The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) delivered a four-day, no-cost, virtual Firearm and Toolmarks Policy and Practice Forum on January 11-14, 2022.
It is a pivotal time for the forensic pattern disciplines, especially firearm and toolmark examination. With the implementation of new technologies like 3D virtual microscopy, updates to the language used in testimony and reporting, and new research including black box studies, it is imperative to bring together examiners, researchers, law enforcement officers, lawyers, judges, and policymakers to discuss these changes.
The Firearm and Toolmarks Policy and Practice Forum explored these new developments, discussed the foundations of firearm and toolmark examination, and addressed the implementation of new technologies into workflows. Additionally, the Forum informed firearm and toolmark examiners on the legal issues surrounding firearm testimony and recent court decisions. We expected to convene several hundred criminal justice practitioners representing federal, state, and local agencies as well as subject matter experts from across the United States through this no-cost, online event.
NIJ has identified four main topic areas related to forensic firearm and toolmark analysis that were addressed during the Firearm and Toolmarks Policy and Practice Forum. These include 1.) Research, 2.) Emerging Technologies, 3.) Intelligence, and 4.) Legal Aspects.
Each day of the Forum focused on one of the four topics and included a Keynote address, a panel of presenters, and an interactive question and answer session for each. Events were scheduled from 1:00 PM to approximately 4:45 PM Eastern on January 11-14, 2022. On the Forum's final day (January 14, 2022), we held a live panel discussion that focused on the next steps within the field.
The Firearm and Toolmarks Policy and Practice Forum published proceedings can be accessed by clicking the link below.
- Firearm and Toolmarks Webinar Series
- Webinar: ASCLD Train the Director - Firearms 3D Technology: Advantages and Value for Implementing 3D Technologies
- Forensic Optical Topography Working Group
- Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG)
- Success Story: Advancing 3D Virtual Microscopy for Firearm Forensics
- Just Science Podcast Episode: Just Advanced Capabilities in Firearm and Toolmark Analysis
- Just Science Podcast Episode: Just 3D Optical Topography
Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence event was provided by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.
The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this event are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.