Firearms

Within our forensic firearms and weapons facility we provide an extensive range of specialised services which include:

  • Full firearms, weapons and ammunition examination service for the purposes of classification, including test firing. Weapons can be assessed under the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended) within the UK, or under the legislation in force where the incident occurred.
  • Examination of related items such as ammunition, tear gas canisters and stun guns (electric shock devices);
  • Comparison microscopy: What fired this bullet or cartridge case?; Did this particular weapon fire the bullet or cartridge case? A means of demonstrating whether or not a recovered gun was the causative weapon in a shooting incident.
  • Ballistics calculations; could a particular weapon cause an injury at a particular range?
  • Crime scene examination, including the safe recovery of firearms and related material in such a way as to ensure recovery of all available evidence;
  • We will attend business and residential addresses where it is alleged that imitation firearms have been converted or that weapons or ammunition have been manufactured. We can assess any tools found and comment upon whether it may be possible to discover a link between a particular tool and any part of the manufacture or conversion process. We can also liaise with other forensic professionals in developing examination strategies, to obtain the best outcome.
  • Our examinations may assist in determining whether or not a crime has been committed, for example we can attend business or residential premises to examine weapons, ammunition or components of same that are present, to determine whether or not ownership conditions have been breached. Such evaluations can be carried out before items are seized, reducing the costs of recovery, storage and submission to a forensic supplier, as we can assist in progressing a sequential program of work.
  • Incident reconstruction; do our findings support the version(s) of either party involved?
  • Multi-disciplinary examination of firearms/weapons to optimise recovery of trace materials including fingerprints, fibres and DNA, including recovery from internal components;
  • Function testing and evaluation, producing reports on firearms capability; Testing a firearm to determine if it functions correctly or could have performed or been used in a way described by a witness. E.g. could the weapon have been used to commit “suicide” in a suspicious death scenario.
  • Velocity testing to obtain muzzle energies;
  • Examination and chemical analysis of noxious substances within tear gas canisters;
  • Assessment of the electrical output (voltage) of electric shock devices.
  • Preparation and submission of samples to NaBIS (the National Ballistics Intelligence Service);
  • Examination and assessment of non-firearm offensive weapons e.g. knives, batons.
  • Classification of Crossbows under the Crossbows Act 1987
  • Interpretation of entry and exit wounds following consultation with the pathologist: Which are the entry and exit holes in the injured party, the clothing, a car etc.?
  • Range of Fire determination; How far was the weapon from the injured party or target? What was the trajectory of the shot(s).
  • To comment upon the location of the firer, and the possible position of the injured party, at the time the shot or shots were fired
  • Accidental discharge assessments (Will the weapon fire without pressure being applied to the trigger; is the trigger pressure dangerously light; are there manufacturer’s warnings (recall notices) relating to this type of weapon.
  • Serial number recovery; recovery of erased or obscured marks on firearms and other items.
  • Assessment of the potential for conversion of imitation firearms and the capabilities of a modified imitation firearm or of “homemade” weapons and ammunition.
  • Presentation of evidence in Court.

We recommend that you consult the ArroGen Forensics about the value of a scene visit when any serious firearm incident has taken place, or if you require the work of other scientists to be reviewed.

UKAS
No. 4711 for full schedule please see the following: UKAS accreditation
Sweet & Maxwell Checked
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