Front Page New York Times Article Highlights New Study Showing How Microstamping Can Connect Crime Scene Shell Casings to Anonymous Shooters
With Thousands of Unsolved Gun Crimes Every Year in New York State, Albany Can't Afford to Further Stall Microstamping Legislation
NEW YORK, June 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following on the heels of a front-page New York Times article on microstamping, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence today called attention to a new peer-reviewed, independent expert study on microstamping confirming the technology works and that it is an important tool for law enforcement to solve violent gun crimes. The study, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice and spearheaded by a professor recognized by the National Academy of Science and a nationally recognized forensic firearm and tool mark expert and published in the Spring 2012 edition of the Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners (AFTE) Journal, found that all six letter and numbers imprinted on shell casings when a gun was fired, could be read at least 87 percent of the time. The benefits of microstamping dramatically increase when multiple shell casings are recovered at a crime scene. Previous studies show that when just two microstamped shell casings are recovered at a crime scene the full microstamped code could be read between 90 percent and 99 percent of the time.
NYAGV is shining a light on the study and calling on the New York State Legislature to take action on microstamping legislation, which likely comes up for debate today in the New York State Assembly. Click here to read the report.
The study makes it clear that with the cooperation of the gun industry "microstamping could enable tracking of fired cartridges in an efficient and timely manner." Further, to appease industry concerns about cost, the microstamping legislation in New York caps the cost at $12 or less per firearm to implement.
"We are tired of the same old do-nothing complaints of the gun industry while gun crimes continue to go unsolved," said Jackie Hilly, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. "The experts agree that microstamping is a proven technology and we look forward to working with all parties to implement microstamping and make our communities safer for everyone. The time is now to pass microstamping into law in New York to help police catch criminals and provide closure and justice to victims and families."
Over the last ten years, New York law enforcement officials reported more than 22,000 aggravated assaults with a firearm, but those cases resulted in an arrest only 48 percent of the time while 69 percent of non-firearm aggravated assaults resulted in an arrest. The forensic expert study conducted by firearm and toolmark examiners confirms that microstamping is an invaluable resource for law enforcement to help solve these unsolved crimes.
The new study is the latest in expert opinion that microstamping is a reliable and important technology light years ahead of the outdated methods examiners currently rely on. While the gun industry may not want to innovate and implement sensible tracing tools, law enforcement officials are standing up to call for microstamping as it is ready as an effective and useful investigative tool to solve gun crimes.
Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler said, "Microstamping is an important tool that law enforcement across New York want and need. Connecting crime scene shell casings to the shooter will help us catch violent criminals, establish trafficking patterns and increase forensic intelligence. The overwhelmingly successful results of this study confirm that microstamping is a tool that belongs in the hands of law enforcement today in order to keep our streets safe. I hope that this study will motivate our elected officials into taking action to pass microstamping this year."
About New Yorkers Against Gun Violence
The mission of New Yorkers against gun violence (NYAGV) is to reduce gun violence through legislative advocacy and education designed to encourage action, influence public opinion and lead to policy change. With a primary focus on New York State, NYAGV also advocates at the local and national levels for laws, policies and practices that protect New York State residents from gun violence.
SOURCE New Yorkers Against Gun Violence