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.
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.