In the next few weeks, every gun seized in every crime by every police department in New Jersey will be traced from the hand of the criminal all they way back to the manufacturer, reports the Newark Star-Ledger. This program, called NJ Trace, is a sweeping, ambitious undertaking, considering that last year only 3,600 of 33,000 guns seized in crimes were traced.
A partnership between the New Jersey State Police and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will allow local police to submit and retrieve information on guns electronically from a federal database through new State Police software. A new directive by Attorney General Anne Milgram will order every police department to trace every gun used in every crime. Jose Cordero, the former East Orange police director now in charge of the state’s anti-crime measures aimed at gangs and guns, said such “intelligence will help us get ahead of the curve. We can’t just be reactive and try to solve these crimes after they happen. We have to get these guns before the crimes occur.”