President Biden's executive order beefs up database used by Metro Police to link and solve gun crimes

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Posted at 4:55 PM, Mar 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-20 09:46:13-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As President Joe Biden signed an executive order to increase background checks for gun buyers this week, NewsChannel 5 took a closer look at another provision in the executive order you may have missed.

The orderalso asks for improvements to a nationwide database that police use to help link crime scene evidence to guns and criminals.

The database is called the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, or NIBIN for short. It's essentially a large catalog of shell casings from spent bullets found at crime scenes across the country.

The Metro Nashville Police Department began using it in 2015, and detectives say it has really changed the way they can look at shootings.

Because each gun creates a type of unique "fingerprint" of individual markings on each shell casing, if a gun is used in another crime where shell casings are left behind, NIBIN creates a link that investigators nationwide can see.

The executive order President Biden signed this week orders federal law enforcement agencies to submit their shell casing data into NIBIN more quickly, giving police nationwide, including in Nashville, more opportunities to connect crimes and solve them.

"We link crimes throughout the state and country," said Sgt. Chris Turner with Metro Police. "Building those relationships with our federal partners is where we're going to make the biggest dent in fighting violent crime."

Metro Police say so far this year there have been 125 shootings in Nashville where someone was hit. They say the NIBIN database has helped create leads in about 18% of those cases.

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