Local Sheriff's Office Uses Pilot Program to Help Trace Guns

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. -- A paperless way to trace firearms is being tested in Virginia.

The eTrace program is through the Department of Justice, specifically the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Some localities are taking part, including the Augusta County Sheriff's Office.

They currently submit detailed forms to Virginia State Police, including information about the make and model of the gun among other things.

The Sheriff's Office must submit the forms within seven days of recovering a firearm.

Deputy Felisha Glick said the system could be a quick way to get results.

The eTrace program doesn't replace paper, it just takes it another step.

For instance, with the recent bank robbery in Augusta County, Deputy Glick said one of the guns found wasn't stolen.

They can put that gun in the eTrace system, and it could connect with another case in a different jurisdiction.

Because the pilot program just started about eight weeks ago, Deputy Glick said they can't tell the benefits just yet.

"As we become increasingly aware of gun crimes and violence, the sooner we know about a particular weapon and can trace it back to individuals that may own the weapon that hopefully the sooner we can capture a suspect and hopefully prevent any future crimes," said Deputy Glick.

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