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Durbin bill would incentivize reporting guns recovered from crime scenes

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Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, is introducing a measure that would provide incentives to law enforcement agencies to report the guns they recover from crime scenes to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Tracing Center.

“Crime gun tracing is one of the most basic and powerful tools available to law enforcement as they investigate violent crimes, yet less than half the agencies in Illinois and only one-third of the agencies across the nation take advantage of this free federal resource,” Mr. Durbin said.

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“The information gleaned from a trace can help generate leads in identifying the person who used the gun to commit a crime and, when all guns in an area are traced, it can help law enforcement identify broader crime gun trends and trafficking patterns,” he said.

Mr. Durbin’s Crime Gun Tracing Act amends the application form for a federal grant program to require law enforcement agencies to report how many crime guns they recover, how many are submitted to the ATF for tracing, and the reason why any recovered guns are not submitted.

The bill creates a preference in awarding federal grants to law enforcement agencies who submit every recovered gun for crime tracing the previous year, with some exceptions.

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