Firearms, Toolmarks and Gunshot Residue
Alan J. Voth, Forensic Consulting
Services Provided
Curriculum Vitae


Alan J. VOTH

Forensic Firearms, Toolmark and

Gunshot Residue Specialist



Employment History

1974 May: Joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as a Regular Member. After training in Regina, posted to Lillooet, Cranbrook and Kamloops detachments in British Columbia, performing duties in Highway Patrol and General Duty policing. Also served on RCMP Emergency Response Teams from 1980 to 1990 qualifying as an ERT member, ERT sharpshooter, Basic and Specialized Weapons Instructor and Chemical Weapons Instructor.

1990 May: Transferred to the RCMP Forensic Laboratory, Firearms Section. Work included all aspects of forensic firearm and toolmark examination, with casework from most parts of Canada. Some international case work done as well, including Mexico, Bosnia and Pakistan.  

1996 July-October: Seconded to the Canadian Federal Department of Justice, Ottawa, as technical expert for a Firearms Uniqueness Study.

2003 January: Member of an international team compiled by the Organization of American States Inter-American Commissiion on Human Rights, that travelled to Mexico to conduct a technical review of the forensic evidence in the shooting death of a prominent human rights lawyer.

2006 September: Completed training in Gunshot Residue Interpretation and transferred to Trace Evidence Section

2009 May: Retired from the RCMP

2009 June - 2011 June: Hired back by the RCMP on a short term contract basis to continue doing Gunshot Residue work and train new specialists. Contract extended six times.

2011 July: Began work as an independant forensic specialist in firearms, toolmarks and gunshot residue.



1978 June: Winner of the Connaught Cup competition and the title "Best Shot in the RCMP" (hundreds of other shooting proficiency awards earned over the years as well, in both Canada and the USA). 

1992 January: Accepted as provisional member in the Association of Firearm & Toomark Examiners; upgraded to    regular member in April 1996. Membership remains current.

1998 April: Designated as Analyst under the Wildlife Act of the Province of Nova Scotia

2001 October: Appointed as a Firearms Analyst pursuant to Section 117.13 of the Criminal Code of Canada

1992 - 2011: Accepted as an expert witness in the field of Forensic Firearms Examination in the following courts:

  • Provincial and Queen's Bench Courts of the Province of Alberta
  • Provincial Court of Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Territorial Court of Nunavut
  • Superior Court of the Province of Ontario
  • Provincial Court of the Province of Manitoba
  • Territorial Court of the Northwest Territories
  • Provincial Court of British Columbia

2006 - 2011: Accepted as an expert witness in the field of Gunshot Residue in the following courts:

  • Provincial and Queen's Bench Courts of the Province of Alberta
  • Superior Court of the Province of Ontario
  • Supreme Court of the Province of Nova Scotia
  • Provincial Court and Supreme Court of British Columbia
  • Queen's Bench Court of the Province of New Brunswick
  • Queen's Bench Court of the Province of Manitoba


Education and Training:

  • 1974 April: Completed four year Bachelor of Arts & Science - Sociology, University of Lethbridge, Alberta
  • 1974 May-October: RCMP Basic Recruit Training
  • 1977 February: RCMP Police Studies Course
  • 1978 March: RCMP Leadership Training Course
  • 1978 September: CLAA 1977 Firearms Control Course
  • 1979 March: RCMP Criminal Investigators (Contract) Course
  • 1979 September: RCMP Emergency Response Team Course
  • 1980 March: RCMP Chemical Weapons Instructors Course
  • 1980 March: RCMP Basic Firearms Instructors Course
  • 1981 January: RCMP Effective Presentation Course
  • 1981 June: RCMP Expert Marksmanship Course
  • 1984 January: Police Defensive Baton Training
  • 1989 September: RCMP Instructional Techniques Course
  • 1990 May – 1991 September: Forensic Firearms Examiner Understudy Training
  • 1991 February: Northern Alberta Institute for Technology Arc Welding and Flame Cutting
  • 1991 September: Ruger Pistol and Revolver Armourers Course
  • 1992 September: Glock Pistol Armourers Course
  • 1992 October: Participated in two week plant tour of various firearms, ammunition and tool manufacturing facilities in Canada and the USA
  • 1995 October: North-West Association of Forensic Science Conference
  • 1995 December: Smith & Wesson Revolver Armourers Course
  • 1995 December: Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistol Armourers Course
  • 1996 January: RCMP Small Arms Replacement Program User Course
  • 1997 September: Canadian Society of Forensic Science Conference, Regina; Ammunition Performance and Soft Body Armour Evaluation Workshop – Dr. M. Fackler.
  • 1999 July: Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners Training Seminar, Williamsburg, Virginia USA
  • 1999 September: Canadian Society of Forensic Science Conference, Edmonton, Bill C-68 Firearms Workshop
  • 2000 March: Serial Number Restoration Course, Magnetic Particle Method, G. Klees, BATF, Edmonton
  • 2000 August: Remington Law Enforcement Armourers Course, Regina, SK
  • 2000 October: Canadian Society of Forensic Science conference, Firearms Workshop, Ottawa
  • 2001 March: Medical Examiners Symposium, Firearms Injuries - B. Bannach, MD, Medical Examiner, Edmonton
  • 2001 May: International Firearms Trafficking School, Niagara Falls, ON
  • 2002 February: Shooting Hunting & Outdoor Trade Show, Las Vegas, NV (also attended in 2010 and 2011)
  • 2004 May: Association of Firearm & Toolmark Examiners Training Seminar, Vancouver, BC
  • 2004 May: Hi-Point Firearms Armourers Course, Vancouver, BC
  • 2004 May: Savage Arms, Basic Tactical Armourers Course, Vancouver, BC
  • 2004 May: Digital Photography for Firearms Examiners, Vancouver, BC
  • 2005 February: Glock Pistol Armourers Course, Edmonton, AB
  • 2006 September: Completed RCMP six month understudy training in Gunshot Residue Interpretation
  • 2007 April: Scanning Microscopy in Forensic Science Short Course, Monterey, California
  • 2007 April: SCANNING 2007, Forensic Gunshot Residue Conference, Monterey, California


Published Works:

  • Instinctive Shooting - Does it Exist?; R.C.M.P. Gazette, Vol. 51, No. 1, 1989
  • Test Firing a Ruptured Shotgun Barrel; AFTE Journal, Volume 29, Number 2, Spring 1997
  • B-Zone (a novel), Trigger Press International, 1999, ISBN 0968505007
  • Mandatory Reload (a novel), Trigger Press International, 2001, ISBN 0968505015
  • Numerous firearm, shooting and hunting related articles published in North American periodicals and the internet, including: Alberta Outdoorsman, Varmint Hunter Magazine, Front Sight Magazine,, BC Outdoors and Great Canadian Sportsman