Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said this week he will introduce legislation to encourage more police departments to use a federal system to track firearms used in crimes, reports the Chicago Tribune. Durbin said that despite repeated encouragement, only 392 of the approximately 800 law enforcement agencies in Illinois are using the federal ATF computerized gun-tracing center to track how guns got into criminals’ hands.
Durbin said his plan would make federal COPS grants contingent on a local agency’s use of ATF gun tracing. Though Congress has shown little interest in gun-related legislation, Durbin said he believed such a measure could gain support because it involves tracking only guns that were used in crimes. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said ATF tracking can uncover gun “pipelines” to gangs and straw purchases.“If you’re opposed to this, you’re for criminals,” Dart said. “It really is that simple.”