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
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
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
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.
Thursday, August 14 2014 9:41 AM EDT2014-08-14 13:41:05 GMT
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