The Forensic Unit has partnered with the Washington State Patrol and the ATF to curb gun violence by processing firearms for the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). Once a firearm has been processed for fingerprints and DNA collection, the firearm is transferred to our Firearms Expert where it is function tested and test-fired on a controlled range. The resulting cartridge case is entered into NIBIN where it is correlated against the entire database.
What is NIBIN?
The NIBIN Program automates ballistics evaluations and provides actionable investigative leads in a timely manner. NIBIN is the only interstate automated ballistic imaging network in operation in the United States and is available to most major population centers in the United States.
Prior to the NIBIN Program, firearms examiners performed this process manually which was extremely labor intensive. To use NIBIN, firearms examiners or technicians enter cartridge casing evidence into the Integrated Ballistic Identification System. These images are correlated against the database. Law enforcement can search against evidence from their jurisdiction, neighboring ones, and others across the country. This program is one investigative tool accessed by law enforcement that allows each of us to share information and cooperation easily making all of us more effective in closing cases.