A crime lab in the San Francisco Bay area has made an impressive dent in gun violence by helping local cops swiftly identify weapons used in crime through the 20-year-old National Integrated Ballistic Information Network. So why aren’t other police departments taking advantage of the network?
Pennsylvania led the five states which recorded the largest number of denials, according to a Bureau of Justice Statistics study of national data on firearms background checks released this week. The data showed the overall 1.4 percent denial rate in 2015 has stayed roughly the same over the two decades since passage of the Brady Act.
The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence is calling on two internet service providers to disable websites that sell materials and tools to create homemade weapons known as ghost guns. The firms that sell the gun components say they are legal businesses that adhere to the law.
Burglars have hit St. Louis-area gun stores at least eight times this year, including twice last week. Across the country, federal licensees reported 7,488 guns stolen in burglaries last year, a 59 percent increase over 2015.
Advancements in milling and 3-D printing technology allow people to assemble their own guns in basements and garages. The weapons have no serial numbers, making them impossible to trace if they turn up at a crime scene.
A provision slipped into a funding bill would prohibit the ATF from using any funds to enforce a rule requiring gun dealers in Southwestern border states to report bulk sales of rifles and shotguns. Bulk purchases are considered red flags for possible gun trafficking.
Treating minor gun crimes as future homicides has helped to cut down on violence in Houston, and a key tool for investigators is the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network, now much improved from the original program first introduced by the feds in 1999.
An investigation by The Trace reveals most dealers located near a recent burglary did not recall being contacted under ATF’s recently established automated “fflAlert” system. The ATF says it is still modifying the system to “increase its effectiveness.”
The agency has found that some law enforcement officers in southern California are buying and reselling guns in what could be a violation of federal firearms laws. The head of the ATF’s Los Angeles division describes the finding as an “emerging problem.”