How to handle firearms, fireworks, and explosives in the evidence room?

How to handle firearms, fireworks, and explosives in the evidence room?

Like Drugs and Currency, evidence rooms receive various types of firearms, fireworks, explosives, and sharp items every day. In this article, we discuss a list of steps and recommendations on how to handle firearms, fireworks, explosives, and sharp items. Different law enforcement agencies might have different rules and procedures to handle firearms and that’s why it’s important to point out that the following are only recommendations and they are not enforced by law in the United States.

Handling firearms

  1. Unload all weapons and visually inspect them to make sure they are safe to store. Have a second person do the same. Every time, no exceptions.
  2. Make sure the chamber is open, the clip is removed and the safety is on. The revolver’s cylinder must be open and secured with a nylon cable tie. Many labs prefer that you NOT run a cable tie (or anything else) through the barrel.
  3. Use special boxes to package firearms, normally there are holes and nylon ties in the box to secure the weapon.
  4. Bundle and secure ammunition & magazines and count them before storing them in the box. You may prefer to package ammunition and magazines separately from firearms.
  5. If you need to mark the weapon, use a non-exposed area where it does not devalue the weapon.
  6. Verify that serial numbers are actually serial numbers, and not common part numbers, and check all serial numbers upon receipt in evidence and again prior to disposal.

Handling fireworks

Handling explosives/flammables

Handling sharp items/instruments

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