General — 16 April 2014 — by Albert J. Ciego

The police are using the mighty IBIS (Integrated Ballistic Identification System) to investigate a gun stolen from them, which was recovered in the Jane Usher Boulevard area, and allegedly was used in multiple shooting incidents, including a murder that occurred about two weeks ago.

Corporal Jorge Lemus, the Admin Officer for Precinct #2 Police, confirmed that the weapon was stolen from Precinct #2.

The powerful, high-tech state-of-the-art IBIS is used by forensic analysts and police investigators worldwide. It expedites the highly labor-intensive and time-consuming task of matching ballistics information in police investigations.

In addition to matching evidence from an ongoing or current investigation, IBIS is used to link ballistic information to prior investigations and to match guns used in crimes—that is, firearms that have been used in the commission of multiple crimes but that may not have been recovered in the investigation.

According to the theory of the IBIS, every firearm leaves unique identifying characteristics on the bullet and the cartridge during the firing process. The barrel of every firearm leaves grooves and specific marks, from the rifling—the winding pattern inside a barrel that spins the bullet to improve accuracy—on the bullet.

The firing pin leaves marks on the rear of the cartridge as it is struck, and the breech face leaves ejection marks on the side of the spent cartridge casing. These microscopic marks are similar to fingerprints. Just as no two sets of fingerprints are alike, no two firearms are the same.

For example, two identical 9mm pistols will not produce identical markings on the bullet and the casing. Hence, the ballistic information produced from these two pistols can be used to determine which gun was used in a crime and link it to the offender who used it.

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