Abstract

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) has been used to determine whether the hands of a suspected gun user contain traces of gunshot residue. Samples are obtained by pressing adhesive tape against the skin of the suspect and analyzing the tape directly. When the suspect has fired multiple shots, or if the gun has not been cleaned, the gunshot residue provides a spectral signature that is readily apparent, but a person who has fired a single shot from a clean gun is not so easy to identify. The error rates associated with the LIBS identification of a subject who fired one shot from a clean gun have been evaluated by Monte Carlo simulation techniques, and criteria are proposed for defining a positive or a negative test result.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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