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Logistic and Analytical Support: Validation Study of Firearms/Toolmarks Forensic Comparisons

The purpose of the project is to validate current practice of the forensic discipline of Firearm and Toolmark (F/T) examination. It will elicit error rate data by counting the number of false positive and false negative conclusions. Testing will be administered in two phases to approximately 200 qualified, practicing F/T examiners employed by federal, state, local, or private crime laboratories. Phase I will evaluate accuracy and reliability. Phase II will evaluate repeatability and reproducibility of their conclusions. Phase II will likely begin in the middle of Phase I. 

The project will be conducted as a joint effort involving both Government and Contractor personnel, each with defined responsibilities. The Government will: provide all firearms and ammunition for testing; perform all live firing; furnish fired bullets and cartridge cases to Contractor for distribution to test participants as is; help to recruit test participants; analyze and publish results jointly with the Contractor. Fired bullets and cartridge cases (and/or casts of same) are the test materials; approximately 27,000 of each item must be labeled, distributed, and accounted for. 

The Ames Laboratory is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by Iowa State University under Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11358.






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