The number of firearms recovered and traced by law enforcement in Connecticut was in decline until last year, when about 1,340 were recovered — more than double what was reported in 2013.
According to tracking data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the number of firearms recovered and traced in 2014 exceeded levels not seen since 2006.
Firearm traces are designed to help law enforcement conduct investigations by tracking the sale and possession of specific firearms. Not all firearms used in crime are traced.
A spike in traces could be attributed to an increase in recoveries of guns used in crimes or because a police department instituted a new policy to widen the use scope of trace requests, said Timothy Carroll, Resident Agent in Charge of the ATF Hartford Field Office. A large seizure of firearms could also explain the increase. The ATF only works on investigating the history of a firearm at the request of law enforcement and not the actual investigation of the crime that inspired the trace.
Nearly all types of firearms saw an increase in recoveries and traces.
However, receivers and frames, which house the working parts of a gun, increased exponentially between 2013 and 2014 from five to 435. Before 2014, there were only between 1 and 5 recovered a year.
Also, firearms categorized as “firearm under investigation” nearly quadrupled between 2013 and 2014.
Scroll below to see the number of recoveries for the top ten Connecticut towns each year since 2010. Or check out the data we collected.