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View Diary: NRA's lobbying creates policies that hamper criminal investigations (187 comments)

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  •  Even if they get the technology to work safely (2+ / 0-)
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    happy camper, PavePusher

    What would it actually tell us?  I think that most powder loaded in the U.S. is from foreign countries.  Powder is made in huge batches, then separated into drums and sold worldwide, wherever ammunition is loaded.  The drums arrive in the U.S. and are distributed to several companies, who then separate the drums into smaller cans and put their own labels on the cans.  Some of those cans are separated into even smaller cans and distributed to stores all over the U.S. for sale to shooters that reload their own.  Other cans go to any one or several ammunition manufacturers who load it into their cartridges which they then distribute under their own and different brand names all over the U.S.  All of this has the same taggant signature from the manufacturer(??) and how do you know who bought what ammunition where or who bought what can of powder where.  Don't even try to tell me that they would attempt to add a different taggant to each one of tens of thousands of cans of powder because that wouldn't be practical.  

    Gunpowder for fireworks is even more convoluted.  Foreign manufacturer of the powder and foreign manufacturer of the fireworks, which is then shipped to many hundreds (probably thousands) of outlets in dozens of countries.  

    And then, there is potassium nitrate fertilizer.  Tag all of that?  Tens of thousands of pounds are manufactured in a batch, bagged and shipped to agricultural suppliers and garden stores all over the U.S. where it is ultimately sold to thousands of farmers by the truckload or by the pallet and tens of thousands of individuals by the bag.

    Dynamite and high explosives are used by fewer companies and in lesser quantities, so that is probably doable, but explosives are rarely used in a criminal enterprise so taggants may not be worth the trouble.  When you get into the tens of thousands of users tracing becomes impossible, anyway.

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