Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Purpose of the e-Trace System

The pro-gun crowd is always complaining that our laws are ineffective because criminals will not obey them. I guess this is the answer.

The goal is to identify the “first purchaser” of the weapons and hold them accountable. If the e-Trace system identifies a lot of guns coming from one U.S. source the Justice Department can open up an investigation.
There, now that wasn't so difficult, was it?

Please leave a comment.


  1. Yesterday you said tracing was impossible because the US has no database. Today even Mexico has a database connected to the non-existent U.S. databases.

    I'm confused. What bullshit spin awaits us tomorrow from the gun-grabbers.

    We don't expect ant-freedom advocates to be factual but you should at least be consistent.

  2. ATF has some sincere employees with good intentions.... However,
    ATF would get a LOT more support if they would quit lying to Congress and the American People. Their credibility is so low, that most people don't believe anything they say (especially in press conferences) and are afraid to cooperate with them.

    For example: ATF (William Hoover, Executive Assistant Director for ATF) testified before Congress (and in press conferences) that 90% of seized Mexican guns come from the United States. We've known it was false and I'm certain he knew it was false. Yet it wasn't until 2010, when the Office of the Inspector General officially discredited that percentage, that the acting director, Melson now says it doesn't really matter whether it's 20% or 80%. We think it does matter. Are the figures politicized (as he now says)? Yes - falsely - especially by ATF!

    As we now know, only a small percent of guns seized in Mexico have been successfully traced. ATF now says that 90% of the guns actually traced are from the U.S. This statement is just silly. In fact, the only guns that can be traced are guns from America. There are no other tracing systems in the world. Most of the guns traced are too old (average is over 10 years) to be of any benefit for law enforcement. At this point, we have no idea how many guns are being smuggled to Mexico - but we agree that too many are.

    The basis for ATF to trace a firearm is make, model and serial number. Serial numbers on guns are not sacrosanct. Recording of serial numbers by ATF, police or dealers is subject to human error, as it is easy to misread a serial (for example: between the number 0 and the letter O), omit a digit or two, or transpose a couple of numbers. These and similar errors when entering a serial into the tracing system result in false traces.

    Criminals can even add a number or letter to a serial on a gun, or completely replace it with a false number. How is a Mexican policeman expected to know? Once a gun is traced, even falsely or in error, and no matter how innocent the buyer, the first owner's personal data is sent to the Mexican police (corrupt??) and permanently retained in the ATF trace file. The buyer (even from 10 or 20 years ago) is automatically a suspect. It is documented that in attempts to accomplish a trace, Law Enforcement will frequently enter partial serial numbers to attempt a match, which results in additional false traces.

    ATF calls all traced guns "crime guns", which is simply not true. Some guns are traced in error, and many guns not related to crime are traced. This skews the data to make it nonsensical. This was confirmed by the federal government (Congressional Research Service).

    ATF uses the "catch phrase" of "time to crime". This is totally false and only refers to "time to trace". Their phrase is used to mislead readers of their reports. Also confirmed by the Congressional Research Service).

    Now, through eTrace (and the Spanish version), ATF is reporting names and addresses of totally innocent American gun owners to corrupt Mexican police. Certainly, there are some smugglers and/or straw buyers among them, and there are some police who are not corrupt, but who's to know? Why don't we simply hand the Mexican police a copy of the Phoenix or El Paso phone book? It's also got some straw buyers and smugglers listed.....

    None of us want to see U.S. guns smuggled to Mexico, but there's no point in all American gun buyers becoming ATF and Mexican police suspects!

  3. Thanks Anonymous, I think we've heard all that before though.

    FWM, I'm confused too. Do you suppose there could be some "databases" out there but the central office in Washington is buried in paper and antiquated systems too?