Letter: Tracing guns won’t prevent crime

To claim that restrictions on ATF contribute to mass shootings is ridiculous!

If they were allowed to register all guns to gun owners, it might speed up the determination of who once owned a gun that was used in a crime but would never prevent the crime.

As it is, all dealers who leave the firearms business are required to send their records of sales and serial numbers to ATF. Those in business, of course, still have such records in-house. If ATF doesn’t bother to file or computerize the information into a searchable form as they receive it, that is a self-inflicted problem. Between manufacturers, current dealers and out-of-business dealers’ records, the identity of the initial purchaser can usually be determined.

Bureau Chief Hauser admits that urgent traces are usually done in an hour and routine traces done within several days.

In mass killings such as are now being discussed, the killer usually kills himself or is caught. The tracing of his armament is of interest but has little relevance to preventing the deed.

— Don Neal