identification

Cool idea, which is now a Kickstarter project:

Definitely beats the math cards my parents used to make me answer on long car trips when I was really young.  If I had a kid, I’d make him / her memorize these cards for sure.  It would make for a great party trick, not to mention a valuable life skill.

A lot of times I feel Kickstarter is unnecessary, and people just do it because it’s cool and they won’t have to take any risk on their shitty idea.  This though I think is a good idea, and perfect for Kickstarter. Click on the project thumbnail to the left to take you to the page where you can get in on the ground floor.

Stained-Glass-AK-47I know what you’re thinking… when are they going to do a Deagle brand Deagle edition right?! Oh.. only me?

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CoBIS

Combined Ballistic Identification System

A system where the shell casing of a bullet, (or brass) from a fired round is supplied by a gun manufacturer in an approved container shipped with a new handgun that is shipped to the NY State Police when the gun is sold or if the new handgun is shipped to the Federal Firearms License holder, the FFL takes the gun to the State Police Lab to be test fired and the lab keeps the shell casing and the fired bullet.

  • The shell casing is scanned into a computer data base to be compared against shell casing recovered from a crime location.
  • This program has has NO success in NY while costing $4,000,000 to start and an estimated $4,000,000 a year to maintain or an average cost of about $200 per legal gun.
  • CoBIS only collects information from legal guns that are new and have not been linked to a crime and the size of the data base in New York alone is in 10s of thousands of guns and will, within the first 3 years included almost 66,000 data files with almost 22,000 new handguns being added each year. (Source)

Questions:

  1. This program is been around for 8 years and has had no success… so why is it still sucking up millions of tax payers money?
  2. Does the shell casing always has to be matched to striations (marks from the guns rifling) on a bullet found lodged in something at the scene, and both of those tied back to the gun?  Or is it considered enough evidence if just two out of three are available?
  3. Why would someone that is legally buying a gun want to take the risk of being in a database such as CoBIS?
  4. Should we all take collecting our own brass at the range a lot more seriously if systems like this are going to be used to assign guilt?
  5. Doesn’t the firing pin, and barrel rifling slightly change over time with normal wear?  How is this taken into account?
  6. We know that criminals can pick up their casings at a scene, modify the rifling of the gun, modify the firing pin to produce a different imprint.  So why have a costly system that is rendered useless if even one of those happens?
  7. Since New York isn’t an impenetrable fortress, where nothing can get in or out. What use is this database if a criminal can just bring in a gun from another state to commit a crime?

Hat Tip: Say Uncle

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