wls wrote:OK.....a gun that was traded 25 years ago was able to be traced back to the original purchaser! If we don’t have gun registration I don’t know what is. I remember seeing a show a few years ago where the ATF (or FBI ?) showed the warehouse where all the 4473’s were stored and they were complaining that to trace a gun they had to manually go through the records and wanted to computerize them. I thought the government was supposed to keep 4473’s after a certain period of time. Sure sounds like registration to me!
The process is-
Gun is used in a crime. ATF contacts the manufacturer. The manufacturer gives them the distributor.
The distributor gives then the retailer.
The retailer goes to their bound book to find who they sold the gun to. If the retailer is no longer in business ATF has to go to their records department for the bound books sent by ffls who have closed. This is a manual search. The records are not computerized or indexed. Depending on the ffl volume and record keeping skill and organization this may take weeks.
At this point the trail stops.
Private party sales are not recorded. The original purchaser may be the ultimate owner. Or they may not. The only way to continue is to contact the next owner....if it is known, they haven't moved, etc and ask about the gun.
It may lead back to somebody else. Or another ffl. So we go through bound books again.
It's a detective game where nobody knows where any of the clues are.