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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

For Immediate Release

Friday, September 16, 2016
Contact: Office of Public Affairs

ATF National Firearms Examiner Academy Graduates its Newest Class of Trainees

This is the 16th Class of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners

WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Firearms Examiner Academy (NFEA) graduated its 2015-2016 class of 10 men and women with apprentice/entry-level firearms and toolmark examiner skills after a year-long training program conducted by ATF’s National Laboratory Center (NLC). This newest cadre of students was provided training in the fundamentals of firearms and toolmark examination, which serves as the foundation for supervised development into qualified examiners.

Members of the 16th NFEA graduating class include: Jason Birchfield, Baltimore County Police Department, Baltimore, MD; Damon Cooper, Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, Hoover, AL; Julie Davis, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, St. Louis, MO; Jordan Green, Tulsa Police Department, Tulsa, OK; Hunter Jones, Jefferson County Crime Laboratory, Beaumont, TX; Andrew Marbaker, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Jefferson City, MO; Michelle Scheuerman, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte, NC; Sonya Siu, California Department of Justice, Santa Rosa, CA: Michael Tate, Iowa DCI Criminalistics Laboratory, Ankeny, IA; Holli Worden, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Phoenix, AZ.

The NFEA class was held from Oct. 1, 2015 – Sept. 16, 2016. The class focused on laboratory safety, protocols as well as ethical standards and principles that govern the admissibility of expert testimony in court. Students received training in the history of black powder, the evolution of early firearms, the evolution and manufacturing of modern ammunition, and microscopy and instrumentation. Additional classes covered firearms identification, the manufacture of modern firearms, preliminary examination of firearms, bullet examination and comparison, toolmark examination, comparison and identification, and restoration of obliterated markings. Also included were terminal ballistics, gunshot residue, shot patterns, bullet path analysis and the examination and comparison of cartridges, cartridge cases, shot shells, and fired shot shells.

These graduates, after returning to their local and state law enforcement agencies, will continue their training for approximately one year at their home laboratories. Upon completion, they will be able to independently and completely examine and compare physical evidence related to firearms and toolmark identification; independently reach conclusions and render opinions relating to their examinations and comparisons; and provide expert testimony in a professional and impartial manner. The NFEA’s standardized program with the support of the Association of Firearms and Toolmark Examiners is conducted at ATF’s National Laboratory Center. The next class is scheduled to begin in October 2016.

ATF is a law enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Justice dedicated to preventing violent crime. More information on ATF and its programs can be found at