Has that Required Fired Case EVER Solved a Crime Yet?


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SharpsDressedMan
October 30, 2013, 04:33 PM
Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of a crime being solved by that required fired case (MA required? or anywhere else?)? We don't need them here in Ohio, but are the gun companies required to send them to the FBI or anything? I'll bet it has been just one more folly of wasted time and money from the gun regulators.

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SharpsDressedMan
October 30, 2013, 04:34 PM
On a footnote, I fire cases so many times from different guns, I'll bet any CSI lab would have conniption fits from any of my brass left at a scene. :neener:

matrem
October 30, 2013, 06:50 PM
I'm betting the few (if any) they do attempt to use that for, prove to be "untraceable or stolen".
Hmm..
Imagine that.

If they were to actually use that..
Can you say.. .357 & .44 mag, the new gangsta weapon of choice...

wally
October 30, 2013, 07:42 PM
Hasn't it been shown that the initial fired case won't match after some number of rounds fired? I believe a fired bullet registry has the same issues. Actually false matches will be more common as false fingerprint matches are becoming with fingerprint databases -- remember the guy in the US that got hauled off to Spain after the Madrid train bombing because of a fingerprint match, lucky for him he was a lawyer!

The premise is "guns are bought only to kill" and ignores that literally billions of rounds are fired by law abiding shooters into dirt and bullet traps for recreation every year.

When police have a suspect and the gun, empty cases found at the crime scene have helped in some rare situations where bullets weren't recovered or usable for a match. Hollywood ran with it for story-lines and idiot politician tools of the anti-gunners have made it bad law.

MifflinKid
October 30, 2013, 08:16 PM
In Maryland, the answer is No.

The law is still in place requiring a shell case with a purchased handgun. But the Maryland State Police now just throw the envelopes with the fired cases in 55 gallon drums. The Maryland Assembly stopped funding the shell case database years ago. All attempts to repeal that law have failed.

scaatylobo
October 30, 2013, 08:37 PM
The whole idiotic law was abandoned about 2 years ago.

Only WASTED a few MILLION dollars and the time and energy of thousands to do it :banghead:

easy
October 30, 2013, 09:22 PM
How could it? If I have the fired case, who's going to check that?

DPris
October 31, 2013, 12:16 AM
Easy,
In states that require the fired case, you don't keep it when you buy the gun.
Denis

evan price
October 31, 2013, 02:35 AM
One case was solved, however that case would have been solved by other means without it.

Yo Mama
October 31, 2013, 05:58 PM
Bugs the heck out of me, I buy a new gun, that should be an unfired gun, not one with a round through it and left dirty for me to clean

I'm also wondering how many instances were there that a live round is left in by accident

JustinJ
October 31, 2013, 06:37 PM
I would suspect that ballistic fingerprinting is used far more often to convict than identify suspects unless states have created searchable data bases like those of fingerprints. Given case fingerprints are three dimensional I doubt this is so.

MachIVshooter
October 31, 2013, 07:23 PM
Ballistic forensics has been a useful tool to establish corroborating evidence, but never used to successfully track down a suspect or convict by itself.

In other words, examining slugs and cases found at the scene and comparing them with slugs and cases from the gun that was found on the suspect, in his home, etc., can be useful for establishing a high probability that it was the murder weapon.

But a first year law student would get a charge thrown out if all the prosecution had was the fired case that was sent in by the selling FFL to whatever crime bureau in the state where his client bought the gun.

In the MD experiment, if memory serves, the ballistic finger printing program helped in convicting only two people. But it did not help to find them (they were already in custody as suspects), and was only one tiny piece of the puzzle that is evidence removing reasonable doubt. That program was $8 million; how many murder cases cost $4M to prosecute?

madwildcat
October 31, 2013, 09:50 PM
For the sake of the uninformed, where exactly is this a law? I have never heard of this, but to be fair, I live in Texas.

Grassman
October 31, 2013, 10:32 PM
For the sake of the uninformed, where exactly is this a law? I have never heard of this, but to be fair, I live in Texas.
Thank God for that brother!

JustinJ
October 31, 2013, 10:52 PM
For the sake of the uninformed, where exactly is this a law? I have never heard of this, but to be fair, I live in Texas.

As I understand, some states require that a fired shell from all new guns sold be submitted to the state police for storage. This is why the handguns you buy in TX come with a fired shell in an envelope. Had that gun been sold in one of the states mentioned, the FFL would have to send that shell in.

So if a person is shot in a state that requires the fired case, and they suspect John Doe did it and they know John Doe has a hand gun, they pull the fired shell on file from his gun and try to match it with the one from the scene. Then, even if he destroyed the gun they can still prove his gun shot the victim or whatever.

MErl
October 31, 2013, 10:54 PM
And indirectly the state gets a nice record of gun purchases.

madwildcat
October 31, 2013, 11:21 PM
Greatly appreciate the explanation. I always assumed the shells were for proof the gun had been test fired only. It also seems like this could be used to convict a innocent person who sold their gun to another individual, but I would assume the same states would have stricter individual to individual sales laws.

MachIVshooter
October 31, 2013, 11:42 PM
It also seems like this could be used to convict a innocent person who sold their gun to another individual

Only if his attorney was collaborating with the prosecution. Otherwise, with that as the sole piece of evidence, it would never see indictment. Prosecutors don't like to lose.

medalguy
October 31, 2013, 11:48 PM
Reading the comments got me to thinking-- What good would a fired case sent in by a FFL in convicting anyone of a crime? One thing in law you learn quickly is that evidence must have a carefully documented chain of custody. That plainly is not the case with any case supposedly test fired at a factory somewhere by someone, placed in an envelope by someone else, removed from the box by an undocumented gun store employee, sent to the state office by an unrecorded method, and opened probably by an unknown mailroom clerk and sent to a crime lab. Only at that point could a chain of custody begin.

