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7.030 - Firearms, Ammunition & Shell Casings

Effective Date: 05/07/2019


This policy applies to all employees who recover firearms, ammunition and cartridge casings as evidence.

1. Employees Will Safely Handle Firearms

Employees will handle a firearm as if it were loaded.

-Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction

Employees will request assistance if they are unfamiliar with the safe handling of a firearm.

Employees may contact a Homicide/Assault Unit sergeant (phone #4-5550) or detective or the CSI Unit (phone #4-0972) for guidance on preserving DNA evidence on a firearm.

2. Employees Unload Firearms Prior to Submitting Them to the Evidence Unit

If an employee unloads the firearm, they will document the location of each round removed from the firearm (the round’s order in the cylinder, magazine, clip or ammunition feeding device or chamber) in the Report.

Employees will not submit a firearm in a sealed container

Exception: The CSI Unit will follow unit policies established with the Evidence Unit.

3. The Firearms Specialist Detective Test Fires Submitted Firearms and Enters Results into IBIS/NIBIN

The Firearms Specialist Detective will perform the following on crime gun related items entered as evidence as soon as it is practical to do so:

1. All eligible firearms are test fired, and

2. All test fires and recovered fired cartridge cases are entered into IBIS/NIBIN.

It is the case detective’s responsibility to notify the Firearms Specialist Detective if other forensic testing is required before entry into IBIS/NIBIN.

4. Employees Collect Fired Cartridge Casings

Employees will collect fired cartridge casings when they reasonably believe the shell casings are associated with a crime.

Employees will describe fired cartridge casings in the narrative as “FCC” (fired cartridge casing) followed by the caliber and make. (Example: “FCC, with head stamp 9mm Speer”)

5. Employees Accept Surrendered Firearms and Ammunition from the Public

Employees will accept, report and place into evidence firearms and ammunition voluntarily surrendered by the public.

Employees will contact the Arson Bomb Squad (ABS) to handle a large quantity of small arms ammunition, or any quantity of ammunition 50 caliber or larger or any ammunition that is in a deteriorated state. (For more information as to when to contact ABS, please see Manual Sections 7.040, 15.015 and 15.080).

Employees will not accept marine flares from the public.

See 7.030-TSK-1 Employees Accepting Non-court ordered Surrendered Firearms.

See 15.215-Domestic Violence Firearms Surrender)

6. Members of the Public May Surrender Certain Ammunition at the SPD Range

The Range will not accept explosives, incendiary devices or marine flares.

7. Officers Identify the Possessor of a Firearm Used in a Crime

Officers will identify and record the possessor of seized firearms used in a crime.

- The identification is recorded using the Firearm Property Form in the MRE.

- Officers may identify and record multiple possessors for multiple firearms seized.

Officers will refer to the Crime Gun Possessor MRE Entry instructions

7.030-TSK-1 Employees Accepting Non-Court Ordered Surrendered Firearms

The employee:

1. Takes possession of the firearm and makes the firearm safe.

2. Verifies the identity of the surrendering party and obtains facts leading to the firearm surrender.

3. Runs a records check to determine whether the firearm is stolen.

4. Draws a new Number and writes a report titled, “GUN-TURN IN-CIVIL”.

5. Completes a Property Report listing the firearm(s).

6. Prints a copy of the Property Report and mails/provides it to the surrendering party before the end of shift.

7. Submits the firearm to the Evidence Unit.


Adrian Diaz, Chief of Police
Address: 610 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98104-1900
Mailing Address: PO Box 34986, Seattle, WA, 98124-4986
Phone: (206) 625-5011
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The Seattle Police Department (SPD) prevents crime, enforces laws, and supports quality public safety by delivering respectful, professional, and dependable police services. SPD operates within a framework that divides the city into five geographical areas called "precincts".

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