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Proceedings Paper

Firearm microstamping technology: counterinsurgency intelligence gathering tool
Author(s): Todd E. Lizotte; Orest P. Ohar
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Paper Abstract

Warfare relies on effective, accurate and timely intelligence an especially critical task when conducting a counterinsurgency operation [1]. Simply stated counterinsurgency is an intelligence war. Both insurgents and counterinsurgents need effective intelligence capabilities to be successful. Insurgents and counterinsurgents therefore attempt to create and maintain intelligence networks and fight continuously to neutralize each other's intelligence capabilities [1][2]. In such an environment it is obviously an advantage to target or proactively create opportunities to track and map an insurgent movement. Quickly identifying insurgency intelligence assets (Infiltrators) within a host government's infrastructure is the goal. Infiltrators can occupy various areas of government such as security personnel, national police force, government offices or military units. Intentional Firearm Microstamping offers such opportunities when implemented into firearms. Outfitted within firearms purchased and distributed to the host nation's security forces (civilian and military), Intentional Firearm Microstamping (IFM) marks bullet cartridge casings with codes as they are fired from the firearm. IFM is incorporated onto optimum surfaces with the firearm mechanism. The intentional microstamp tooling marks can take the form of alphanumeric codes or encoded geometric codes that identify the firearm. As the firearm is discharged the intentional tooling marks transfer a code to the cartridge casing which is ejected out of the firearm. When recovered at the scene of a firefight or engagement, the technology will provide forensic intelligence allowing the mapping and tracking of small arms traffic patterns within the host nation or identify insurgency force strength and pinpoint firearm sources, such as corrupt/rogue military units or police force. Intentional Firearm Microstamping is a passive mechanical trace technology that can be outfitted or retrofitted to semiautomatic handguns and military rifles to assist in developing real time intelligence providing a greater level of situational awareness. Proactively Microstamping firearms that are introduced and distributed to the host nation's security forces, it will become easier to track the firearms if they go missing or end up on the black market in the hands of an insurgency. This paper will explain the technology and key attributes of microstamping technology, test data showing its ability to identifying a specific firearm, examples of implementation strategies and to what extent data could be utilized in war zone security and counterinsurgency intelligence operations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 May 2009
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7305, Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense VIII, 730506 (5 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.819026
Show Author Affiliations
Todd E. Lizotte, Pivotal Development Co. (United States)
Orest P. Ohar, Pivotal Development Co. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7305:
Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense VIII
Edward M. Carapezza, Editor(s)

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