Pascrell and Feinstein reintroduce a law allowing the ATF to use computers to track criminal guns.
Bicameral Crime Gun Tracking Modernization Act Helps Police Across America, Brings Law Enforcement Tracking Into the 21st Century
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Bill Paskrel, Jr. (D-NJ-09), Co-Chair of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, and U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) today reintroduced the Criminal Gun Tracking Modernization Act Did. This will allow the Federal Office of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to electronically search records of guns used in crimes nationwide.
“Americans will be appalled at the state of criminal gun chases in America.” Senator Paskrel said“Because of the nonsensical laws imposed at the NRA’s request, the ATF is literally prohibited from using computers to track firearms used in crimes. Moments matter a lot to law enforcement, and law enforcement agencies in all states share one goal: to keep communities safe by solving crimes as quickly as possible. The changes will help police fight crime, save lives and create much-needed efficiencies After decades of being bogged down by radical NRA policies, the ATF is ending its work. must be authorized to do so.”
“It is ridiculous that current law prohibits the ATF from using computers to conduct rapid and thorough investigations when guns were used in crimes.” Senator Feinstein said“We need to give ATF agents all the tools they need to track guns used by criminals, not tie criminals’ hands behind their backs. Not only does it speed up investigations, it can ultimately save lives.”
After a firearm linked to a crime is found anywhere in the United States, federal, state, or local law enforcement officers should contact the ATF, and the ATF should recreate the chain of firearm storage. But for decades, ATF has been blocked from digitizing the millions of gun sales records he already owns. That’s why the ATF is allowing computer searches at the National Tracking Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia, the only federal agency that keeps gun sales records in the United States. This outdated limit requires sifting through the ATF’s mountain of paper records, a laborious process that slows investigations and drains law enforcement resources.
This year, the ATF is expected to receive over 100 million gun sales records, many of which are in worn or decaying condition. In 2020, ATF said he received 490,844 trace requests and processed 68,400,000 paper records. The ATF says he receives about 1,700 criminal gun trails per day, so this paper-based system could seriously delay criminal investigations in all 50 jurisdictions. Additionally, ATF forecasts an 11% increase in trace requests from 490,884 in FY20 to about 550,000 in FY21. This process has resulted in millions of sheets of paper overwhelming the ATF and stored in the facility’s closets, hallways and even storage lockers located in parking lots. The facility has collapsed, and ATF has been instructed not to store any more physical records on the premises. Otherwise, you risk further collapse of the floor.
The Criminal Gun Tracking Modernization Act is a simple and narrow change to the law to allow the ATF to electronically search records of criminal gun sales already in its possession. The law does not allow ATF to expand the scope of records it is authorized to access or to search information it already has access to. Importantly, the law will allow ATF searches only for criminal and national security investigations and not for any other purpose.
“Major County Sheriffs of the Americas (MCSA) appreciates your efforts to help our agency obtain timely and pertinent information regarding violent gun crime investigations. Representative Paskrel and Senator Feinstein. I applaud lawmakers for introducing the Criminal Gun Tracking Modernization Act, which simply digitizes paper records already in the ATF’s possession, allowing state and local agencies to be more relevant to specific criminal investigations. It will allow for faster data retrieval compared to the current manual, time-consuming process of requesting gun tracking.” Said Megan Noland, Executive Director of the Major County Sheriff’s Office (MCSA) of America.
“MCCA is proud to support the Criminal Gun Tracking Modernization Act of 2023. We thank Senator Feinstein and Representative Paskrel for reintroducing this important legislation. However, current legislation requires the ATF to manually search records, which can be a time consuming and inefficient process. , will automate this process while establishing safeguards to protect the privacy and rights of law-abiding gun owners.” Eddie Garcia, Dallas Police Chief and President of the Major Cities Association (MCCA) said:
“Violent criminals have become more sophisticated and better at hiding their tracks, especially with their use of firearms. With an electronically searchable record of firearms used in illegal acts across the country, the ATF can better identify and target criminals who use firearms to wreak havoc on their communities. Facilitating the tracking of illegal firearms by enabling federal law enforcement to identify and isolate illegal weapons is important to all Americans, especially those who use firearms legally. We applaud Rep. Bill Paskrel for reigniting efforts to pass this bill in the new Congress and look forward to supporting its passage.” Larry Cosme, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), said:
“Under this law, ATF agents can use their time more efficiently and expedite criminal gun chases. This is what keeps our communities safer and the APA is proud to support the measures in this bill.” David LaBahn, president of the Attorney General’s Association (APA), said:
The Criminal Gun Tracking Modernization Act has been endorsed by numerous law enforcement agencies and public safety advocacy groups, including the Major City Mayors Association (MCCA), the County Sheriffs Association of America (MCSA), the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), and the Association. I’m here. of the Public Prosecutor’s Office (APA).
A two-page summary of the Criminal Gun Tracking Modernization Act is provided here.
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