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Firearms Examiner Training

Field Support Equipment

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Field Support Equipment

Based on laboratory policy, firearms/toolmarks examiners may be required to provide on-site support during the investigation of a major case. These are typically high-profile cases in which all available agency resources are committed.

This type of field support usually involves two types of response:

  • Major crime scene searches
  • Shooting reconstruction/bullet path analyses/trajectory analyses (outside the scope of this training)

Crime Scene Search Responses

The scope of the firearm examiners role in this type of response is defined by agency policy, and the examiner is one of the following:

  • Forensic content expert immediately available to consult with the leader of the crime scene search or the senior investigator present
  • Member of a formally organized evidence response team that has sole charge of the crime scene search

The examiner should ensure that there are appropriate evidence containers present to properly collect, preserve, and document firearms/toolmarks evidence at the scene.

Items that may be collected include the following:

  • Small items:
    • Small toolmarked items
    • Fired bullets and cartridge cases
    • Unfired ammunition
    • Handguns
  • Mid-sized items:
    • Clothing and other items bearing gunshot residues
    • Rifles and shotguns
    • Medium-sized toolmarked items
    • Bulk ammunition
  • Large items:
    • Vehicle parts
    • Safe doors
    • Furniture items

Read more about packaging of evidence.

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