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Gunshot Residue Analysis Featured in New FTCoE Report Series

NCJ Number
Techbeat Dated: September/October 2015 Pages: 3-8
Date Published
October 2015
6 pages
This article announces the availability for download of "Organic Gunshot Residue Analysis for Potential Shooter Determination" on the National Institute of Justice's Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) website.

This is an 18-page PDF that distills the results of two phases of evaluation and several lengthy reports on what FTCoE plans as the first in a new series that will present key research and evaluation components and findings clearly and concisely. The report summarizes the results of an extensive evaluation of emerging approaches for the detection of gunshot residue (GSR) based on organic materials in that residue. The evaluation examined the constituents of organic gunshot residue, how they are absorbed into the skin, sampling methods, and analytical techniques. The 12 major findings of the evaluation are outlined. One finding is that the typical components of organic GSR (OGSR) include diphenylamine (DPA), ethyl centralite (EC), dimethyl phthalate (DMP), 2-nitrodiphenylamine (2NDPA) and 4-nitro diphenylamine (4NDPA). Among the other findings are that OGSR residues should be detectable on skin for many hours after a firing of as few as one or two gunshots; OGSR residences are not lost to secondary transfer and remain detectable for 12-24 hours, with the mechanisms of loss being evaporation and skin permeation; the degree of loss varies by compound. Hand-swab samples are stable for approximately 2 weeks when stored at -20 degrees C. After this period, significant degradation of some of the more volatile compounds is evident.

Date Published: October 1, 2015