New Effort to Track Guns Used in Crimes

Attorney General Shapiro will Share Data

Joe DeStio
July 12, 2019 - 2:58 pm
 Pittsburgh, state, and federal law enforcement officials are coming together to improve a system for tracking guns used in violent crime.

Joe DeStio

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PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – Pittsburgh, state, and federal law enforcement officials are coming together to improve a system for tracking guns used in violent crime. The Track and Trace system introduced by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro will encourage local police departments to send the serial numbers of guns used in crimes to a federal e-Trace database.

Shapiro also wants gun retailers to submit gun sale records electronically so his office can share the information with local police quicker.

“Whether you’re a gun owner or not, you don’t want to see someone shot walking down the street,” said Shapiro. We all have an incentive to work together. And that education process is a critical part of it.”

The Attorney General is also forming a Track and Trace working group to follow up on gun data and share the information among police departments in Pennsylvania.

“Having law enforcement  agencies across the Commonwealth share information is going to be crucial for us to be successful in finding out where the weapons come from,” said Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert.  Pittsburgh’s force is among the first to commit to participating.

The federal e-Trace system already operates through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives but most police departments in Pennsylvania don’t send in gun records according to the AG’s office.

“Our ability to investigate and identify and ultimately prosecute violent criminals is really only as good as the information we have,” said U.S. Attorney Scott Brady who also attended the news conference at Pittsburgh police headquarters.

Shapiro said Dick’s Sporting Goods is the first large retailer to commit to reporting its gun sale records to the database.

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