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Garda Confidential No.: 1 800 666 111


Functions of the Ballistics Section

Examining firearms in the Ballistics Unit

The Ballistics Section provides expertise to An Garda Síochána in matters relating to firearms, ammunition and explosives.


A Detective Inspector is in overall command of the Ballistics Section, with a staff of 16 detective sergeants and gardaí. Members receive specialised training, instruction and practical experience in various fields of forensic science, both in Ireland and abroad.


Personnel in the Ballistics Section carry out the following tasks:-

  • Examine all firearms and ammunition seized in the State
  • Forensically examine all explosives and explosive devices seized in the State. This is done using a state-of-the-art Integrated Ballistic Identification System
  • Forensically examine all scenes of murder, suspicious death, and serious crime
  • Restore erased or defaced identification numbers on motor vehicles and firearms
  • Inspect firing ranges
  • Provide assistance in the investigation of arson
  • Take footwear, tyre mark and tool impressions from crime scenes, and examine same
  • Give evidence in court
  • Maintain a reference collection of firearms, ammunition and explosive devices
  • Keep records of all discharged cartridge cases and bullets recovered from crime scenes nationally
  • Give presentations within An Garda Síochána and to external agencies