Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library

Canada. 2011 ‘Measures Taken for Undertaking Traces and Responding to Tracing Requests.’ National Report of Canada on its Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA). New York, NY: Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations. 4 May

Relevant contents

Measures Taken for Undertaking Traces and Responding to Tracing Requests

The Canadian Integrated Ballistics Identification Network (CIBIN) links seized or found firearms to crimes through comparison of fired bullets and cartridge cases recovered from crime scenes. The RCMP Canadian National Firearms Tracing Centre (CNFTC) provides a centralized tracing support available to all law enforcement agencies in Canada. The serial number and/or the firearm identification number recorded at the time of registration allow it to be traced. In addition, Canadian firearms legislation requires each firearm to be registered against the manufacturer's inventory at the time of production, or the importer's inventory at the time of importation and at every subsequent transfer. With this system, a quick electronic registration query can replace many hours or days of intensive police work identifying the last legal owners of firearms, possibly providing valuable investigative leads.

There are three types of traces conducted by the RCMP:

1. Canadian trace: tracing the history of firearms registered in or imported into Canada. Requests for tracing may be received from law enforcement agencies within Canada, such as municipal or provincial agencies, or outside Canada;

2. US Trace: tracing firearms that were either manufactured in the US of imported into the US by a Federal Firearms Licensee through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Tracing Center. The CNFTC has an online connection to the USA, "E-trace", for this purpose.

3. International Trace: tracing firearms that were manufactured outside North America. Generally coordinated through Interpol Ottawa, in some cases foreign manufacturers may be contacted directly.

[RCMP: Royal Canadian Mounted Police]

[Editor's Note: After reviewing available legislation and other source documents, GunPolicy.org found no evidence of a provision in law to regulate the 'ballistic fingerprinting' aspect of firearm policy. As some authorities enforce restrictions only in practice, the mere absence of a published legal provision should be treated with caution]

ID: Q9163

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