ATF: Albania Signs eTrace MOU

Firearm Tracing System Available on the Internet

June 11, 2013

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will provide eTrace, an electronic system used to trace illegal firearms, to Albania, in an ongoing effort to combat firearms trafficking.

The MOU establishes conditions of the partnership regarding the procedures to access and use eTrace services made available to law enforcement agencies in Albania.

eTrace is a paperless firearm trace submission system and crime gun analysis tool that is readily accessible through a secure connection to the World Wide Web. This Internet application provides the necessary utilities for submitting, retrieving, storing and querying firearms trace-related information of firearms that have been recovered from crime scenes. Analysis of firearms trace data can assist in the identification of firearms trafficking patterns and geographic profiling for criminal hot spots and possible sources of illegal firearms.

In calendar year 2011, the most recent year for which complete data is available, U.S. manufacturers legally exported more than 296,000 firearms. From 1986 to 2010, more than 99,250,000 U.S.- made firearms have been put into legal commerce throughout the world - and many of those weapons are still in circulation. Through eTrace, law enforcement has quick access to U.S. export records in order to follow the trail of a firearm to the crime scene.

ATF processed more than 344,000 crime-gun trace requests in 2012, which include traces from 70 countries. The Slovak Republic joins 35 other countries with formal agreements with ATF in order to take advantage of this system that operates in a real-time environment at no cost to the Albania Government. Investigators in Albania will now be able to electronically submit firearm trace requests, monitor the progress of traces, retrieve completed trace results, and query firearm trace related data in ATF’s database 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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