“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) traced more than 364,000 guns that were recovered from international crime scenes in 2015,” thehill.com reports. “Tracing guns from manufacture to purchase helps law enforcement investigate crimes, the agency said. ‘Trace information can link a suspect to a firearm in a criminal investigation, identify potential traffickers, and detect international patterns in the sources and types of crime guns.'” Well they would say that, wouldn’t they? Because if you think about it . . .
what would be the point of maintaining the mountain of end user identification — including tens of millions of form 4473’s and the serial numbers of all guns manufactured in and imported into the United States — if the ATF didn’t use the info to fight crime? (Some might say it’s a precursor to government firearms confiscation but I couldn’t possibly comment.)
The real question: how many traced guns led to an arrest? Statistically speaking, I’m thinking you can round the number down to zero. But what do I know? Just this: a big part of that 364k traced guns is down to the ATF’s multi-million dollar expansion of its e-Trace system to foreign countries, putting American gun buyer information into the hands of our “allies.” Like this:
The ATF announced Friday it traced guns found in Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean last year.
The ATF traced more than 17,000 guns found at Mexican crime scenes. Nearly 8,300 guns were found in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama.
More than 1,300 guns were found at crime scenes in the Caribbean.
While Canadian authorities recovered more than 1,400 guns.
The bit that really galls me: the ATF Mexican trace numbers have been and continue to be used to hype the “iron river of guns” flowing into Mexico. Which [supposedly] justified the ongoing reporting requirement for border state gun shops as follows:
All federally licensed firearms dealers and pawnbrokers in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas submit to ATF reports of multiple sales or other dispositions of certain rifles to unlicensed individuals when two or more particular kinds of rifles are transferred at the same time, or within five consecutive business days of each other. The types of rifles that must be reported are those with the following characteristics: (1) semiautomatic; (2) a caliber greater than .22 (including .223/5.56 mm); and (3) the ability to accept detachable magazines.
The requirement was established in August 2011. It was automatically renewed in 2014. It’s set to expire in 2017 — unless it’s renewed. What are the odds?
Note that the number the ATF provided for firearms traces originating in Mexico– 17k — represents a fraction of the total number of guns confiscated by the Mexican military. For some strange reason, the Mexican authorities don’t report the number of guns confiscated at crime scenes stamped “Property of the Mexican military.”
Sent South of the Border by Uncle Sam, along with hundreds of thousand of other fully automatic weapons sent to other South American countries for decades. Paid for by your tax dollars, of course.