Blockchain Use Case in Ballistics and Crime Gun Tracing and Intelligence: Toward Overcoming Gun Violence

Patricia Akello, Naga Vemprala, Nicole Lang Beebe, Kim Kwang Raymond Choo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In the United States and around the world, gun violence has become a long-standing public safety concern and a security threat, due to violent gun-related crimes, injuries, and fatalities. Although legislators and lawmakers have attempted to mitigate its threats through legislation, research on gun violence confirms the need for a comprehensive approach to gun violence prevention. This entails addressing the problem in as many ways as possible, such as through legislation, new technological advancements, re-engineering supply, and administrative protocols, among others. The research focuses on the technological, supply, and administrative aspects, in which we propose a manner of managing gun-related data efficiently from the point of manufacture/sale, as well as at points of transfers between secondary sellers for the improvement of criminal investigation processes. Making data more readily available with greater integrity will facilitate successful investigations and prosecutions of gun crimes. Currently, there is no single and uniform platform for firearm manufacturers, dealers, and other stakeholders involved in firearm sales, dissemination, management, and investigation. With the help of Blockchain technology, gun registry, ownership, transfers, and, most importantly, investigations, when crimes occur, can all be managed efficiently, breaking the cycle of gun violence. The identification of guns, gun tracing, and identification of gun owners/possessors rely on accuracy, integrity, and consistency in related systems to influence gun crime investigation processes. Blockchain technology, which uses a consensus-based approach to improve processes and transactions, is demonstrated in this study as a way to enhance these procedures. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to explore and demonstrate the utility of Blockchain for gun-related criminal investigations using a design science approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7
JournalACM Transactions on Management Information Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 3 2023


  • Blockchain
  • crisis management
  • gun violence
  • smart contract


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