Typically, the firearm examiner receives firearms recovered during criminal investigations. Each firearm should be properly packaged and accompanied by documentation providing details of the incident and the examinations requested. Regardless of the incident-specific requests, there are a number of routine examinations performed by the examiner.
Prior to conducting any type of examination, the sequence of evidence examination must be determined. If examinations such as fingerprinting or biological tests need to be performed, these should be completed before the firearm examination commences. The firearm examiner must ensure that the firearm is unloaded and in a safe mode prior to other examinations being performed.
Any evidence handled by the firearm examiner should be marked according to laboratory protocol prior to conducting any examinations. Generally, the evidence is marked, but in some cases (e.g., when the evidence is too small), the container is marked. Methods of marking evidence include scribing (manual or electric), which etches the item itself. Methods of marking evidence packaging include tagging, or labeling with permanent marker.
Click here to view an example of an evidence receipt form.