Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Public Affairs Division – Washington, DC
At The Frontline Against Violent Crime
For Immediate Release
May 19, 2009
Contact: Public Affairs Division
The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Signs eTrace Agreement
Combating Firearms Trafficking Using Modern Technology
PORT-OF-SPAIN — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today with the Trinidad and Tobago Acting Police Commissioner that will provide eTrace, an electronic system used to trace illicit firearms. This is an ongoing effort to combat firearms trafficking in the region consistent with the December 2007 joint Caribbean Community (CARICOM)–U.S. Initiative on Combating the Illicit Trafficking in Small Arms and Light Weapons and Ammunition. (For additional information see: http://www.state.gov/p/wha/rls/120209.htm).
The MOU establishes conditions of the partnership between ATF and law enforcement authorities in Trinidad and Tobago regarding policy and procedures for the access and use of eTrace services made available to law enforcement agencies.
eTrace is a paperless firearm trace submission system that is accessible through a secure connection to the World Wide Web. This Internet application provides the necessary utilities for submitting, retrieving, storing and querying firearms trace-related information allowing for the systematic tracing of firearms recovered from crime scenes. Analysis of firearms trace data can assist in the identification of firearms trafficking patterns and geographic profiling for criminal hot spots and possible sources of illicit firearms.
ATF processed more than 300,000 crime-gun trace requests in fiscal year 2008, including traces from 58 countries. The other countries in the region that have eTrace capabilities include the Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Mexico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Several Caribbean police forces signed eTrace agreements on March 31, 2009 (For additional information see: http://www.state.gov/p/wha/hs/c29869.htm). The seven Central American states signed the same MOU in December 2008. (For additional informational see: http://www.state.gov/p/wha/hs/c29261.htm).
ATF is a law enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Justice dedicated to preventing and fighting violent crime. More information about ATF and its programs is available at www.atf.gov.