Santa Clara County DA Pushing for Law Enforcement Agencies to Catalog Bullet Casings

The Santa Clara County District Attorney is now sponsoring legislation to make sure bullet casings and other gun-related evidence is analyzed and cataloged. It is part of a move to make it easier to link criminals to all their crimes.

The county crime lab is state of the art, with elite "criminalists" analyzing evidence submitted by every South Bay law enforcement agency. A crucial part of firearms work is taking bullet casings from crime scenes and analyzing the marks left on the bullet by the gun. Those marks are as distinctive as fingerprints.

The information is entered into the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network to see if it matches ones from another crime. It is also done with confiscated guns test-fired at the lab.

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said California has black holes where casings and guns are lost in evidence lockers.

Rosen is sponsoring a bill requiring law enforcement statewide to collect and submit evidence. He said he understand there could be added costs from staffing crime labs, but believes the cost is worth it if it solves more gun crimes.

The bill is being evaluated by a state senate committee. Rosen said if it ultimately passes, he hopes other states will follow.

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