ATF seal
ATF text
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

Headquarters

For Immediate Release

Thursday, June 16, 2016
Contact: Office of Public Affairs

ATF Releases U.S. Firearm Trace Data for 2015

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) released today firearm trace data for all individual U.S. states and territories for calendar year 2015. Trace information provides investigative leads to law enforcement and can link a suspect to a firearm in a criminal investigation. Firearm traces also help identify potential firearm traffickers, and detect in-state, interstate and international firearm trafficking patterns, including the sources and types of crime guns.

ATF’s Violent Crime Analysis Branch produces this annual report using trace information compiled at ATF’s National Tracing Center (NTC), the nation’s only crime gun tracing facility. The NTC provides critical information that assists domestic and international law enforcement agencies to solve firearm crimes, detect firearm trafficking patterns, and identify trends with respect to intrastate, interstate and international movement of crime guns.

In 2015, there were 190,538 firearms recovered and traced back to a purchaser in the United States, an increase of more than 20,000 firearms recovered and traced in the previous year. The majority of the traces involved 9 mm (more than 55,000) and .22 caliber (more than 35,000) firearms. The top three types of firearms traced last year were pistols (more than 150,000 traces), revolvers (more than 44,000 traces) and rifles (more than 41,000 traces).

The released firearm trace data offers a description of firearms recovered and traced in each state along with the source states of the firearms recovered.

In addition to the number of recovered and traced firearms per state, the report includes recovery location information, the average time it took from when a firearm was purchased to when it was recovered in a crime, and the criminal offense associated with the firearm.

To access the complete 2015 firearms trace report, visit ATF’s online statistics page at https://www.atf.gov/about/firearms-trace-data-2015.

# # #

Field Division: Headquarters