The ATF assumed full responsibility for the NIBIN program, including network authority and responsibilities formerly administered by the FBI.
In United States v O’Driscoll, the appeal motion to preclude expert ballistics testimony was denied. The court ruled that expert testimony in the field of ballistics was relevant and to exclude such evidence would compromise the truth-seeking objective of the trial.
In United States v Foster, a motion to exclude the testimony of a ballistics expert was denied. The court allowed a ballistics expert to testify on comparisons of spent bullet casings finding that testimony met the Daubert criteria for reliability and relevancy. The court also found that differences in standards employed by other firearms experts providing additional trial testimony were not sufficient to render testimony unreliable.
AFTE and National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) partner to develop a media based firearm and toolmark examiner training program.
Forensic Technology Incorporated (FTI) announced the development of a three dimensional bullet imaging system, IBIS-TRAX 3D™, which uses confocal microscopy to simulate a 3-D image of fired bullets and cartridge cases.
In State v. Johnson, the Supreme Court of Ohio upheld the testimony of the firearms expert who concluded that a live round and spent casings were, at one time, chambered in the suspect firearm. Admission of testimony was allowed because the firearm examiner’s conclusions were scientifically valid and based on reliable, commonly accepted scientific principles.
In United States v Edgar Diaz, et al., a California court ruled that firearms and toolmark methods, identification criteria and controls are reliable. However, the court ruled that firearms identifications cannot be stated with absolute certainty, limiting the scope to conclusions based on a reasonable degree of scientific certainty in the ballistics field.