Firearms are traced in order to link a suspect to a firearm in a criminal investigation; to identify potential traffickers (whether licensed or unlicensed sellers); and when sufficiently comprehensive tracing is undertaken by a given community, to detect in-state, interstate, and international patterns in the sources and kinds of crime guns.
Firearms trace requests may be submitted to any law enforcement agency in the course of a bona fide criminal investigation. Trace request forms (ATF F 3312.1, National Tracing Center Trace Request) are available online or by contacting the ATF National Tracing Center at 1-800-788-7133.
ATF eTrace Program (Webpage)
Submitting Firearms Trace Requests (Webpage)
FFL Burglary and Robbery Statistics 2012-2016 (Publication)