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Thread: I've been asked by GMP to submit sample cartridge casings - anyone else been asked?

  1. #1

    I've been asked by GMP to submit sample cartridge casings - anyone else been asked?

    Dear all

    I have recieved a letter from GMP asking me to provide sample cartridge cases for both shotguns and firearms that are registered to me.

    I just wanted to establish if any other licensing authority has asked the same?

    In the letter it states that there has been a spate of unlawful discharges of "weapons" across the UK and if you could kindly supply a used cartridge case from each of your firearms we can then eliminate immediately from our enquiries.

    As I am sure this is not mandatory (partly the reason for my post is to establish this) or compulsory by law I will not be complying with the request.

    Just wondered as I say if any other authorities were making similar requests?


    Last edited by jon2; 05-11-2010 at 11:42.

  2. #2
    Jon, I have not heard of that in general.

    Specifically here in NI, the polis will take sample of both fired bullets and cartridge cases from pistols before they are released to the owner. These are retained in a "Ballistics database"!

    About five years ago, we got letters from the cops stating that we would be required to present our CF rifles for ballistics testing, ie they would take the rifles and fire them, retaining the cartridge case and sample fired bullets. However, this never happened, or at least, I have never been asked to present my rifles for testing.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  3. #3
    Interesting Brian

    The request has so many flaws in it that it is a total waste of time anyway unless 2 things happen.

    1) It is compulsory/mandatory of all FAC/SGC holders to comply.

    2) The testing is done by the Police themselves so that the cartridge cases relate to the firearm in question.

    Also it states unlawful discharge as the rationale. This will be from unlicensed firearms anyway I would think.

  4. #4
    I,ve heard of this happening many years ago when owners were asked to submit pistols of a certain calibre for ballistic examination for ellimination purposes with regard to a murder. I don't know how useful this was because the pistol belonged to a friend and the case was in the Sheffield or Derbyshire area.

  5. #5
    Account Suspended
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    North Yorkshire
    What a load of crap

    What happens if you change the firing pin due to a defect after submission of any cartridge case the indentation would be totally different than one on record. also different powder loading would have different effects on the properties of the brass with different extractor markings or if your bolt had work done on it at a gunsmiths in respect to a new extractor all balistic marks would change.
    Last edited by Mannlicher_Stu; 05-11-2010 at 11:51.

  6. #6
    It's not just the firing pin indent in the primer that can help to link a spent case to a firearm. There's the mark from the extractor and striations and other marks left in the copper from the chamber itself.

    Unless GMP can justify something more focused than the blanket request they've made I wouldn't entertain it. Anyone else think the 'eliminate from enquiries' smacks a bit of a threat, given there's no specific enquiry mentioned? Are BASC or any of the shooting orgs aware of this? Nothing has come out of D&C as far as I am aware.

  7. #7
    I would be interested to know under what legal authority such action is being taken. You can be sure that there is no current legislation to cover this else it would have been done long ago. This is the same rubbish as innocent people having their DNA taken and stored against their wishes.

    Is this some bullsh!t that a senior police officer has decided to try and implement as a "guidance", comply or be seen as a "trouble maker"?

    Jon, they are asking you to send in samples? You could send them any ***** off the range.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  8. #8
    I have heard of one person having their centrefire rifle called in for testing Brian, I think they lived about Larne way and they said they were only without the rifle for a very short time.

    This GMP thing nearly sounds like a spoof and I'd be calling them to check up on the details before I sent a case to anyone as there is nothing to stop you just picking up a case at the range and sending it in to them and if you'd any concerns at all about your rifle being involved in something this is exactly what you'd do. It is also the case that this is what anyone engaged in some dodgy activity would do - pick up their own brass and throw down some from the range so the fact that brass from your rifle was found at the scene of an unlawful discharge tells you nothing.

  9. #9
    Account Suspended
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    North Yorkshire
    I would refuse.

    Where in the fire arms act does it say you have to provide a spent cartridge case.
    Different matter of course if the police believe that a firearm in your possesion has been used in a crime they then have the legal right to confiscate it for the enquiries. But to create a nationwide ballistic data base of firearms matching those held by inocent law abiding people is a no no dont forget every person in this country is inocent of any crime until proved guilty and the onus of proving it relies with the police not the other way around
    Last edited by Mannlicher_Stu; 05-11-2010 at 12:18.

  10. #10
    Havn't heard of this in my area (Lothian and Borders)

    NOthing in law that I am aware that states you must provide such a sample unles the police have their suspicions about you and obtain a search warrant.

    Forensics examination nowadays can link a bullet to the barrel it was fired through or a spent case to the firing pin and chamber struations. I would suggest that this could be as part of the introduction of a national firearms database which would assist in the identification of weapons which have been stolen and or illegaly used. A recovered gun which has had its serial No removed could be identified or a recovered case or bullet could be linked to the gun and to the original theft enquiry. Of course it could also be used against poachers who fail to recover spent cases.

    If this is the case however I would however question the fact they are asking for a sample and not as Claret Dabbler says, asking for your guns to obtain a ballistic sample from each. I would be seeking clarification before doing anything.

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