Trending Topics

SwabTek™ Introduces Gunshot Residue Test Kit to Combat Rising Gun Violence

SAN DIEGO -- SwabTekTM is introducing the first new product in the next generation of SwabTek test kits, a test kit for Gunshot Residue. The test kit is the latest entry in SwabTek’s portfolio of industry-leading tools for explosives and narcotics detection. This test was designed in response to major demand from law enforcement organizations looking for solutions to combat gun violence.


New SwabTek test kit for Gun Shot Residue to combat the growth in Gun Violence.

The SwabTek Gunshot Residue (GSR) test kit is a single-use screen that can be used to detect the recent discharge of a firearm. The solvent-treated swab of the test can be used to lift suspected residue off of any surface, including hard surfaces like car doors and tabletops, textile surfaces like clothing and car seats, and skin surfaces such as hands and arms.

The test kit provides a new and invaluable tool to forensics personnel in need of real-time data to help guide their investigations. The inexpensive and mobile format of the tests make them the optimal solution for law enforcement organizations in need of a simple and scalable tool to combat gun violence.

In a year already fraught with hardship and uncertainty, 2020 marked the deadliest year for gun violence in the United States in decades, with more than 43,500 gun deaths and 610 mass shootings. This startling trend has continued into 2021, with high-profile, mass-casualty shootings in Atlanta, GA; Boulder, CO; and San Jose, CA. Through the first five months of this year, the overall numbers of shootings and casualties have exceeded those in the same period of 2020.

Law enforcement and security professionals facing constrained budgets and limited resources have been left searching for simple, inexpensive and effective solutions to help battle gun violence in their communities.

The tests have been deployed by various agencies with excellent results. Local police agencies in South Florida are using the test kits to assist with probable cause in shooting cases. In the cases where multiple suspects deny involvement, police are able to narrow their focus by determining which suspect tests positive for gunshot residue at the scene. This is important in situations referred to as “gang guns” where there are several suspects in a vehicle and all deny ownership of a firearm found inside.

Multiple state fish and wildlife agencies have deployed the gunshot residue tests. One agency made arrests on two different poachers within the first week of deploying the tests to game wardens. The test gives the game wardens another tool to protect wildlife.

Law enforcement officials state it is not just the accuracy of the tests, but the immediacy of the results that are beneficial. These tests protect the rights of citizens by helping them to be cleared of suspicion and focusing the investigation based on the evidence. All too often people are pressured into not speaking up when a shooting occurs, and their silence frequently costs them. This inexpensive test allows law enforcement to focus on the right individuals which not only protects the rights of the innocent, but saves the departments money investigating multiple suspects.

SwabTek’s Gunshot Residue Test Kit is now available for sale online through the company’s ecommerce storefront at To learn more about SwabTek’s portfolio of test kits, visit the resources section of the SwabTek website for downloadable instructions and further information: