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How effective are spent shell casings at identifying weapons? | READER COMMENTARY

Inside the firearms range, forensic scientist Zoë Krohn holds a spent shell casing during the Forensic Science & Evidence Division Open House hosted by Baltimore Police on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.  (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)

The most informative article by Alex Mann, “Under the microscope: Maryland high court considers limiting ballistics evidence used to link guns to shootings” (Dec. 2), posed an unanswered question about the science of identifying spent shell casings and the ability to match them to weapons.

Why hasn’t a major police department with hundreds of firearms gone on to either prove or disprove this science? Officers are required to practice to maintain proficiency. Casings could be collected from hundreds of weapons and later examined. This could prove or disprove that casings from a particular models and make of guns examined are similar or not.

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In addition, different brands of ammunition should be added into the mix. We have the opportunity to have data driven results and should take it. Remember how the science of hair analysis was disproved in hundreds of cases.

— Lawrence Silberman, Burtonsville

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