Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Canadian Integrated Ballistics Identification Network (CIBIN)

CIBIN Statstics 2016

In 2016, there were 656 hits on CIBIN that provided investigative links involving bullets and cartridge cases.

In 2016, there were 6,799 entries on CIBIN. In total, there are close to 88,319 entries.

Learn More

The Canadian Integrated Ballistics Identification Network (CIBIN) is a national network of Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) instruments that collect, analyse and correlate fired bullets and cartridge cases in a central database.

Prior to entering information into CIBIN, forensic ballistics analysts work with bullets, cartridges cases and firearms recovered from crime scenes and other firearms of interest to police. Electronic representations of bullets and cartridge cases from anywhere in Canada are entered into the CIBIN database to create forensic intelligence and generate investigative leads.

The Network

CIBIN is part of the RCMP's National Police Services and is a partnership between the RCMP's Forensic Science and Identification Services, the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Ontario, the Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de médecine légale in Quebec and Calgary Police Service.

IBIS instruments are located in RCMP forensic laboratory sites (Ottawa and Vancouver), the Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de médecine légale (Montreal), the Centre of Forensic Sciences (Toronto), and Calgary Police Service. Samples entered into any one instrument are automatically correlated with the samples from all five sites.

CIBIN allows all police in Canada to have their evidence compared against any evidence from across the country, and against evidence entered into the U.S. National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN). Canada and the United States have been sharing ballistics information since 2006. In 2014, the RCMP and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives established a live connection between the two ballistics networks. This allows law enforcement in Canada and the United States to share information and compare ballistics data in a real time environment.

Bullet Proof

Here are just some examples of how CIBIN supports police investigations:

  • Police seized a pistol from a suspect during a drug related investigation. A search in CIBIN showed the pistol was linked to an attempted murder four years earlier and to a drive-by shooting three years earlier.
  • A firearm was seized from a suspect involved in two shooting incidents. CIBIN confirmed it was the same gun used in a total of five shootings over five years, across four cities, spanning three police jurisdictions.
  • In five separate shooting incidents over a period of 15 months, forensic experts helped determine that one .40 caliber pistol was used in three incidents and that another .40 caliber pistol was used in the other two.

Supporting Investigations

Investigators will be automatically notified if evidence they submitted to CIBIN is connected with another crime – it does not matter if the crimes occurred years apart or thousands of kilometers apart.CIBIN links firearms crimes from anywhere across Canada and links crime scenes where the same firearm has been discharged even if the firearm has not been recovered. Also, CIBIN links seized or found firearms to crimes where they were used.

The power of CIBIN lies in the number of exhibits entered into its database. Many police agencies have crime scene cartridges and bullets in their property rooms that have never benefitted from IBIS analysis. Investigators are encouraged to contact their forensic laboratory to arrange for submission of unanalyzed bullet and cartridge case exhibits. This is particularly important if the intent is to submit suspect firearms in connection with "cold case" operations.

Suspicious Firearms Index

Police may come into possession of firearms suspected of being associated with criminal activity but that are not the subject of an active investigation. In these or similar situations, investigators can send suspicious firearms specifically for IBIS testing as part of the Suspicious Firearm Index (SFI) program. The acceptance of these types of firearms is based on the following criteria:

  • The firearm was seized within one year.
  • The firearm is restricted or prohibited, or has been modified in a matter associated with a criminal activity such as reduction in length, conversion to full automatic, or effacement of serial number.
  • For non-restricted firearms, it is believed to have been previously discharged in the context of a criminal offence.
  • Firearms collected from amnesty programs or surrendered firearms will no longer be accepted.
  • Agencies that harvest their own test fires will need to confirm that proper harvesting procedures have been followed.

Exceptions to the criteria will be determined on a case by case basis.

Test-fired bullets and cartridge cases from such firearms can be entered into CIBIN for comparison against other bullets and cartridge cases in the database.