ATF: RPD asks for more gun traces than other places in Va. - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

ATF: Richmond Police asks for more gun traces than other places in Va.


When a gun is used in a crime, police need helping tracking its history. 

They're looking for clues -- possible leads to keep the bad guys off the streets.
There's only one building in the country police can search a gun's history to develop investigative leads.  It's called the National Tracing Center, located in a secure site in Martinsburg, W.Va., and is run by the Bureau for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Last year Richmond Police asked for help looking into the history of more than a thousand guns officers got off this city's streets.

According to the ATF, the 9mm remains the most popular weapon used in crimes across America.

"Easy to conceal, pass along, hide in certain places," said Richmond Police Maj. Steve Drew. That's what he told us last year when we checked in with the city on how many weapons it was getting off city streets each year.

The latest figures certainly not a shock to licensed gun dealer Curtis Hicks with the Colonial Shooting Academy. "It is the most popular center fire cartridge. It's been in the US since pre-WWI," Hicks said.

The 9mm is the least expensive to shoot because the ammo is the cheapest. It's the most common crime gun used in Richmond murders, shootings, robberies and assaults.

According to ATF statistics, Virginia Police agencies asked for help tracing the history of more than 7,360 weapons. The city in Virginia with the most requests for traces is Richmond. Last year, RPD asked for traces on 1077 guns -- nearly twice the next closest locality of Virginia Beach, which sought 562 traces.

And according to the ATF, Virginia continues to provide the majority of guns recovered on the streets in New York, Maryland and D.C.

These state-by-state breakdowns are done every year. The National Tracing Center helps police solve firearms crimes and detect gun trafficking.

Interestingly, the average age it take a weapon that ends up on the streets to be part of a crime is 11 years. To see the statistics for yourself, you can read the ATF report here.

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