Firearms in the Evidence Room
Firearms can be one of the most difficult types of evidence you’ll ever have to handle as an evidence technician. Not only are there obvious safety concerns, they can be ridiculously difficult to dispose when the time comes. Because each state, and indeed, each agency, has its own laws, policies and procedures pertaining to evidentiary firearms, and we will not assume to know all of the hurdles that each of you may be required to jump, we will simply touch on some highlights.
If you’ve followed our blog, you may remember that we’ve briefly touched on firearms before (How to handle firearms in the evidence room), but because this is such an important subject, we thought it deserved some additional attention.
Evidence room personnel are oftentimes not trained specifically in firearms handling. Many probably don’t understand how to open the breech of a shotgun, operate the bolt on a hunting rifle, or lock back the slide on a semi-automatic pistol. If you happen to fall into this category, please understand that this is through no fault of your own, you simply have never been taught. It’s naive for an agency head to assume that evidence room personnel know what they’re looking at or how to handle it. If you aren’t comfortable handling firearms, please tell your immediate supervisor and ask for assistance.