A new federal ATF gun tracing report shows more guns are traced in Tampa compared to every city in the state except for Jacksonville. Federal Agent Kevin Richardson tells us why that's so important for Tampa.
"It helps us solve homicides, helps us to detect trafficking cases.. gun tracing has helped us in cold cases." says Agent Richardson.
Investigators with ATF rely on tracking where guns come from after a crime happens.
"What it does is it helps lead us to the first purchaser of the firearm." says Agent Richardson
During the night club shooting in Orlando, Tampa ATF agents helped track down where the shooters guns came from.
Agent Richardson tells us "As soon as that information was given to us we began what we call an urgent trace."
Turns out the shooter legally bought the guns he used and was the first buyer, but if he wasn't it could have opened more doors for investigators.
"What that might have done is led to another lead, it might have lead to another conspirator, another terrorist, so those are the important aspects of tracing." adds Richardson.
Inside a new ATF report, it shows agents traced 19,385 guns used in crimes in Florida last year. It breaks down what types of guns were seized and traced most... Pistols. It even breaks down which caliber they see most, a 9MM.
Tampa takes a commanding lead in gun tracing.. the second most in the state.
ATF agents say part of this is because more guns are being seized in Tampa Bay, the other reason is Tampa has better gun tracing resources and technology compared to the rest of the state. See the report right here: