Every shooting scene and crime-gun has a story to tell. The story lies in the unique markings imprinted on fired ammunition components and in the transaction records of the crime-gun itself. Well-managed ballistics and trace data can provide police with invaluable crime solving information for the short-term, and allow intelligence analysts to see patterns and trends in order to develop strategies for the longer term. This internal ballistics and trace data must be exploited to link crimes, guns, and suspects.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) administers the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN) connecting over 225 labs across the country with automated ballistics analysis technology. NIBIN helps users solve more shooting crimes and has proved to be very effective in situations involving gang-related violence.
The technology that NIBIN depends on is IBIS ® (Integrated Ballistics Identification System). IBIS can find the “needle in the haystack,” by suggesting possible matches between pairs of bullets and cartridge cases at speeds well beyond human capacity. The ability to sustain this comprehensive analysis of ballistics information has only been possible in the last ten years or so because of advancements in technology. Today, more than 39 countries rely on IBIS as the backbone of their firearm-related, crime-fighting efforts.