ATF Firearms Tracing: Not a bug but a feature.

The Tracers – An inside look at the Real-Life Database of America’s Firearms. from Steven Brahms on Vimeo.

Poor ATF cannot create a database of all firearms. Because, you see, if they have a good database, they could solve a crime within the hour just like happen on the TV shows, commercial breaks and all!

Of course, they have to find the weapon first. Notice they mention “when a gun is recovered at a crime scene” which in reality does not happen that often. They do not mention that their own statistics show that Time To Crime ( the period of time between original purchase of a firearm and the recovery of that firearm by law enforcement.) can vary from 11 to 14 years which may render the evidentiary value of the gun worthless (Chain of evidence, gun was sold, lost, etc.during that period ) and the few states where Gun Registration has been mandatory, the impact in crime solution has been close to useless.

Has there been cases where a gun has been traced in a timely manner and the culprits found? I am not gonna lie. Yes, there has been cases and one that comes to mind is Border Patrol Officer Brian Terry. Next is a couple of extracts from the DOJs  “A Review of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious and Related Matters


On the evening of December 14, 2010, CBP Agent Brian Terry was shot near Rio Rico, Arizona, while conducting border patrol operations. He was transported for emergency medical services but succumbed to his injuries. Our investigation determined that Burke received an e-mail from the Department of Homeland Security at approximately 3:30 a.m. on December 15, 2010, notifying him of an agent’s murder. The Attorney General and Acting Deputy Attorney General received notification of the murder at approximately 10:00 a.m. the same day from e-mails that DOJ staff forwarded to them from Burke.

Information soon became available that linked two weapons at the Terry murder scene to Operation Fast and Furious. We discuss the link between the weapons purchased by Jaime Avila and those found at the Terry murder scene and Operation Fast and Furious in greater detail in Chapter Four. Burke learned of this connection on the evening of December 15 and e-mailed Wilkinson, stating “[t]he guns found in the desert near the murder [sic] BP officer connect back to the investigation we were going to talk about – they were AK-47s purchased at a Phoenix gun store.” Wilkinson told us that he did not recall advising the Attorney General of this information, and we found no evidence that he did so. McMahon was notified by Newell of the connection on the night of December 15 by e-mail, which McMahon then forwarded to Chait. Hoover emailed Melson at approximately 4:00 a.m. on December 16 to advise Melson that Hoover had received a call from Chait the prior evening informing Hoover that two weapons found at the scene of the shooting were traced back to Operation Fast and Furious. Later on December 16, McMahon sent to Hoover and Chait two briefing papers that they had requested. The first was a December 3 briefing paper. The second was a supplemental briefing paper created on December 16 and that focused on Avila specifically…

…As we discuss in Chapter Five, we believe that the Department’s initial handling of the information it received in mid-December 2010 – that Agent Terry had been killed and that two weapons found at the murder scene traced back to an ATF firearms trafficking investigation – was inadequate. The Department did not make a serious effort until February 2011 to fully understand the circumstances that led to this link between the ATF investigation and the presence of weapons at the murder scene that had been bought by a suspect in the investigation.

So, within hours the ATF, DOJ and the rest of the agencies involved knew that firearms were traced to the Fast And Furious gun walking scheme. Yet, to date, not a single ATF or DOJ official responsible for coming up with this stupid operation has even been indicted, much less prosecuted.  But somehow we are asked…no, demanded to trust the ATF when they say they need to register all the guns and that it is only to punish the evil-doers and nothing else.

Fat Uffing Chance.

If I had my druthers, I’d force ATF to go back to filing 4473 forms in microfilm.

Hat Tip Robert E.

5 Replies to “ATF Firearms Tracing: Not a bug but a feature.”

  1. Sad to see Vimeo commenters are as uninformed as Youtube commenters. The video is a good look at what the ATF has to do, but I could do without the political overtones and sob story…


      1. I have a Vimeo account to host my blog video content (one video so far, watch us grow, haha…) so I always click over to Vimeo content. The commentary is usually very apolitical as Vimeo is more about the art than the message, but sadly this one got kind of derailed by the uninformed.


  2. “…not a single ATF or DOJ official responsible for coming up with this stupid operation has even been indicted, much less prosecuted”

    Or even fired. There were some retirements and a couple transfers from what I understand, and that’s about it.

    A database of firearms will never happen unless people voluntarily tell the ATF about their guns. We all know the likelihood of that happening. Even if they were able to take information off of all the 4473’s currently in gun stores, it would create a database of only a portion of guns, and they would still have no way of knowing where those guns are now unless they went door to door asking. I wouldn’t want to be the government agent charged with doing that.


  3. Registration is crucial for confiscation. Do everything you can to circumvent it. The government is EXPRESSLY FORBIDDEN from taking away your firearms by restricting them, outlawing them, banning them, or “buying them back” and so on.



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