Crime guns & NIBIN: Collect, compare the casings, connect the dots
The unique markings left on spent bullets and cartridge casings can be the firearm equivalent of pocket trash: of great value to a law enforcement investigator, if the information’s been properly collected and processed and is readily available. Information that might seem of little value to one agency can be a critical factor to the success of another agency’s investigation. Read more.
The mission of the Gun Enforcement & NIBIN Squad is to suppress and prevent firearms related crime through effective enforcement of Federal and State firearms laws. This squad, in partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), is dedicated to the investigation of prohibited firearms possessors, armed career criminals, illegal firearms trafficking, violent organizations and gangs that misuse firearms.
Organizational and Operational Procedures
The Gun Enforcement & NIBIN Squad is assigned to the Assaults Unit in the Violent Crimes Bureau. Under the command of the Assaults Unit lieutenant, this squad is supervised by a sergeant and is comprised of detectives who investigate gun and other weapon-related crimes. This squad is also responsible for leading the Phoenix Police Department's participation in the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network program (NIBIN) and works with other agencies throughout the state to expand this valuable investigative tool. One Gun Enforcement detective is a Special Deputy with ATF, giving the Phoenix Police Department additional tools to enforce firearm laws. The Gun Enforcement & NIBIN Squad, through its unique partnership with ATF, provides the Phoenix Police Department with a comprehensive team to thoroughly investigate gun and weapon-related crimes.
Possessors of prohibited weapons
Gun store burglaries
Carrying concealed weapons
Source of crime guns
Gun store inspections
Border Patrol/ ICE support
Through its National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) Program, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) deploys Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS) equipment into Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies for their use in imaging and comparing crime gun evidence. This equipment allows law enforcement personnel to acquire digital images of the markings made by a firearm on bullets and cartridge casings. Following analysis, cases involving the use of the same firearm, that would otherwise have been unknown, can then be identified.
Currently, there are three agencies in the Phoenix metropolitan area that possess NIBIN equipment: Phoenix Police Department, Mesa Police Department and the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office.
The mission of the Phoenix Metro NIBIN Program is to increase the ability for valley law enforcement agencies to connect and investigate violent felony cases involving the use of firearms. This will be accomplished by increasing the number of agencies who participate in the NIBIN program, the more timely submittal of firearm-related evidence into the NIBIN database and the more effective investigative follow-up on cases that are connected through the use of the NIBIN database.
The following video is a media piece providing open source information about the Phoenix Metro NIBIN Program. Interested Law Enforcement agencies can obtain more detailed information about his program by contacting Sgt. Brandon Huntley by email.
Phoenix Metro NIBIN Program Participating Agencies
Phoenix Police Department
Articles of Interest
US Customs begins ballistic testing on seized firearms
Mexico are undergoing ballistic test to see they were used in crimes here in the valley or elsewhere across the nation....read the article and see the video
Authorities offer $10,000 reward in 2003 double homicide
Police use, "the Brass Catcher" on shell casings.
Armed Career Criminal Sentenced to 15 Years for Unlawful Possession of Ammunition
AZ Gun Laws (scroll down to Chapter 31)
Gun Safety Tips
Stopping Random Gun Fire in Phoenix, an article by Sgt Tommy Thompson in Police Chief Magazine
Investigators turn to ballistics 10 years after campsite murders NIBIN
New Years Resolution: Stopping Armed Criminals in Arizona
CBP Begins Ballistic Testing of Seized Firearms in Arizona
Phoenix crime-gun database could expand to other Valley cities
IACP Reducing Gun Violence in Our Communities
Leadership Guide IACP Taking a Stand
Reducing Gun Violence in Our Communities
Gun Violence Reduction