Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Public Affairs Division - Washington, DC
For Immediate Release
Jan. 4, 2013
Contact: (202) 648-8500
Finland Signs eTrace Agreement
Firearm Tracing System Available on the Internet
WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will provide eTrace, an electronic system used to trace illegal firearms, to Finland – in an ongoing effort to combat firearms trafficking.
The MOU establishes conditions of the partnership regarding the procedures to access and use eTrace services made available to law enforcement agencies in Finland.
eTrace is a paperless firearm trace submission system and trace analysis computer module that is readily 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 of firearms that have been 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 illegal firearms.
In calendar year 2010, the most recent year for which complete data is available, U.S. manufacturers legally exported more than 240,000 firearms. From 1986 to 2010, more than 99,250,000 U.S.-made firearms have been put into legal commerce throughout the world – and many of those weapons are still in circulation. Through eTrace, law enforcement has quick access to U.S. export records in order to follow the trail of a firearm to the crime scene.
ATF processed more than 333,800 crime-gun trace requests in 2011, which include traces from 70 countries. Finland joins 33 other countries with formal agreements with ATF and is the first Nordic Country to take advantage of this system that operates in a real-time environment at no cost to the Finland Government. Finland will now be able to electronically submit firearm trace requests, monitor the progress of traces, retrieve completed trace results, and query firearm trace related data in ATF‘s database 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
ATF is a law enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Justice dedicated to preventing violent crime. More information on ATF and its programs and resources is at www.atf.gov.