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HEMISPHERIC SEMINAR ON IDENTIFICATION, COLLECTION, STOCKPILE MANAGEMENT AND DESTRUCTION OF SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.

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Presentation on theme: "HEMISPHERIC SEMINAR ON IDENTIFICATION, COLLECTION, STOCKPILE MANAGEMENT AND DESTRUCTION OF SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE."— Presentation transcript:

1 HEMISPHERIC SEMINAR ON IDENTIFICATION, COLLECTION, STOCKPILE MANAGEMENT AND DESTRUCTION OF SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS & EXPLOSIVES (ATF) PRESENTED MAY 12, 2004 IN MANAGUA, NICARAGUA iii

2 INTRODUCTION SPECIAL AGENT CHARLES J. HOUSER, CHIEF, FIREARMS TRACING BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS & EXPLOSIVES TELEPHONE: (304) v

3 PURPOSE THE PURPOSE OF THIS PRESENTATION IS TO PRESENT AN OVERVIEW OF FIREARMS TRACING AS CONDUCTED BY ATF TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO THE SEMINAR PARTICIPANTS AS THEY CONSIDER METHODS AND MEANS TO COLLECT IDENTIFY SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS.

4 AGENDA (1)Definitions (2)The Utility of Firearms Tracing (3)Overview of the firearms trace process and infrastructure (4)International Firearms Tracing Efforts by ATF

5 DEFINITIONS Firearms Tracing is the tracking of a firearm from manufacturer through each dealer, until the identity of the purchaser is obtained

6 UTILITY OF FIREARMS TRACING Firearms Trace Information can be used for three purposes: (1) To link a suspect to a firearm in a criminal investigation (2) To identify potential traffickers, whether licensed or unlicensed dealers (3) When sufficiently comprehensive tracing is undertaken by a given community, to detect in-state and interstate or international patterns in the sources and kinds of crime guns - 4 -

7 MISSION ATF is charged with enforcing US Federal Firearms, Arson and Explosives laws.. As such, the mission of the ATF National Tracing Center is to Accurately and Efficiently Conduct Firearms Traces for Local, State, Federal and International Law Enforcement to provide investigative leads

8 PRODUCTIVITY This Chart shows the total number of trace requests received by ATF from International, Federal, State and Local law enforcement for FY-88 through FY

9 PROCESS – Collection & Identification INFORMATION COLLECTED TO CONDUCT A FIREARMS TRACE: 1.Firearm Description adequate enough to uniquely identify the weapon in question. 2.Identity of the person found in possession of the firearm. 3.The location where the firearm was recovered. 4.The crime the firearm was involved or used. Law Enforcement International Federal State Local mark To uniquely identify a firearm implies a requirement causing manufacturers or importers to mark each firearm in such a way as to individually identify each one

10 PROCESS – Record Keeping record To track a firearm through the chain of distribution in order to identify a purchaser requires that a record of the distribution be maintained for each firearm. Industry Records Firearm Description Manufacturer Records Importer Records Dealer Records Purchaser Identity Law Enforcement Firearm Description. Possessor Identity Recovery Location. Crime. International Federal State Local - 8 -

11 PROCESS – Analysis Analysis: Has this firearm been used in other crimes? Has the possessor, purchaser or dealers had other firearms traced to them? Have other firearms been recovered at the same location? What is the geospatial relationship of the data? Analysis Law Enforcement Industry Records Firearm Description Manufacturer Records Importer Records Dealer Records Firearm Description. Possessor Identity Recovery Location. Crime. Purchaser Identity International Federal State Local - 9 -

12 PROCESS – Dissemination Trace Results individually and in total are disseminated to the requesting agency: To provide investigative leads for the specific investigations. To identify regional illegal suppliers of firearms. To identify sources and patterns in firearms trafficking. Investigative Leads Law Enforcement Industry Records Firearm Description Manufacturer Records Importer Records Dealer Records Firearm Description. Possessor Identity Recovery Location. Crime. Purchaser IdentityAnalysis International Federal State Local

13 AN EXAMPLE The following is a general example of how firearms tracing as discussed in this briefing is being used to provide investigative leads to identify trafficking sources and patterns. The example uses data from FY-2003 for US-sourced firearms traced by the government of Mexico

14 UNITED STATES CANADA ITALY HONDURAS PERU MEXICO GERMANY THAILAND AUSTRALIA GUATEMALA BELIZE BELGUIMSWITZERLAND Disposition of Successfully Traced Firearms Recovered In Mexico This chart shows a geographic view Of the disposition of firearms recovered and traced in Mexico in FY-03. White lines indicate legal exports, red lines indicate questionable exports

15 SAN DIEGO DALLAS HOUSTON SAN ANTONIOLAREDOMCALLENBROWNSVILLEPHOENIX TUCSON EL PASO PUEBLA TIJUANA MEXICALI CUIDAD JUAREZ HERMOSILLO CHIHUAHUA CULIACAN DURANGO PARRAL ESCOBEDO NUEVO LAREDO REYNOSA GUADALUPE SAN LUIS POTOSI TEPIC ZAPOPAN APATZINGAN MORELIA MEXICO CITY CUERNAVACA DISTRITO FEDERAL Comparison of Sources and Recovery Locations This chart shows a geographic comparison of source cities and recovery cities. The size of the circle indicates relative quantity of firearms either purchased or recovered. Red indicates purchases, blue indicates recoveries from Mexico in FY

16 Dispositions from Top Three Source Cities This Chart shows the disposition firearms from the top three source cities to their recovery locations in Mexico

17 Dispositions from Top Three Source Cities This Chart shows the disposition firearms from the top three source cities to their recovery locations in Mexico with major roadways in yellow

18 INTERNATIONAL ATF is concerned with developing an international firearms tracing infrastructure to combat illegal international arms trafficking

19 INTERNATIONAL – Trace Volume FY-2003: 17,026 trace requests received from more than 40 countries. FY-2004: 27,195 trace requests received from more than 50 countries. (As of May)

20 INTERNATIONAL - Investigations In FY-2003, ATF investigated and convicted more than 900 persons involved in arms trafficking. Of that group, 44 were involved in international arms trafficking. There are a number of on-going investigations

21 INTERNATIONAL In order to assist the international community to develop a firearms tracing infrastructure, ATF has: (1) International Firearms Tracing Section (2)IWETS in conjunction with INTERPOL (3)Partnerships (4)UN Program of Action on Small Arms/Light Weapons (5)DEVELOPED E*TRACE – Tested/ Operational within 90 days

22 E*TRACE E*Trace is an Internet-based system that allows for the submission of firearms trace requests to the ATF National Tracing Center, transmission of trace results back to the requesting agency, and provides for analysis of those results. E*Trace can be used by any authorized agency that has access to the Internet. There is no cost associated with they system by the requestor, requires no special software or hardware, and requires little training to operate

23 SUMMARY/CONCLUSION ATF is the only agency authorized to trace firearms in the US. ATF has amassed expertise in the firearms tracing arena. ATF is working to combat illegal arms trafficking. ATF stands ready to assist the international community SM00011T


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