Glossary, Definitions and Help - GunPolicy.org literature library
Definition and Selection Criteria
Legislation, official practices, equipment and training are, or are not in place to enable law enforcement agencies to trace the origin and transfer of firearms and ammunition.
Methods include standard ballistic testing for forensic evidence and tracing, often with access to centralised national or international reference libraries of ballistic evidence, firearm and ammunition types, markings and images.
In some jurisdictions state-controlled firearms are also subject to test firing to obtain a ballistic record of each weapon. This is retained for future reference in a physical collection, and/or in a photographic or digitised library of reference images.
A less common practice provides for mandatory test-firing of privately owned firearms for the same purpose. At GunPolicy.org, ballistic reference libraries for civilian firearms and ammunition are described in a separate category.