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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

ATF News
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Jeffrey
R. Roehm

29, 1999


with State and Local Law Enforcement to Reduce Violent Crime

Washington - Treasury
Secretary Lawrence H. Summers joined John W. Magaw, Director of the Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) today to launch Online LEAD, a
new technology designed to aid law enforcement in its fight against illegal
firearms traffickers. "Online LEAD" is the newest crime-fighting tool
in ATF's "electronic crime fighting arsenal".

"Online LEAD takes
our fight against gun traffickers into cyberspace," said Secretary
Summers. "It gives federal, state, and local law enforcement officials
throughout the country a new tool to help identify and arrest gun traffickers."

Online LEAD was created
in February to enhance the ATF's information system that provides investigative
leads to identify illegal firearms trafficking. The system will send up
"red flags" on potential illegal firearms traffickers throughout
the country.

Director Magaw commented,
"With Online LEAD, ATF field offices nationwide will be able to assist
our State and local law enforcement partners with real time access to
Firearms Tracing System (FTS) data."

The FTS currently
contains over 1 million crime gun traces and is updated continuously.
This greatly enhances the field investigator's ability to quickly identify
illegal firearms trafficking and interdict the supply of guns to the illegal

ATF and local law
enforcement personnel have successfully used Online LEAD in a variety
of locations. Firearms trafficking task forces in cities such as New York,
Memphis, Atlanta, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. have been able to link
the purchaser of a crime gun to crime guns recovered in other locations
thus identifying potential illegal firearms traffickers.

To illustrate the
importance of Online LEAD, Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief Emmett
H. Turner cited a recent case where information obtained through Project
LEAD identified the persons responsible for illegally trafficking a firearm
used in the May 1996 murder of Officer Francis Scurry of his department.
That firearm was one of approximately 400 firearms illegally trafficked
by two people who were subsequently arrested and convicted for violations
of the Federal firearms laws.

Online LEAD is available
to all State and local law enforcement agencies at ATF field offices throughout
the country.