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04 February 2013

Connecticut Forensic Scientist: Gun And Ammo Bans Will Have Negligible Effect On Crime

Laws must be passed based on research and logical thinking, not on emotions.

The forensic scientist for Bridgeport, Connecticut, Marshall K Robinson, who said his area of expertise is “firearm and tool mark identification,” testified before the Gun Violence Prevention Working Group, which was convened in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary at the Connecticut State Capitol.  

While he took a position in contravention of many of the 1,300 in attendance, his testimony should be examined considering two of the main thrusts of the gun control crowd of late is a ban on both semi-automatic "assault weapons" and high capacity magazines.  What his research proved was that such legislation will impact a tiny amount of the guns involved in crime.  Going back to 1996, less than 2% of all guns that he examined in connection with or suspected to have links to violent crime have been "assault weapons" such as AR-15s or AK-47s.

Below is the statement that he read at the beginning of his testimony:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am the Forensic Scientist for the Bridgeport Police Department and my area of expertise is Firearm and Tool Mark Identification.  As such, I maintain certain records of my examinations at the police department and would like to share some simple statistics with you.

Since November 1996, I have examined approximately 2370 firearms. Of that number 36 of them were either .223/5.56mm or 7.62x39mm. Calibers.223 and 5.56 mm are for ARlS type firearms and 7.62x39mm is the main caliber of AK47 type firearms. The percentage of those guns was about 1 V2 %.

I did further research on homicides and assaults in the years 2006 to 2012 inclusive. Of the 217 such cases, there were 912 bullets and 466 cartridge cases recovered. One assault involved a .223 caliber and none involved 7.63x3 9mm caliber. The largest number cartridge cases recovered in one case was 37 and that involved two guns. The number of investigations that involved the recovery of eleven or more cartridge cases was 22. Of the 22 cases, 21 involved 2 or more guns.

These are real numbers from real cases in a real city police department. This is not something made up or fabricated.

High capacity magazines have been “banned” before.  It proved nothing and the ban was lifted a few years ago. There are many guns in existence, since the 1860s, which hold more than 10 cartridges, the early Winchester lever action rifles, for example, and many tube feed 22 caliber rifles. There are some modern firearms for which no other magazine exist. What do you propose we do with them?

In your infinite wisdom, you outlawed bayonet lugs, flash hiders, and collapsible stocks. In over forty years of being a firearm and tool mark examiner, I have never seen these components inflict any injury whatsoever on any person. In your infinite wisdom, you outlawed fully-automatic firearms that have the capability of firing a single shot. Ladies and gentlemen, I really need help with that one.

We all agree that the Newtown case is a tragedy. I submit to you that you cannot legislate away insanity, which I think is the root cause of this case. Laws must be passed based on research and logical thinking, not on emotions.

Marshall K. Robinson
Firearm & Tool Mark Examiner
937 Prospect Road
Cheshire, CT 06410


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