Sept. 16, 2013
A federal program that will share information on guns used in crimes has started a test project in Virginia.
The program gives law enforcement agencies instant access to a database that can help them link suspects to guns in a criminal investigation. It also could help detect potential gun traffickers and straw purchasers, and identify patterns involving sources and types of weapons used in crimes.
Media outlets report that over two dozen law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth have signed agreements to share gun crime data since the program was launched in July.
The program is an expansion of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Electronic Tracing System based in Martinsburg, West Virginia
Officials with the ATF say authorities plan to expand the program to other states.
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