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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

For Immediate Release

Monday, June 9, 2014
Contact: Contact: Public Affairs Division

ATF Releases U.S. Firearms Trace Data for 2013

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) released today aggregated firearms trace data for all states and territories for calendar year 2013. Firearm traces provide critical investigative leads to law enforcement and can link a suspect to a firearm in a criminal investigation, identify potential traffickers, and detect local, interstate and international patterns in the sources and types of crime guns.

Traces provide information on the movement of a crime gun from the manufacturer or importer through distributors and ultimately to the retail point of sale and purchaser. The 2013 report includes a state-by-state breakdown of types and calibers of firearms recovered and traced, source states, criminal offenses associated with the crime guns, time-to-crime, and age ranges of crime gun possessors at the time of recovery.

Key findings of this year’s report include pistols as the most common firearm type recovered and traced, 9 mm as the top caliber recovered and traced, and 11.08 years as the average time-to-crime for crime guns recovered and traced in the U.S. and its territories. 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 336,000 crime guns in calendar year 2013. ATF's principal mission is to protect our communities from violent criminals who engage in illegal possession and misuse of firearms, acts of arson, and criminal misuse of explosives.

This is accomplished through both the enforcement of the criminal law and the regulation of the firearms and explosives industries. To access the 2013 firearms trace data, please visit