Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Public Affairs Division - Washington, DC
The Violent Crime Bureau
For Immediate Release
April 26, 2012
Contact: Public Affairs Division
ATF Releases Government of Mexico Firearms Trace Data
WASHINGTON – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today announced the release of trace information for firearms recovered in Mexico and submitted to ATF for tracing. Trace information shows that between calendar years 2007 and 2011 the Government of Mexico recovered and submitted more than 99,000 firearms to ATF for tracing. Of those firearms more than 68,000 were U.S.-sourced. More complete information will be available on the ATF website.
U.S.-sourced firearms are guns determined by ATF to be manufactured in the United States or legally imported into the United States by a federal firearms licensee. Since 2007, trace data shows a trend in recovered and submitted crime guns from Mexico shifting from pistols and revolvers to rifles. Law enforcement in Mexico now report that certain types of rifles, such as the AK and AR variants with detachable magazines, are used more frequently to commit violent crime by drug trafficking organizations.
ATF is working with its law enforcement partners at every level and the Government of Mexico to keep firearms out of the hands of gang members and criminal enterprises. The Mexico trace data is the result of information provided by the Government of Mexico to ATF about crime guns recovered in Mexico and submitted for tracing.
Firearms tracing provides information on the movement of a firearm from its first sale by a manufacturer or importer through the distribution chain in an attempt to identify the first retail purchaser. This information provides investigative leads for criminal investigations.
The Mexico trace data is not the result of any criminal investigation, or investigations, initiated by law enforcement in the United States.
ATF’s National Tracing Center (NTC) is the nation’s only crime gun tracing facility. The NTC provides critical information that assists domestic and international law enforcement agencies solve firearms crimes, detect firearms trafficking and identify trends with respect to intrastate, interstate and international movement of crime guns. The NTC traced more than 319,000 crime guns in calendar year 2011.
ATF is dedicated to reducing firearms trafficking and firearms-related violent crime on both sides of the border.
ATF will also release trace information for firearms recovered in Canada and the Caribbean and submitted to ATF for tracing between calendar years 2007 and 2011.
For more information about ATF and its programs go to www.ATF.gov.