Inside the ATF’s gun tracing center, where they make like the 1970s on purpose

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ National Tracing Center (NTC) is the only organization authorized to trace guns in the U.S., and they do it in West Virginia.

The above video, by director Steven Brahms, goes inside the connexes, vaults and offices in Martinsburg, where they meet the ATF’s stacks of yellowing 4473s and even older forms on microfilm. Due to restrictions on keeping an automated or electronically searchable database of gun transactions or gun owners, such as the one the GSA smacked their hands over last month, when the agency gets digital records such as Excel spreadsheets from dealers going out of business, ATF prints them out and turns them into .Tiff images.

There is also some bonus footage shot inside the 17,000 weapon firearms vault complete with an interesting drawer of AOWs shown off including a cigarette pack gun and a cane gun.