Any attorney worth his degree would get that evidence quickly quashed.

JohnKSa
October 31, 2013, 11:48 PM
Bugs the heck out of me, I buy a new gun, that should be an unfired gun, not one with a round through it and left dirty for me to clean.Most any reputable manufacturer was already firing their new guns before these laws were passed. The firing is done to insure function and generally involves shooting more than just a single round.

I'm not aware of any manufacturer that cleans their guns after test firing them.

MachIVshooter
October 31, 2013, 11:55 PM
Most any reputable manufacturer was already firing their new guns before these laws were passed. The firing is done to insure function and generally involves shooting more than just a single round.

I'm not aware of any manufacturer that cleans their guns after test firing them.

This. And it should be that way; would you want to be the one firing the first rounds out of a gun with a flawed critical component?

You think any new car you buy has never been started or driven? That an electronic item hasn't been turned on and tested?

It's called Quality Control. In some cases, testing a certain number out of a batch is acceptable. With complex machines, especially potentially dangerous ones, testing every one is the prudent measure.

SharpsDressedMan
November 1, 2013, 05:20 PM
What good is an unfired gun? Gives me no pleasure.

mgkdrgn
November 1, 2013, 05:41 PM
In Maryland, the answer is No.

In NY, the answer is also NO, and they have been at it what, 10 years now?

The law is still in place requiring a shell case with a purchased handgun. But the Maryland State Police now just throw the envelopes with the fired cases in 55 gallon drums. The Maryland Assembly stopped funding the shell case database years ago. All attempts to repeal that law have failed.

Which PROVES the point that the "law" is NOT about preventing or solving crimes, but rather about burdening the lawful gun owner. They don't use them, but they will STILL prosecute you if you don't turn one in.

stressed
November 1, 2013, 05:51 PM
Bugs the heck out of me, I buy a new gun, that should be an unfired gun, not one with a round through it and left dirty for me to clean

I'm also wondering how many instances were there that a live round is left in by accident
Most NIB guns have had a proof round fired through them anyway. Some makes include this spent casing along with the gun itself when you buy.

Zoogster
November 1, 2013, 06:01 PM
It has been shown that when you add all the legal guns into such databases the databases cease to be as accurate or useful.
Their prior usefulness was partially a result of only containing guns used in crimes being added to the database. This gave a small pool and meant matches had more relevance.


Guns change over time, so does the marks made on their brass and bullets.
In controlled tests firing dozens of rounds you can certainly tell guns apart.
However when you compare tens of thousands of popular guns made in automated processed like many popular models today the database is far less useful.
Made in large batches that create similar marks on each firearm within a batch.
There would be false matches, the gun that really matches may have changed or been altered and not match, while another gun may be close to a match which was not actually used.
Over time some guns that wouldn't have matched will overlap in their 'fingerprint' and then cease to overlap as they wear differently.
If you only fire a low round count from them you can initially tell them apart, but some will then go on to fire many thousands of rounds, others will be excessively cleaned and polished, others will have components swapped or new barrels installed. While others will be closer to how they started, but even they are not reliable records because another gun may falsely be similar to that gun after being worn out.


The 'fingerprint' is somewhat a misnomer. Fingerprints actually continue to grow the same absent various injuries or intentional changes.
Guns are mechanical and wear down, have parts replaced, etc

Hollywood greatly exaggerates the effectiveness of such technology. There is also expert witnesses whose careers rest on being able to tell people how effective it can be and absolute their results are, and as a result how necessary they are to have around.
But the FBI also had expert witnesses for decades that would tell you how absolutely sure they were a bullet matched based on its lead composition and trace elements. Using this for decades to convict. Before finally admitting most batches of lead used in ammunition had varying amounts of the same compounds and really telling them apart as precisely as they pretended to in court had been misleading.
But the lie successfully helped convict for decades.



Then most guns used in crimes were stolen. If you find the gun in the criminal's possession matching recently fired shells at a crime scene has validity. If however it tells you who the legal gun owner was who had it stolen years prior but you still have no criminal or gun it is of minimal help.
And that is if the gun even still has a close enough profile to when that test casing was fired.


All while such databases are in fact databases of gun owners. Amounting to registration of each such gun with the owner. Registration throughout history emboldening gun banners to impose harsher requirements or confiscate various types or guns altogether and itself being a serious threat to legal ownership over the long term.

matrem
November 1, 2013, 07:33 PM
Originally Posted by madwildcat
For the sake of the uninformed, where exactly is this a law? I have never heard of this, but to be fair, I live in Texas.

Thank God for that brother!

You're saying the pistols sold over the counter in Texas don't have those two empty cases with them?

In Ohio they have both empties in the box, in some states they have one, and I'd guess in some areas of those same states there'd be zero.

If I'm wrong, please explain how Texas either bypasses that, or maybe has a direct link to all pistol manufacturers to "ensure" that particular pistol will end up in the Lone Star state. .

Warp
November 1, 2013, 09:09 PM
Bugs the heck out of me, I buy a new gun, that should be an unfired gun, not one with a round through it and left dirty for me to clean

I'm also wondering how many instances were there that a live round is left in by accident

I prefer that the manufacturer test fire it for a couple rounds or whatever.

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