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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,55947,00.html
Gun Add-On Sets Sights on Killers

By Louise Knapp | Also by this reporter Page 1 of 1

02:00 AM Oct. 25, 2002 PST

A device that can be incorporated into any type of firearm aims to make it harder for criminals to get away with murder.

Every time a weapon fitted with the device is fired, it stamps an indelible imprint of the firearm's serial number onto the bullet's shell casing.

This means that shell casings retrieved at the scene of a crime will become an even more valuable forensics tool, potentially enabling law enforcement professionals to ascertain the gun's make instantly and quickly track down the weapon's last registered owner.

Stamping bullets, however, may not provide an instant solution to matching crimes -- like the Washington-area sniper shootings -- with culprits, said Todd Lizotte, vice president of research and development at NanoVia, where the new device is being developed.

"There are a lot of very educated criminals out there," Lizotte said. "Cartridges can be collected and planted -- left at the scene of the crime on purpose to excite some response."

John Mogle, general manager at Christensen Arms, a custom gun manufacturer, agrees.

"There is always going to be one or two of these lunatics out there, and these criminals are probably using stolen guns anyway, so the weapon will not be registered to them," Mogle said.

The system works by making use of the pressure and heat that build up when a weapon is fired, causing the cartridge to expand into the wall of the gun barrel.

"What we did was put a plug in the breech of the gun that has very small raised letters on it, so that when the expansion occurs the cartridge is self-embossed with these characters," Lizotte said.

At about one-tenth the diameter of a human hair, the etching is so small that forensic scientists need microscopes to identify the characters.

Lizotte said the system offers several advantages over current methods.

Currently, ballistics experts can only match casings to their guns if the weapon has also been recovered. When you have a shell casing with the gun's serial number stamped onto it, you no longer need the gun. Lizotte also said NanoVia's system is more reliable than current methods of matching casings to guns.

"It offers a more precise piece of evidence than a scratch or a ding in a bullet logged in a digital file," Lizotte said.

The system has met with some skepticism in the gun world.

"The law-abiding citizen will leave this alone, but the people who are not law-abiding will know it's there and will simply rub it smooth," said David Epstein, director of scientific services at the National Forensic Science Technology Center. "It just takes a file, and it's easy to do."

Lizotte, however, said that's not possible.

"You don't have direct access to it with a file. In order to be able to get to it and file it off, you'd have to ruin the gun," Lizotte said.

Mogle of Christensen Arms voiced some concerns over cost.

"It's going to be an added expense," he said. "We're a custom gun maker, so it's not such a big deal to us, but for the mass-production manufacturers, expense is very important."

Lizotte said that when manufactured in bulk, the system would add $4 to $5 to every firearm.

Lannie Emanuel, secretary of the Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners, was more enthusiastic about the system.

"It's one step beyond what we are doing now," Emanuel said. "If you had the identification number, you wouldn't need to have the gun to compare what you had on the bullet."
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Should be fun to reload brass that has been stressed and weakend by this. I'm not sure if it'll cause a case to fail, but this is not the solution.

Criminals, by definition, are not going to play by the rules. Either the number will be scrubbed or the gun will be stolen. Regardless, I do not believe this is going to help one whit. If you have the chance, check out the Gun nuts thread I posted earlier. After the flash movie is over it takes you to flashbunny website and there are more movies to view. There's one about women not defending themselves that is very very powerful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What really confuses me, is that gunowners constitute a large segment of our population. How in the world are the politicians ignoring that? Are we not speaking out enough? With today's communication systems, email, telephone, fax, ground mail, etc... are they not hearing our voice? Are we not voting?

The other thing that confuses me is how in the world do the politicians think they can legislate behavior? Criminals are going to break the law, so no matter what law is passed, it will be broken.

I'm sorry, I just don't get it. :confused:
 
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