Forensics Firearms Specialist

  • Orange County Sheriff's Office
  • Orlando, FL, USA
  • Sep 13, 2022
Full time Law Enforcement Other

Job Description

Forensics Firearms Specialist


$43,576.00 Annually


Orlando, FL

Job Type

Full Time



Job Number


Hiring Salary

$43,576/yr or $44,886/yr with 3+ years of experience.


Utilizes specialized scientific principles and laboratory techniques to analyze, identify, and classify firearms, ammunition components, and related ballistics data


  • Accredited high school or GED diploma.
  • At least 18 years of age.
  • S. Citizen or possess a current permanent resident card.
  • Must be able to comprehend and communicate fluently in verbal and written English.
  • Good verifiable work history.
  • Clean criminal history; any arrest history will be individually evaluated.
  • No illegal drug usage within the past two years, all other usage will be evaluated on an individual basis.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Science, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Biological/Physical Anthropology, Nursing or Forensic Nursing, or related science field. Related degrees must demonstrate completed undergraduate coursework in at least two (2) of the following: Forensics, Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Statistics, Human Anatomy, Physics, Chemistry, or Biological/Physical Anthropology. OR Associate's degree in one of the concentrations/degrees listed above (with coursework as specified above); ANDtwo (2) years’ forensic experience. OR  IF NO DEGREE, high school diploma/GED AND minimum four (4) years’ forensic experience.
  • Must be a member of and have the qualifications to obtain certification from the International Association for Identification (IAI).
  • Must have valid Florida driver’s license. Must attend and successfully complete the agency sponsored Law Enforcement Vehicle Operations (LEVO) Training. Use of agency vehicle would require appropriate driving history and passing agency biennial driver’s physical exam. 
  • Must be able to become FCIC/NCIC certified within six (6) months of accepting this position. Must maintain certification once achieved.
  • Must successfully complete OCSO Forensics Firearm Specialist Technical Knowledge Exam.
  • Must successfully complete both the OCSO Forensic Firearm Specialist training and evaluation program (or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement firearms forensic technologist training program) and the Crime Scene Investigators training and evaluation programs due to the additional responsibility of responding to crime scenes.
  • Ability to perform duties that involve the collection, examination, preservation, documentation, preparation, or analysis of human tissues or fluids, or physical evidence having potential biological or chemical hazard or contamination, or uses chemicals, processes, or materials that may have carcinogenic or health-damaging properties in the analysis of such evidence. Receive firearms and ammunition related component materials and other ballistic and physical evidence for examination and analysis for the purpose of preparing, preserving, collecting, and documenting for court presentation, such physical evidence as ballistic tests, fingerprints, fibers, blood, hair, bones, human tissues, biological fluids, trace evidence, paint, oil chemicals, glass, plastics, organic and soil elements, and gunshot and lead residues.   Utilize the BrassTrax system to enter fired casings into the NIBIN (National Integrated Ballistic Information Network) database.  Conduct correlations using the Matchpoint Station to produce NIBIN leads. Safely conduct live fire test firing of all varieties of firearms to include all designs of long guns and handguns. Perform serial number restoration analysis by utilizing hazardous acids, chemicals, dyes, and strong electromagnetic processes. Conduct the analytical examination and test fire discharging of evidentiary firearms exposing them to very loud noises and creating the potential for hazardous health-damaging exposure to heated combustion and vaporization of evidentiary biological hazardous fluids, as well as exposure to lead materials and other gunshot residue chemicals containing carcinogenic properties. Based on SDS (Safety Data Sheet) and other findings, these processes may contain health-damaging properties that are corrosive, combustible, carcinogenic, and contain respiratory irritants, nervous system irritants, eye and skin irritants, and blood toxins. 
  • Ability to perform a variety of analytical examinations, such as processing the crime scene and related evidence using chemicals, powders, light source enhancement, and other methods. 
  • Ability to employ scientific principles and techniques to determine flight path trajectories, obtain latent fingerprints, and touch DNA. Ensure safe handling and storage of firearms and ammunitions inventory. Utilize safe handling and disposal procedures for all biologically contaminated articles. Maintain inventory of supplies used in the collection, preservation, and examination of ballistic evidence. Perform routine maintenance and troubleshooting of specialized equipment. Prepare equipment for testing and analytical tasks. Research and evaluate equipment for purchase and provide recommendations.  
  • Ability to document all tests performed. Input relevant test data for future data tracking.  Compile statistics from this data; utilize and maintain various databases. Assemble information into detailed reports and disperse information as appropriate. Develop and maintain quality assurance programs to ensure laboratory practices are compliant with agency policy and laboratory standards.  Maintain agency policy regarding firearm analysis.
  • Ability to inspect submitted firearms and ammunition for any violation of federal or state weapons laws or regulations. Coordinate a variety of forensic processes and determine most efficient and effective implementation sequence. Determine if additional testing by outside agencies is necessary. Act as liaison for crime laboratories, investigators, and prosecutors. Develop and maintain various training programs. Train agency employees in firearm functions and safety precautions. Stay abreast of trends and developments in the field. Conduct and attend external trainings as necessary.
  • Ability to testify in court about work performed, to include maintaining the ability to be recognized by the court as an expert witness in Forensic Firearm Analysis. Oversee, operate, and maintain the agency’s Test Firing Range. Ensure safety precautions are observed.  
  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common scientific and technical journals, financial reports, and legal documents.  
  • Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from citizens, regulatory agencies, or members of the law enforcement community.  
  • Ability to write detailed and technical reports.
  • Ability to effectively present information to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors. 
  • Must be able to work well independently with little direction.
  • Ability to work with mathematical concepts such as probability and statistical inference, and fundamentals of plane and solid geometry and trigonometry. 
  • Ability to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations. 
  • Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. 
  • Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.
  • Must have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to safely handle firearms of various designs according to federal and state regulations. 
  • Must be familiar with advanced latent fingerprinting processing methods and equipment.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree and/or National Integrated Ballistic Information Network  (NIBIN)/firearm experience.


Additional Processing:

  • Applicants must successfully complete the OCSO Forensic Firearms Technical Knowledge Exam.
  • Upon selection, must be able to pass a psychological evaluation.
  • Hepatitis B shot and infectious disease training within ten (10) working days of the effective hire date.
  • Some positions, depending on the responsibilities, may require the candidate to successfully pass a physical or other selection processes when needed.


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, and use hands to handle or feel. The employee is occasionally required to stand, walk, reach with hands and arms, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, climb, balance, smell, talk, or hear. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.

Work is generally performed during regular business hours. However, the employee may be required to work weekends, evenings, holidays, or extended shifts. Must be available for twenty-four (24) hour call out.
The work environment is usually a laboratory or standard office setting with a moderate noise level. The employee will additionally respond to crime scenes in order to assist with crime scene evidence collection. In either work environment, the employee will be exposed to a wide range of conditions, many of which are unpleasant and/or hazardous. The employee will be exposed to weather conditions and various terrains. The employee is regularly exposed to fumes or airborne particles and toxic or caustic chemicals. The employee is occasionally exposed to wet/humid conditions (non-weather) and risk of exposure to vibration or radiation. May be occasionally required to work near moving mechanical parts or in high, precarious places. May be required to package or handle biohazardous fluids and material or explosive materials.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is an Equal Opportunity Employer.   In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office may provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities and encourages both prospective and current employees to discuss potential accommodations with the employer.