A review of the trace data compiled from January 1 to December 31, 2009 (from a data set run between February 15 and March 25, 2010) for several regions within New York State reveals the following:
-9,673 firearms were submitted to ATF NY to be traced – 7,189 handguns and 2,464 long guns.
-Statewide, handguns outnumbered long guns by more than 2 1/2 to 1.
-53% of all firearms recovered were within NY City.
-In NY City, handguns outnumbered long guns by more than 4 to 1.
-Each region has its own unique concerns when dealing with newer weapons recovered.
The 2009 New York State and City statistics are posted on the ATF NY web site: atf.gov
A key component of ATF’s enforcement mission is the tracing of firearms on behalf of thousands of Federal, State, local, and foreign law enforcement agencies. In 2002 however, New York State enacted mandatory crime gun tracing through the ATF Crime Gun Center in Brooklyn. The Gun Center is the central repository for all recovered and traced firearms in New York State and gives ATF and our law enforcement partners an accurate and timely picture of illegal gun trafficking in the state. The most important piece of information of a traced firearm, other than the purchaser, is the Time to Crime (TTC) statistic. That is the time period from the initial sale of a weapon by a federally licensed dealer to its recovery by law enforcement. Every gun with a TTC less than two (2) years is looked at individually by ATF analysts with an intense focus on those guns with a TTC of less than one (1) year.
A TTC less than one year may be a very strong indicator of illegal firearms trafficking.
Trace data tracks the transfer of a firearm from the importer or manufacturer to the gun’s first purchaser. This information can assist law enforcement in ultimately pinpointing the individual(s) who used the gun to commit a crime. ATF conducts traces to identify criminals for prosecution; therefore, firearms trace data is considered sensitive criminal intelligence. It is vital that this intelligence be shared with our State and local law enforcement partners to better assist them in investigating and solving violent crimes impacting their communities.
ATF is committed to providing critically important trace data to law enforcement agencies who seek our assistance. To ensure that we furnish the results in a timely manner, we must make certain that our efforts remain focused on criminal investigations, including the analysis of comprehensive crime gun trends and patterns.
Posting these statistics gives New Yorkers the ability to now use the Internet to find specific information on firearms recoveries while also gaining insight regarding the types of criminal offenses involved, where the firearms were recovered within their state and which states were the top source states for crime guns recovered.
Special Agent in Charge Turk said, “The process of tracing crime guns has been and will continue to be one of the top priorities ATF provides to our state and local law enforcement partners. Making sure that all recovered crime guns are traced is the very first step in identifying potential illegal gun runners and enables us to focus our investigative resources where they are needed most.”