Virginia is test state for gun data program - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Virginia is test state for gun data program

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A federal program that will share information on guns used in crimes has started a test project in Virginia.

The program gives law enforcement agencies instant access to a database that can help them link suspects to guns in a criminal investigation. It also could help detect potential gun traffickers and straw purchasers, and identify patterns involving sources and types of weapons used in crimes.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports 25 law enforcement agencies in Virginia have signed agreements to share gun crime data since the program was launched in July.

The program is an expansion of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Electronic Tracing System based in Martinsburg, W.Va.

ATF Special Agent April Carroll says authorities plan to expand the program to other states.

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