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Fact Sheet - National Firearms Examiner Academy

May, 2018
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Fast Facts

  1. The National Firearms Examiner Academy was established in 1999 to address the critical shortage of firearms and toolmark examiners in the forensic community.

  2. The National Firearms Examiner Academy has conducted 54 Serial Number Restoration classes and workshops since 2006 to nearly 600 firearm and toolmark examiners and crime scene technicians.

  3. The National Firearms Examiner Academy has completed 17 academy classes and graduated 188 firearm and toolmark examiner trainees since 1999.

The National Firearms Examiner Academy (NFEA) was established in 1999 to address the critical shortage of firearms and toolmark examiners in the forensic community. The mission of the National Firearms Examiner Academy is to provide training for entry-level firearms examiners from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The year-long curriculum is composed of the fundamentals of firearms and toolmark examinations and serves as the basis for the trainee, under supervision, to develop into a qualified firearm and toolmark examiner. The NFEA is currently the only national training program to provide a standardized training curriculum for education in the forensic firearm field.  

The NFEA continues to garner support from federal, state, and local agencies, as well as the firearm industry. ATF’s partnership with these agencies provides a cadre of instructors, to include experienced NFEA graduates, to lessen the burden on ATF firearm and toolmark examiners. gun_in_an_evidence_bag

ATF’s close relationship with the firearm industry affords unique opportunities for the academy. The students tour numerous ammunition, firearm and tool manufacturing facilities. This greatly enhances their understanding of how and why impressed markings are made on projectiles and cartridge casings.

 

As a result of an additional need for training in specific forensic firearm areas, two export modules of the NFEA are also provided to firearm and toolmark examiners. These include:
  • Serial Number Restoration – Focuses on the technical skills and processes required in order to restore obliterated serial numbers on firearms.
  • Toolmark Examination, Comparison, and Identification – Provides training in the identification and comparison of toolmarks found on evidence encountered in criminal investigations.

 

The NFEA has:

 

  • Completed 17 academy classes and graduated 188 firearm and toolmark examiner trainees since 1999.
  • 137 active members in the Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners.  Graduates are actively participating on a variety of AFTE committees and on the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science.
  • Had class representation from 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Conducted 54 Serial Number Restoration classes and workshops since 2006 to nearly 600 firearm and toolmark examiners and crime scene technicians.

 

The NFEA supports ATF’s efforts in preventing violent crime.

 

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