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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Washington, DC 20226

March 15, 2004

Open Letter to All Michigan Federal Firearms Licensees

ATF Requests Assistance in Curbing the Flow of Illegal Crime Guns and Reducing Violent Crime in Metro Detroit

The purpose of this letter is to advise you of ATF’s continued commitment and strong partnership with the Michigan firearms industry and to request your assistance in combating the illegal traffic and use of firearms.

As you are aware, there has been a disturbing increase in violent crime in the Detroit Metro area. The Detroit Free Press has reported that, in January alone, there were 90 shootings. In response to this activity, ATF has partnered with the Detroit Police Department, the Wayne County Sheriff, Michigan State Police and other federal agencies to aggressively pursue firearms-related violent crime. This law enforcement initiative has the full support of the United States Attorney’s Office and the Wayne County Prosecutor.

The Detroit Field Division has long enjoyed a strong, cooperative relationship with our Michigan Federal Firearms Licensees. We are asking for your help in stemming the flow of illegal crime guns onto our city streets. We know that in many instances illegal crime guns are obtained through straw purchasers and request your assistance in identifying and reporting suspected straw purchasers. This is an important piece that will help stop the flow of illegal crime guns and help us with our goal to reduce violent crime in the City of Detroit.

Please contact us at 1-800-ATF-GUNS (24 hour hotline) or 313-259-8760 if you suspect a straw purchase of firearms or any other suspicious activity you may observe. Together we can make a difference.

Valerie J. Goddard
Special Agent in Charge
Detroit Field Division