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A new ballistic technology is helping US federal agents and police create a day in the life of the guns being used by criminals — especially those in Chicago.

It’s called the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). Basically, when police recover a gun or shell casing from a crime scene, they immediately enter that data into the NIBIN—which now has created a valuable story for tens of thousands of guns still on the streets and those recovered from bad guys.

Basically, when officers recover a gun they can immediately tell when and where it’s been used anywhere in the country, according to

NIBIN was established by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and law enforcement partners to help incarcerate armed violent offenders. Today, ATF has the capability to share ballistics intelligence across the United States making law enforcement resources more effective. The program automates ballistics evaluations and provides actionable investigative leads in a timely manner. NIBIN is the only interstate automated ballistic imaging network in operation in the United States and is available to most major population centers, according to the ATF website.

To use NIBIN, firearms examiners or technicians enter cartridge casing evidence into the Integrated Ballistic Identification System. These images are correlated against the database. Law enforcement can search against evidence from their jurisdiction, neighboring ones, and others across the country. This program is one investigative tool accessed by law enforcement that allows each of us to share information and cooperation easily making all of us more effective in closing cases.

According to, NIBIN recently helped police possibly connect a gun recovered in Chicago to the unsolved murder of a young woman. A 9-millimeter Glock was recently recovered from and NIBIN indicated it was used at the same time and in the same district where the woman was killed. It could be the gun that killed her.