How long does gunpowder residue stay on your hands?

Answer

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, gunpowder residue can stay on the hands for 4 to 5 hours after a person shoots a firearm, depending on the conditions and activity of the person afterwards. Regular activities, including putting the hands in the pockets, rubbing hands together and wiping hands on clothes, can all remove the residue of gunpowder.

When an individual washes their hands it will remove the majority of the gunpowder, if not all of it. According to the FBI, those who are standing within 3 feet on either side of the gunman will have residue on their hands, while someone who stands 10 or more feet in the same direction will not have any residue.

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