The Firearm/Tool Mark section of the Mississippi Forensics Laboratory examines firearms related items of physical evidence submitted by law enforcement from state, local and federal agencies. These examinations include the microscopic comparisons of projectiles and casings to determine if they were fired from a particular firearm, classification of ammunition components and serial number restorations.
The Firearm/Tool Mark section also utilizes the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) which was launched in 1990 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). NIBIN suitable cartridge cases are entered into the Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS) units that are housed at the Mississippi Forensic Laboratories in Pearl and Biloxi. Members of the Firearm/Tool Mark section use the IBIS units to capture images as a preliminary screening process. These images are searched against the entire state as well as bordering cities including Memphis, TN and New Orleans, LA. Correlation results are then viewed to see if there is a possible case to case association.
Firearm and Tool Mark analysis is presently available at the Main Laboratory in Pearl and the Gulf Coast Regional Laboratory. At this time the laboratory employs seven firearms examiners, one trainee and a section chief. These examiners are responsible for case production and IBIS database entries for the entire state of Mississippi. The number of incidents involving firearms evidence has increased significantly in recent years. The requests for examinations involving firearms, ammunition, and components of cartridges have grown immensely. It is important that the evidence be properly collected and handled in order to expedite and maximize the examination results.
For information regarding these examinations or case submission policies please contact:
Felicia McIntire D-ABC, Firearms and Tool Mark Section Chief