Skip to content

Firearms Expert Evidence Database

Caselaw discussing Firearms Expert Testimony

In this database, we have assembled reported decisions, chiefly by appellate courts, that discuss the admissibility of expert testimony regarding firearms comparison evidence.  Toolmark Identification is a forensic science discipline that seeks to determine if a toolmark was produced by a specific tool. Within Toolmark Identification, there is a subcategory of Firearm Identification; by analyzing toolmarks and firearms, examiners seek to determine whether a bullet, cartridge case, or other ammunition component was fired by a particular firearm.  This database digests reported judicial rulings regarding that type of proffered expert testimony. 

 

Included Cases

The cases displayed in this database were gathered using searches of the Westlaw legal database, across all fifty states and the federal government, with rulings dating back over one hundred years.  Where possible, trial rulings were obtained, but generally these cases reflect reported, written decisions containing the keywords used, and therefore largely reflect appellate rulings.  The cases are searchable across a range of characteristics, including basic information concerning the state, year, type of court, and parties, but also details concerning the basis of the rulings and the factors relied upon by each court.  The database describes whether the ruling employed a Daubert or Frye standard, or a ruling regarding local rules of evidence, and what the result of that ruling was. 

Available Resource

The database is intended to provide a resource to forensic practitioners, to familiarize themselves with appellate rulings across jurisdictions, as well as to provide a resource to practicing lawyers seeking to better understand the developing caselaw.  The database will be periodically updated to reflect new rulings.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to Prof. Brandon L. Garrett, at bgarrett@law.duke.edu, with any questions, or with information about any judicial opinions that we should add to this database.

 

Search Database

Found 307 Results
Page 1 of 16
Case (cite)YearStateType of proceedingType of claimExpert evidence ruling reversing or affirming on appealWhat was the ruling?Type of evidence at issue
Winfield v. Riley, 2021 WL 1795554 (E. D. La. 2021) 2021 LouisianaTrialEvidentiaryAdmittedCorrect to AdmitFirearms identification
Williams v. State, 254 A.3d 556 (Md. App. 2021) 2021 MarylandAppellateEvidentiaryAdmittedRemandFirearms identification
Whitson v. United States, 2021 WL 5585629 (M. D. Ten. 2021) 2021 TennesseePost-convictionIneffective assistance of counselAdmittedCorrect to AdmitFirearms identification
Whitmore v. Oberlander (2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49046) 2021 PennsylvaniaAppellateIneffective assistance of counselAdmittedCorrect to AdmitFirearms identification
Whitfield v. Riley, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166498 (E. D. La. 2021) 2021 LouisianaTrialEvidentiaryAdmittedCorrect to AdmitFirearms identification
United States v. Chavez, 2021 WL 5882466 (N. D. Cal. 2021) 2021 CaliforniaTrialEvidentiaryAdmittedCorrect to AdmitFirearms identification
U.S. v. Felder, 993 F.3d 57 (N.Y. 2021) 2021 New YorkAppellateEvidentiaryAdmittedNo Error due to Harmless ErrorFirearms identification
U.S. v. Dunn, 2021 WL 2143054 (D. Minn. 2021) 2021 MinnesotaTrialEvidentiaryAdmittedCorrect to AdmitFirearms identification
State v. Wright, 2021 WL 221930 (Ct. App. Utah 2021) 2021 UtahAppellateIneffective assistance of counselAdmittedCorrect to AdmitFirearms identification
State v. Mills, 623 S.W.3d 717 (Ct. App. Mo. 2021) 2021 MissouriAppellateEvidentiaryAdmittedCorrect to AdmitFirearms identification
Rice v. McGinley, 2021 WL 2582303 (E. D. Pa. 2021) 2021 PennsylvaniaFederal habeas corpusIneffective assistance of counselAdmittedCorrect to AdmitFirearms identification
People v. Therman, 2021 WL 4859299 (Cal. App. Unpub. 2021) 2021 CaliforniaAppellateEvidentiaryAdmittedCorrect to AdmitFirearms identification
People v. Richardson, 2020 IL App (4th) 200011-U (Il. App. 2021) 2021 IllinoisAppellatePer se conflict of interestAdmittedRemandFirearms identification
People v. Hibbler, 2021 WL 4772794 (Ill. App. 2021) 2021 IllinoisAppellateEvidentiary; Ineffective assistance of counselAdmittedCorrect to AdmitFirearms identification
Pender v. State, 856 S.E.2d 302 (Ga. 2021) 2021 GeorgiaAppellateEvidentiary; Due ProcessAdmittedNo Error due to Harmless ErrorFirearms identification; ballistics
Kendrick v. Parris, 989 F.3d 459 (6th Cir. 2021) 2021 TennesseeAppellateEvidentiary; Ineffective assistance of counselAdmittedCorrect to AdmitFirearms identification
Commonwealth v. Lacastro, 2021 WL 3878593 (Pa. Sup. Ct. 2021) 2021 PennsylvaniaAppellateEvidentiary; Ineffective assistance of counselAdmittedCorrect to AdmitFirearms identification
Commonwealth v. Kline, 248 A.3d 494 (Pa. Sup. Ct. 2021) 2021 PennsylvaniaAppellateEvidentiaryAdmittedCorrect to AdmitFirearms identification
Commonwealth v. Harrison, 177 N.E.3d 190 (Mass. App. Ct. 2021) 2021 MassachusettsAppellateEvidentiaryAdmittedCorrect to AdmitBallistics; firearm verification
Williams v. Commonwealth, 2020 WL 1488775 (Ct. App. Ky. 2020) 2020 KentuckyAppellateEvidentiaryAdmittedCorrect to AdmitFirearms identification
Page 1 of 16