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The Strategic Use of Crime Gun Tracing and Its Relation to NIBIN

Just as the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) allows law enforcement to link a recovered crime gun to cartridge cases recovered from seemingly unrelated crime scenes, gun tracing can link traced crime guns to other recovered crime guns, whether it was recovered by the same police department or another law enforcement agency. When combined with NIBIN intelligence, the origin of the firearm and its potential relationship to other crime guns provide more complete picture of the firearm’s history. Additional victims, witnesses, suspects, and even previously unidentified crimes and coconspirators are frequently identified using this process. Absent investigative happenstance, recovered crime guns that share common origins will rarely be connected unless they are traced.

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