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Modified Firearm Discharge Residue Analysis utilizing Advanced Analytical Techniques, Complexing Agents, and Quantum Chemical Calculations

NCJ Number
William J. Feeney
Date Published
273 pages

This research addresses multiple concerns in the criminal justice community about the evidentiary value of gunshot residue (GSR) by increasing its value while addressing limitations in the current understanding of the behavior and interactions of GSR in various scenarios.



This is a report on a sequential investigation of 1) the existing practices for GSR analysis; 2) the development and validation of an alternative analytical technique for improved detection of inorganic and organic GSR; 3) the occurrence of IGSR and OGSR in various subpopulations and the use of probabilistic interpretation of evidence; and 4) the use of theoretical calculations to study the host-guest chemistry involved in the proposed analytical method. The study demonstrates the use of LC-MS/MA and host-guest chemistry to detect IGSR and OGSR components in a single instrument. One advantage of the proposed method is the dual detection of IGSR and OGSR on the same sample in under 20 minutes. This is about an order of magnitude faster than existing techniques. Also, the wide use of LC-MS/MS technology at crime laboratories enables future technology transfer and implementation This strategy is used in a population study of just over 400 authentic specimens to differentiate shooter from non-shooters from samples taken from a subject’s hands. Extensive tables and figures and 78 references