Illinois officials are launching a new investigative tool they believe will help law enforcement agencies throughout the state better address gun violence through identifying and tracking the sources of illegal firearms.
Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined law enforcement officials in Chicago Wednesday to announce the launch of Crime Gun Connect — a state-of-the-art online database Raoul said will allow police departments and law enforcement agencies in Illinois to access gun trace records more efficiently than ever.
“This new platform will digitize gun tracing records that today must be requested on paper, slowing investigations and hampering efforts to bring justice to victims,” Raoul said in a statement.
Crime Gun Connect, which was developed alongside the Illinois State Police and the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, is a searchable, digital database with more than 100,000 crime gun trace records dating back to 2009 from some 200 Illinois law enforcement agencies, according to Raoul’s office.
Those records will be made available to law enforcement agencies throughout the state that are enrolled in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ eTrace system. But Raoul’s office is also launching a publicly available online tool that will let anyone access data related to crime-guns traced in Illinois since 2010.
The website, available through the AG’s website, includes data on gun recoveries specific to different regions and shows how many of those firearms were first sold by out-of-state retailers.
“To solve crimes committed using firearms, we are turning more and more towards technology and increasing information sharing opportunities to help expand the reach and coordination of law enforcement agencies and the justice system,” ISP Director Brendan Kelly said in a statement.