Firearms packaging has two goals: protect the personnel handling the evidence and pro- tect the firearm from damage. Firearms seized at a crime scene have a good chance of being loaded, which makes them very dangerous. The best thing to do, for everyone’s safety, is to unload the gun before packaging. This should not be taken lightly. Ideally, the investigator should include enough information that the examiner can return the firearm to the same con- dition it was in when found at the crime scene. Cartridges and cylinders of revolvers can be marked so the proper cartridges can be reinserted into their chambers and the proper cham- ber placed under the hammer. The investigator should also note the position of the hammer
Brennan Linsley/Associated Press Cartridge casings can be helpful evidence, and like analyzing projectiles, a lot can be gleaned through comparison. Do you think casings are less valuable than bullets themselves as forensic evidence?