re: ATF's Gun Tracing System Is A Dud
ATF is already in violation of the Firearm Owners Protection Act, but profess that any system of records begun prior to enactment in 1986 are exempt from the law.... Note that the law does not exempt paper nor microfilm registration records. It specifically prohibits "any system of registration of firearms, firearm owners, or firearms transactions or disposition". The ATF Firearms Tracing System is precisely such a registration system prohibited by law.
"No such rule or regulation prescribed [by the Attorney General] after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established. Nothing in this section expands or restricts the Secretary's authority to inquire into the disposition of any firearm in the course of a criminal investigation."
Nevertheless, the ATF Firearms Tracing System (FTS) contains hundreds of millions of firearm tracing and registration records, and consists of several databases:
1. Multiple Sale Reports. Over 460,000 (2003) Multiple Sales reports (ATF F 3310.4 - a registration record with specific firearms and owner name and address - increasing by about 140,000 per year). Reported as 4.2 million records in 2010.
2. Suspect Guns. All guns "suspected" of being used for criminal purposes but not recovered by law enforcement. This database includes (ATF's own examples), individuals purchasing large quantities of firearms, and dealers with improper record keeping. May include guns observed by law enforcement in an estate, or at a gun show, or elsewhere. Reported as 34,807 in 2010.
3. Traced Guns. Over 4 million detail records from all traces since inception.This is a registration record which includes the personal information of the first retail purchaser, along with the identity of the selling dealer.
4. Out of Business Records. Data is manually collected from paper Out-of-Business records (or input from computer records) and entered into the trace system by ATF. These are registration records which include name and address, make, model, serial and caliber of the firearm(s), as well as data from the 4473 form - in digital or image format. In March, 2010, ATF reported receiving several hundred million records since 1968.
5. Theft Guns. Firearms reported as stolen to ATF. Contained 330,000 records in 2010. Contains only thefts from licensed dealers and interstate carriers (optional). Does not have an interface to the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) theft data base, where the majority of stolen, lost and missing firearms are reported.