microstamps is patented, propriatary, and belongs to only ONE company! . . .
I didn't know that! Who owns it?
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Old July 2, 2011, 07:24 PM   #36
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Any fingerprinting scheme will be wholly useless without reducing to zero the supply of pre-existing guns. I think the people pushing hardest for this want this. It allows the next step.

Schemes pushed in California and elsewhere are nothing but restraint of trade, the legislators know this makes life harder and less profitable for manufacturers to comply with microstamping, smart guns, drop test or what have you, so they pull out of the market, leaving less hapless vendors to put the squeeze on next time. As legislation who's primary effect is to hamper interstate commerce ought those laws be beyond the scope of individual states?

As it stands now, one on paper AR-15 lower, countless uppers from who knows where. I'll be sure to take a bag of range brass from 50 different appropriate caliber guns to scatter if I plan to commit a crime, I'll just make sure the real one isn't there. Thin walled expanding or sintered bullet, best of luck tracing that one.
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Old July 2, 2011, 11:17 PM   #37
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Spats, as far as I know, the details for microstamping ownership are as follows:

Inventors: Todd E. Lizotte, Orest Ohar
Assignees: Identification Dynamics, LLC
Patent No. 7111423 (issued 09-26-2006) and 6886284 (issued 05-03-2005), among other related patents. These patents are valid until about 2023.

The above was valid as of 2007, when the CA law was passed (was to have gone into effect, Jan. 2010). The patents may have been bought by others. I simply don't know, as I haven't keep up on that end of it.

What I do know is that the CA Microstamping law has not gone into effect because there is only one company that owns the patents. There was an exception placed on that law that said that the technology had to be offered by more than one company and could not be encumbered by patents.

At the very least, the technology is still encumbered by the original patents, else the CA law would have been triggered.
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Old July 7, 2011, 10:41 AM   #38
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How's the paper going?
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Old July 7, 2011, 01:56 PM   #39
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Paper?
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Old July 7, 2011, 05:44 PM   #40
2damnold4this
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From the op: I am currently a college student writing a research essay on Ballistic Fingerprinting, and I happened to stumble across this website.
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Old July 7, 2011, 07:55 PM   #41
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Uh... Yeah. Had a "gray" moment.
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