No Trace Of A Gun Study

Aides to Attorney General John Ashcroft have quietly sidetracked a White House--promised study of ballistics fingerprinting, a forensic technique hotly opposed by the gun lobby. Last October, during the Washington sniper shootings, presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer dismissed calls for a national ballistics fingerprint database that would link possible criminals to the unique markings left on spent bullets. But after critics accused the White House of being too beholden to the National Rifle Association, President Bush reversed course and ordered the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to conduct a scientific study of the technique, in which microscopic markings on bullets...

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