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Observations of GSR on the Hands of Employees at Firearms Manufacturing Facilities

NCJ Number
Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal Volume: 44 Issue: 3 Dated: September 2011 Pages: 105-109
Elspeth Lindsay; Michael J. McVicar; Robert V. Gerard; E. Dale Randall
Date Published
September 2011
5 pages
This study investigated whether gunshot reside accumulated in significant amounts on persons that worked at gun manufacturing facilities yet were not directly involved in the discharge of firearms.
During tours of two firearms factories, tapelift samples were collected from the hands of employees who did not discharge a firearm on the day of sampling. All firearms produced in these facilities are test-fired after manufacture, resulting in the discharge of over 200,000 rounds of ammunition annually in each facility. The tapelift samples were analysed for gunshot residue (GSR) using an automated scanning electron microscope with an energy dispersive X-ray detector. GSR particle numbers on people who had direct contact with recently discharged firearms, and on persons involved in handling firearms components, varied from 0 to over 400. The number of GSR particles observed on the hands of staff who had no direct contact with a test-fired firearm or its components, but who had access to the factory interior, ranged from zero to two. (Published Abstract)