ATF Releases International Firearms Trace Data Report

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WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) released today several international firearms trace data reports for the top five reporting Caribbean nations, Canada, Mexico and several Central American countries. This trace data is gathered from ATF’s National Tracing Center (NTC) which is the nation’s only firearms tracing facility.

The reports relate to firearms recovered in these countries and submitted for tracing to ATF. Firearms trace data provides valuable investigative leads and specific trend and pattern data for our international partners.

The tracing of a firearm provides information on its movement from the first sale by a manufacturer or importer through the distribution chain in an attempt to identify the first retail purchaser. A firearms trace is typically conducted when a law enforcement agency recovers a firearm at a crime scene and needs to know the origin of that firearm in order to develop investigative leads. Trace information can link a suspect to a firearm in a criminal investigation, identify potential traffickers, and detect in-state, interstate and international patterns in the sources and types of crime guns.

For calendar year 2014, ATF’s NTC traced 8,157 firearms recovered in the Central American countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Belize and Costa Rica. Of those firearms, the majority traced were pistols, followed by revolvers. During that same period of time, ATF’s NTC traced 15,397 firearms recovered in Mexico, 1,338 firearms recovered in Canada, and 1,387 in the Caribbean. The data is organized by the calendar year in which the respective authorities report the firearm was recovered, not the year in which the trace was initiated.

ATF is dedicated to reducing firearms trafficking and firearms-related violent crime. For more information or to view the 2014 international firearms trace data, please see our web site here.

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