Can functioning firearms made from receiver blanks be traced?

ATF is able to successfully trace most crime guns to the first retail purchaser. ATF starts with the manufacturer and goes through the entire chain of distribution to find who first bought the firearm from a licensed dealer.

Because receiver blanks do not have markings or serial numbers, when firearms made from such receiver blanks are found at a crime scene, it is usually not possible to trace the firearm or determine its history, which hinders crime gun investigations and jeopardizes public safety.

Last Reviewed February 6, 2020