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IACP Project Safe Neighborhoods: National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN)

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2016
2 pages
In advancing the mission of the International Association of Chiefs of Police's (IACP) Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative, which aims to improve law enforcement's capacity to interdict firearms trafficking and disrupt gang activity, this Fact Sheet describes the development and features of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN).
NIBIN was developed in 1999 as an automated method for capturing ballistic evidence from firearms crimes and digitally comparing it to similar evidence from other crimes on a national, regional, or local level. Firearms leave unique characteristics on bullets and cartridge casings they fire, so they can be used to link a single firearm to ballistics evidence found at a crime scene. Although NIBIN produces results that indicate a potential match between two bullets or cartridge casings, a firearms examiner must also manually examine the bullets or cartridge casing before a positive identification is made. Since it was established, NIBIN has captured approximately 2.8 million images of ballistic evidence and confirmed just over 74,000 NIBIN hits. Currently, there are 158 NIBIN sites across the United States. In fiscal year 2015, 76,534 casings from crime scenes and 130,004 test fires from crime guns were entered into the system. During this period, 7,866 leads were identified. ATF provides funding for approximately 72 percent of the costs for acquiring ad maintaining NIBIN equipment. Some of the strategic uses of NIBIN are listed. 8 notes

Date Published: September 1, 2016