While gun design has undergone only minimal change over the centuries, investigative tools surrounding firearm use have grown significantly in sophistication. Now in its third edition, Firearms, the Law, and Forensic Ballistics has been updated to reflect recently published research and new technology developed since the last volume. Beginning with a discussion of the development of arms and ammunition from the fourteenth century to the present day, this book examines:
- Firearms laws around the world, including legal challenges raised in the U.S. by the Daubert decision
- Firearms manufacturing processes, the mechanisms of various firearms, and the linking of a particular bullet or spent cartridge with a suspected weapon
- The origins and development of new science in firearms, including controversies, pioneers, and an exposé of the "quack" purveyors of pseudo-science
- Internal, external, and terminal (wound) ballistics
- The nature, composition, and analytical detection of discharge residue left on a suspect
- The role of the ballistics expert at all stages of a case, ranging from the scene of the shooting incident, the post mortem examinations, the examination and testing of exhibits at the laboratory, and the presentation of evidence in court
- Recently introduced computer search techniques applied to captured and digitally stored images of marks left on fired bullets and spent cartridge cases
- Manual microscopic comparison work and computer-based searches on digital images of bullet and cartridge case marks to determine if a particular weapon has been fired in previous cases
Written by an expert with more than 50 years of experience using and handling firearms, this text is enhanced with nearly 250 illustrations, making it a premier guide to the fundamentals of firearms and related evidentiary considerations.
Table of Contents
The Beginnings. Firearms Legislation and the Definition of a Firearm. Marks and Microscopy - The Emergence of a New Science. Manufacture, Mechanisms, and Design Aspects of Firearms. Internal Ballistics. External Ballistics and Cartridge Loadings. Terminal/Wound Ballistics and Distance of Firing. The Scene of the Shooting Incident. Examination of Exhibits at the Laboratory. Presentation of Evidence to the Courts. Proof Marks and the Proof of Firearms. Appendix 1: Useful Data. Appendix 2: German Ordinance Codes Used Between 1938 and 1945.
Tom Warlow has more than 50 years of experience using and handling firearms and was for nine years a member of the statutory Firearms Consultative Committee, which advisedthe U.K. Government on firearms and firearms legislation as well as providing an annual report to Parliament. He was a casework reporting officer for more than 25 years in the national Firearms Unit in the U.K., a division with oversight of 50 million persons in England and Wales and covering 43 police force areas. Mr. Warlow has a keen interest in gun sports.