U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin wants Illinois police departments to use a federal firearms tracing system that can tell investigators the chain of custody of a gun from the manufacturer to the first legal purchaser.
Durbin says fewer than half of Illinois’ more than 800 police departments use the eTrace program of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He said Monday he will be introducing legislation creating an incentive for police to use eTrace.
The legislation would require police departments seeking federal COPS grants to tell the federal government how many crime guns they’ve recovered. They would have to report how many were submitted to ATF for tracing and why any recovered guns were not submitted.
COPS grants are designed to encourage the development of community policing programs.