Suggested Questions for Gunshot Residue Analysis (Handwiping):

1.  Please state your name. 

2.  Where do you work and in what capacity? 

3.  How many years have you worked in that position? 

4.  What is a forensic chemist? 

5.  What is your educational background? (undergraduate, graduate, forensic chemistry generally) 

6.  What specialized training have you received in forensic chemistry and gunshot residue analysis? 

7.  Have you ever previously been qualified and testified as an expert in gunshot residue analysis? 

8.  How many times? 

Tender witness to the court as an expert in forensic chemistry, specializing in gunshot residue analysis. 

9.  Please explain what gunshot residue is and how it gets on a person’s hands…. 

[Follow-up as necessary] 

10.  What factors, if any, affect a gunshot residue test? 

[Time, distance, surface, hand-washing, etc.] 

11.  Once you receive a gunshot residue kit in the laboratory, what do you do with it? 

12.  In this case, did you receive a gunshot residue kit from (“collecting officer – not required to be an expert, but make sure that the collecting witness has testified that the kit was collected properly) on (date, time, location, chain of custody, etc.)? 

13.  Can you identify State’s Exhibit number __ for us please? Is this the kit you received in this case? 

[Mark with a State’s Exhibit number, hand the evidence to the expert] 

14.  What did you do with this gunshot residue kit? 

[Have witness explain the testing process.] 

15.  Is this testing methodology generally accepted and considered reliable in the field? 

16.  What were the results of your test? 

17.  Based on these results, do you have an opinion whether or not the [name defendant or other person] fired a gun? 

[Depending on the facts of the case and the quantity of GSR detected, the witness may or may not be able to conclude that the defendant “fired a gun. The witness may only be able to opine that the suspect “could have fired” the gun, or that he was “present or nearby when a gun was fired.”] 

18.  What is your opinion? 

[Follow-up as needed to clarify the expert’s opinion, and then offer the report and exhibits into evidence.]