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At the end of the session, the Law student

should be able to1) Recite the technical and legal definition of firearm
2) Identify the (a) components of a weapon, (b)
objects and substances fired from a gun
3) Familiarize himself with terms connected with the
firing of a gun
4) Differentiate between a GSW of entrance from a
GSW of exit
5) Know the Odd and Even Rule in GSW
6) Enumerate the importance of X-ray examination in

7) Cite the role of Paraffin test in crime

8) Know what questions to ask the medical
practitioner in court
9) Identify the characteristics of GSW in cases of Suicide

Technical Definition:
An instrument used for the propulsion of a
projectile by the expansive force of gases coming
from the burning of gunpowder

Legal Definition (Sec. 877, Revised

Administrative Code)
Firearm or arm, as herein used, includes rifles,
muskets, shotguns, revolvers, pistols, and all
other deadly weapons from which a bullet, ball,
shot, shell, or other missile may be discharged by
means of gunpowder or other explosives. The
term also includes air rifles except such as being
of small caliber and limited range are used as
toys. The barrel of any firearm shall be considered
as a complete firearm for all purposes thereof.

Cartridge or ammunition
A complete unfired unit consisting of bullet,
primer, cartridge case and powder charge

The instrument for the propulsion of a projectile
by the expansive forces of gases from a burning

Gas (heated, compressed and expanded)
Residues coming from

Bullet - fragment (jacket, lead)

Powder particles - powder grains, soot, graphite
Primer - lead, barium, antimony, etc
Barrel - lubricant, rust, dust
Cartridge case copper, zinc

Smoke (Soot, Smudging, Fouling, Smoke

Byproduct of combustion of the gunpowder
Almost black and deposited on the target (can be
wiped off)
Seen within a distance of up to 12 inches

Powder Grains
Unburned, burning or partially burned powder
together with graphite that comes out of the
Responsible for tattooing (stippling, peppering)
around the gunshot wound of entrance

Powder Burns
Blackening of the margin of the gunshot wound of
entrance due to smoke smudging, gunpowder
tattooing and the burning of the wound margin

Abrasion Collar
Depression of the skin upon contact with the
rough surface of the bullet

Metal fouling
Small abrasions or superficial lacerations on the
skin around the wound

Tandem Bullet
Two or more bullets leave the barrel one after the
other and entered the target in a common hole

Singeing of hair
Burning of hair

Souvenir bullet
Bullet that has been lodged and remained in the

Bullet migration
Bullet that travelled to another part of the body

Bullet embolism
A special form of bullet migration wherein the
bullet enters the heart or a big blood vessel and is
carried by the blood to some part of the body

Appears smaller than

the missile
Edges are inverted
Oval or round shape
(+) contusion collar or
contact ring
Tattooing or smudging
may be present (near
Underlying tissues not
Paraffin test may be
Always present
Wound of entrance

Always bigger than

the missile
Edges are everted
No definite shape
(-) contusion collar

Always absent

Underlying tissues
Paraffin test always (-)
May be absent

Wound of exit

If the number of gunshot wounds of

entrance and exit found in the body of the
victim is EVEN, the presumption is that no
bullet is lodged in the body, but if the
number of gunshot wounds of entrance and
exit is ODD, the presumption is that one or
more bullets might have been lodged in the

Facilitate the location of the bullet

Reveal fragmentation
Show bone involvement, like fracture
Reveal the trajectory of the bullet
Show the effects of the bullet wound like
hemorrhage, escape of air, laceration and
other injuries

Also known as Dermal Nitrate Test,

Diphenylamine test, Lungs test, Gonzales
Test on the skin of the dorsum of the hand
or at the site of the wound of entrance
(+) in the presence of nitrate or nitrite
Not conclusive
NOT self-incriminatory because the act is
purely mechanical and does not require the
use of mental faculty

Could the wound or wounds be inflicted by

the weapon presented?
At what range was it fired?
What was the direction of the fire?
May it be possible that those gunshot
wounds were self-inflicted?
Were there signs of struggle in the victim?
Did the victim die instantaneously?
Where was the relative position of the
assailant and he victim when the shot was

Accessibility of the involved part to the

hand of the victim
Usually only one gunshot wound
Distance is short or close range
Presence of a suicide note
History of depression
Wounding weapon tightly held by the victim
(+) paraffin test
Exclusion of other evidences

Wound found in any part of the body

Victim at a certain distance from the
Signs of struggle (defense wound) may be
Disturbance of the surrounding
Wounding weapon usually not found at the
scene of the crime
Testimony of witnesses

Usually one gunshot wound

Wound in any part of the body
Absence of personal grudge between the
victim and the one who fired the gun
Testimony from witnesses

Usually at the back (treachery)

Multiple gunshot wounds
Wounds show far distance fire
Wounds in the vital parts of the body like
the head, heart, chest
No defense wounds or any sign of struggle
Firearm usually of high muzzle velocity
Seldom is there any witness to the crime
Presence of aggravating circumstances,
superior strength, aid of armed men, etc


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