The Albuquerque Police Department has launched a new program to help track and trace lost and stolen firearms.
The project named “Save 2 Casings” was created to be able to easily identify a gun if it’s stolen or used in a crime. With responsible firearm owners in mind, the program would eliminate fault on part of the gun owner for any crime committed using their guns, but also to more accurately identify stolen firearms used during a crime. APD has also teamed up with shooting ranges and firearm stores to put the word out, and has been met with some fear and criticism.
On APD’s social media, people had concerns about the program, stating they would not want their legal firearms tracked by a government agency.
TBL Firearms said they proudly support this new program and that “it might reduce gun thefts if criminals know lawful gun owners have shells to connect a stolen weapon. We like the program and will be watching to see if it works.”
The program only requires the two casings to be turned in when the firearm becomes stolen so it can be easier to recover and track.
The program meets one of the goals of Mayor Tim Keller’s Metro Crime Initiative. Community leaders recommended several solutions to fighting crime, including an effort to urge gun owners to self-record serial numbers.
The Save 2 Casings process is simple, and firearm owners just have to put the two casing in the envelope provided by APD with the make, model, caliber and serial number of their firearm.
If the firearm is ever lost or stolen, while filing a police report a gun owner can provide officers with the two spent casings. If the gun is ever used in the commission of a crime after it’s lost or stolen, it better helps law enforcement track that weapon.
“We have seen a high volume of firearms getting into the wrong hands across Albuquerque and used in violent crimes,” said Chief Harold Medina. “We hope the community will partner with us and use this program as a preventative measure to help keep our community safe.”
When officers are provided the spent casings, they’re then entered into the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network. NIBIN only captures and stores firearms evidence from fired ammunition components as part of a criminal investigation.
Informational flyers and the envelopes to store the two spent casings are at every police substation in Albuquerque. There is no cost associated with this program, and participation is completely voluntary but strongly encouraged.
For more information about “Save 2 Casings,” visit APD’s website here.