Government of Ontario
Ministry of the
Solicitor General

CFS - Rapid Assessment for IBIS Selection

Centre of Forensic Sciences

Technical Information Sheets

Rapid Assessment for Integrated Ballistics Identification System Selection Examination


Rapid Assessment for IBIS Selection Examination – PDF, 150 kb


Introduction

The ‘RAISE’ initiative is a streamlined process to expedite the examination of cases involving fired ammunition components, where the only requested examination is to identify linkages to other shooting occurrences/recovered firearm using the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS).

Items accepted under the ‘RAISE’ initiative are as follows:

  1. For cases where both cartridge cases and projectiles were recovered from a shooting occurrence, only submit the cartridge cases.
  2. For cases where only projectiles were recovered from a shooting occurrence, submit all recovered projectiles including fragments.

Exceptions to the above can be evaluated on a case by case basis and can include cases where a difference in class characteristics between the cartridge cases and projectiles is suspected by the submitting agency.

Due to the streamlined process associated with RAISE cases, the following acceptance guidelines/limitations exist:

  1. Only fired ammunition components (bullets and cartridge/shotshell cases) of probative value are uploaded onto the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS).
  2. The requested examination is to determine whether the submitted items are linked to another shooting occurrence/recovered firearm (there is no request to know the calibre, type or number of firearms that discharged the fired ammunition components).
  3. Fired ammunition components not associated to a shooting occurrence/investigation will only be accepted under consultation.

Items can also be searched against the United States ballistics database, known as the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN). For an item to be eligible for a search against the NIBIN there must be a reason and defined target state(s) for the search.

Examination

The ‘RAISE’ initiative involves a preliminary examination that includes:

  • A microscopic examination to determine whether or not the item(s) are of identification value and/or suitable for upload to the Canadian Integrated Ballistics Identification Network (CIBIN) database. Selected items are subsequently transferred to the IBIS Unit and are stored indefinitely. The remaining items are returned to the submitter.
  • For attempt murder and homicide cases where the bullets are of identification value but are not suitable for upload to the CIBIN database (for example, bullets with GMB rifling impressions or bullets that are damaged/worn such that it is not possible to differentiate between any of the land and groove impressions), and where no cartridge case(s) in the same calibre class as the bullet(s) have been submitted, a manual microscopic comparison is conducted as per the following protocol:

Selected items to be compared to relevant items held in IBIS storage.  Relevant items are those items from Homicide and Attempt murder cases occurring within the previous two years of the incident date and those occurring after the incident date of the active case and test fired bullets from firearms seized after the incident date, in which the class characteristics are in agreement.

  • Items that are not suitable for IBIS acquisitions are returned to the submitter.

Interpretation

On completion of the preliminary examination, an ‘IBIS’ Notification letter is issued to advise the submitting agency whether item(s) were uploaded, a manual comparison was conducted as per the protocol cited above, or if the item(s) were of no identification value.  Where linkages to other cases are developed, a Case Linkage report or Firearms Investigative Aid Notification letter is issued to notify the agencies involved.

For cases examined under the ‘RAISE​’ initiative where a specific cross-reference was requested, the results of the cross-reference will be reported. The report will inform the client that items were examined under the ‘RAISE​’ initiative and an IBIS notification letter will not be issued.

The IBIS notification letter does not provide details such as calibre, type or number of firearms that discharged the fired ammunition components. Should this information be required (to further an investigation, court purposes, and so on) the submitter must request a full examination and a report will subsequently be issued. Be advised that a request for a full examination may necessitate the re-submission of items that were returned after the preliminary examination.