an important year

Our Track + Trace Initiative is a smart-on-crime, data-driven approach dedicated to tracing crime guns and decreasing gun trafficking and illegal transfers.

Law enforcement cannot stop with simply solving the crime. We also must work to figure out how these firearms ended up in the hands of criminals.

By tracing firearms used in crimes, we can identify the heart of the problem. Every serial number on a firearm tells a story – we are committed to finding out where these stories begin.

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Track + Trace has resulted in a huge increase in the number of agencies using e-trace, the number of agencies data sharing, and the amount of data those agencies can see.

Date Traces viewable Increase Agencies using eTrace % Agencies using eTrace Increase Agencies data sharing % Data Sharing (total) Increase (total)
July 2019 6,658 -- 441 40% -- 70 6% --
July 2020 61,526 824% 501 45% 14% 117 11% 68%

Tracing Progress

  • 824% INCREASE IN GUN TRACES VIEWABLE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT
  • 501 AGENCIES USING ETRACE, A 10% INCREASE
  • 117 AGENCIES DATA SHARING, A 61% INCREASE

LAW ENFORCEMENT PARTNERS

PARTICIPATING LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES

One of the primary benefits of using the ATF’s eTrace system is the ability to share gun tracing data between law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, not enough agencies have opted in to the ATF’s data sharing protocol. For agencies that have not opted in, no other agency can see their trace data, and key investigative leads may be missed.

The following map shows all Pennsylvania agencies sharing data with one another. Their commitment to our statewide collaborative efforts to address gun trafficking is invaluable.

Hover or click dot to view department and county. Use your mouse wheel or pinch to zoom.

Firearmretailers

450% increase in retailers using e-record of sale
500% increase in sales conducted electronically versus paper
9 months shaved off of gun record of sale database
8 of top 15 gun retailers in PA have moved to e-record of sale
3 of top 5 gun retailers in PA have moved to e-record of sale including largest retailer in PA
Prior to the T+T launch only 3 of the top 15 were using e-record of sale and none of top 5

PA'S LARGEST RETAILER HAS COMMITTED TO USING E-RECORD SINCE T+T LAUNCH

Dick's Sporting Goods

First Pennsylvania Retailer To Commit To Using E-Record of Sale

  • 20 workshops
  • 450 Philadelphians reached
  • tripled eligibility After attending the first workshop, Principal Toni Damon tripled the number of female students eligible to participate at Dobbins Technical High School in Philadelphia.
Pre- and post-workshop survey results:
  • 72% said preventing gun violence is very important or a top priority
  • 2/3 said they appreciated the information LIPSTICK provides
  • 100% said they had a better understanding of where crime guns come from
  • 100% said they had a better understanding of straw purchasing
  • 93% said they are more likely to discourage someone they know from illegal gun activity
  • 20 new cases involving women straw purchasers added to database, including PA cases

Testimonials

"Tracing firearms is an essential part of our ATF mission and eTrace is just one of the unique capabilities we use to accomplish this. We are very pleased to see such a proactive use of the program and we encourage other law enforcement agencies across the country to take advantage of eTrace. By using eTrace, the National Tracing Center and our expertise in ballistics through NIBIN, we work closely with our local partners on apprehending those responsible for gun crimes and ensuring no further harm comes to members of our community."

John Schmidt, ATF Philadelphia Field Division

"The Track + Trace initiative is all about preventing firearms from reaching the street and being used in crimes,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele. “By working with firearms dealers, the program allows for intelligence-driven policing to target firearms trafficking on different levels and to identify patterns, techniques and methods used by gun traffickers. It’s a big step in the right direction."

Kevin R. Steele, Montgomery County District Attorney

"As a result of participating in the LIPSTICK, I have seen a noticeable increase in the self-confidence and leadership of our female participants. The girls who participated in this program have not only began to advocate for themselves, they have become leaders, organizers, and are sharing this news with other students. I am forever grateful to Mothers In Charge and Attorney General Josh Shapiro for bringing this program to Dobbins."

Dr. Toni Damon, Principal, Dobbins CTE High School

Data + Statistics

PA Gun Tracing Analytics Platform

The Pennsylvania Gun Tracing Analytics Platform shows aggregate data of crime gun traces for firearms recovered in Pennsylvania. This tool is intended to let you explore gun crimes and gun trafficking throughout the Commonwealth and to see where guns recovered in crimes in Pennsylvania originally came from.

VIEW THE DATA