Trail of the gun: What the data shows

Trail of the gun: What the data shows

by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on December 7, 2012 at 4:04 PM

The KING 5 Investigators obtained statistics about firearms that sit in police property rooms. Through public records requests, data was obtained from 16 of the state's largest agencies on how many firearms were tested with the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) at the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab.

WSP officials have said IBIS tests can help link firearms to crimes -- helping police identify suspects and connect crimes committed in different jurisdictions.

Overall, the data shows that police collect large numbers of guns from the public, many of them related to crimes. The majority, however, are not tested through IBIS.

In Washington's ten largest cities, the KING 5 Investigators counted 2,818 crime guns collected by police starting in 2010 that have not been IBIS tested.

The following bar charts showcase some of this data. The first chart displays how many guns each agency has collected since the beginning of 2010, and how many IBIS tests have been conducted. Click back and forth between the charts to compare the data. Scroll over the bars to see exact numbers from each agency. The second chart shows the percentage of crime guns tested by each agency. Notations regarding some of the data figures are included below.

*Seattle: SPD data on the total number of crime guns collected since 2010 is not available. However, SPD notes a total of 2,612 guns collected overall, including some held for "safekeeping."

**Bellevue: Crime guns collected (373) includes shotguns, which cannot be tested by IBIS.

***Renton: Crime guns collected (99) reflects 2011 data only.

****Kent: IBIS tests (194) includes some single shell casings.

*Kent: Percentage of crime guns tested by IBIS (102%) reflects data including some single shell casings.

**Renton: Public records requests from Renton PD on percentage of crime guns tested by IBIS are outstanding.

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