Reader John D. writes:
Looking for some free educational entertainment after hunting season, when it turns really cold outside?
The National Institute of Justice has a number of online courses which are available to the public for free. If you ever wanted to work for the ATF, you’ll probably find their Firearms Examiner Training course interesting. This self-paced online training is designed for use in conjunction with traditional hands-on mentoring. It consists of 15 modules:
NIJ Firearms Examiner Training Course
Module 01: Introduction
Module 02: History
Module 03: Propellants, Ammunition, and Firearms Development
Module 04: Modern Firearms Manufacture
Module 05: Small Arms Ammunition
Module 06: Evidence Handling Procedures
Module 07: Equipment and Instrumentation
Module 08: Examination of Firearms
Module 09: Cartridge and Shotshell Examination
Module 10: Characterization and Evaluation of Fired Projectiles
Module 11: Bullet Comparison and Identification
Module 12: Gunshot Residue and Distance Determination
Module 13: Toolmark Identification
Module 14: Communicating Results
Module 15: Safety
Most of us will have more advanced knowledge in many of these categories, but you’ll learn useful knowledge in other categories. The course won’t qualify you to walk into your local PD and start examining firearms evidence, but it will give you an appreciation for the overall range of expertise required of a Firearms Examiner and the science behind firearms forensics.
You can sign up and take the NIJ Firearms Examiner Training course here.
Who knows what secret government databases this signup will put you in, but you’re probably already in every one of them already, what with the ATF and FBI databases not being cleared under the Obama Administration.