In a global game changer for gun crime, Flinders University forensic scientists have for the first time matched gunshot residue with specific brands of ammunition.

Flinders University’s Professor Paul Kirkbride, who is leading the research, said it will be a breakthrough for law enforcement agencies who have previously been unable to link some suspects with crime scenes.

“We’ve shown matching characteristics in the residue left on the shooter, in the wound and in the specific batch or brand of ammunition,” said Professor Kirkbride.

“This is like a fingerprint, which doesn’t change before, during or after the gun is fired.

The Flinders University team has been using some of the most advanced technology in Australia.

The team collaborated with SA Police, Forensic Science SA, ChemCentre WA, Dr John Denman from the University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute, leading Australian technology developers Australian Scientific Instruments and Dr Charles Magee of Geoscience Australia, to take their analysis to a level of detail never seen before.

“Eventually we hope to provide law enforcement agencies with the ability to identify not only the brand of ammunition, but also the location of manufacture and points of distribution, which all contribute significantly towards identifying the purchaser,” Professor Kirkbride said.

You can read more about this research ­here. (Story credit: Flinders University newsroom)