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Paper gun sale records pile up with ATF prevented from upgrading tracing

The ATF traces guns used in crimes, however federal law is getting in the way. Gun sales have to be recorded but there’s no law requiring dealers to digitize them, causing stacks of documents to pile up. There’s currently no way to enter a serial number and search for the gun owner. Many say the decades old tracing system needs to be updated.



The ATF is unable to upgrade its tracing system, so paper records of gun sales continue to pile up.

Time spent: 3:27

Although the ATF attempts to track down the origin of stolen firearms, federal law often stands in the way. There is no regulation requiring gun shops to digitize the paperwork associated with gun sales, so the paperwork piles up. The current system does not allow users to enter a serial number and locate the owner of a firearm. People have been talking for years about the need to upgrade the antiquated tracing system.