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New IL Database Allows Police To Access Info On Illegal Gun Moves

Illinois law enforcement leaders fighting a surge in gun violence launched a searchable database they say will allow police departments more quickly to access information on how illegal firearms are moving around the state, reports the Chicago Tribune. The Crime Gun Connect platform, available to law enforcement only, contains 100,000 federal gun trace records from 200 Illinois police agencies. The Illinois attorney general’s office worked with data scientists to build the platform, which will allow records to be searched, sorted and filtered by law enforcement agencies that are seeking details and patterns about how firearms move into the illegal market and are, potentially, used in violent crimes.

The platform stands to “modernize and simplify” the current way police investigate gun trafficking and other gun crimes across the state, said Attorney General Kwame Raoul. Trace data and information on guns recovered in crimes is provided to local law enforcement agencies that request it by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Federal law prohibits ATF from digitizing any of the data, so it has historically been provided on paper or in PDF form and can be cumbersome to use in investigations. Crime Gun Connect, built in collaboration with the Illinois State Police and gun safety group Everytown for Gun Safety, is designed to address that problem, said Adam Braun, executive deputy attorney general. Officials showed an example of the type of patterns that could be found in the database: Nine handguns recovered near a Chicago neighborhood where gun violence is prevalent were all purchased within weeks of each other in the same part of Indianapolis. “To us, that is a clear indication of someone who is engaged in trafficking and straw purchasing,” Braun said.


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