Where are Importer records

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by marlin92, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. marlin92

    marlin92 Well-Known Member

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    Basically as I suspected the importer sends their records to the BATF and they maintain them only for use by Law Enforcement, the public cannot access them BUMMER

    Here is the complete response I received

    Thank you for your recent inquiry to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). This is in response to your email, in which you inquired whether ATF can provide you with copies of records pertaining to an out-of-business Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) importer of firearms.


    Licensed importers are required to maintain certain records until they go out of business. Upon going out of the business the licensed importer must surrender the records to ATF.


    ATF’s National Tracing Center (NTC) is the only organization authorized to trace U.S. and foreign manufactured firearms for international, Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies. Its purpose is to provide investigative leads in the fight against violent crime and terrorism and to enhance public safety. Firearms trace requests may be submitted by any law enforcement agency in the course of a bona fide criminal investigation.



    ATF may fulfill trace requests by law enforcement agencies only in accordance withPub. L. 112–55, div. B, title II, Nov. 18, 2011, 125 Stat. 609, that provides in part: ‘‘That, during the current fiscal year and in each fiscal year thereafter, no funds appropriated under this or any other Act may be used to disclose part or all of the contents of the Firearms Trace System database maintained by the National Trace Center of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or any information required to be kept by licensees pursuant to section 923(g) of title 18, United States Code, or required to be reported pursuant to paragraphs (3) and (7) of such section, except to: (1) a Federal, State, local, or tribal law enforcement agency, or a Federal, State, or local prosecutor; or (2) a foreign law enforcement agency solely in connection with or for use in a criminal investigation or prosecution; or (3) a Federal agency for a national security or intelligence purpose…”


    The Firearms Services Section, Law Enforcement Support Branch, will search the records maintained at the National Tracing Center (NTC) from out of business Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) pursuant to a request from ATF or other accredited law enforcement agency as part of a bona fide criminal investigation. Law enforcement regularly makes such requests to obtain the serial number of a firearm that was stolen from an individual.


    Private Citizens: A private citizen needing to obtain the serial number of a stolen firearm purchased from an FFL which has since discontinued business will need to contact local law enforcement and request that the agency submit a Record Search Request. The NTC can only provide firearms records to law enforcement personnel, not to the general public. The aforementioned information applies to private requests to obtain any information pertaining to firearms records maintained at the NTC. Accordingly, ATF cannot assist you with your request.


    We trust the foregoing has been responsive to your inquiry. Should you have additional questions, please contact your local ATF office. A listing of ATF office phone numbers can be found here.
     

  2. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    You got an incredibly detailed response! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Although the response says that an out-of-business company "must surrender the records to ATF", that doesn't mean that the company or its successor can't keep a copy. But locating and obtaining such a private copy would likely be very difficult. After all, companies like Winchester and Smith & Wesson which have effectively gone out of business and been taken over by other owners multiple times still maintain their archives and can tell you when and to whom a gun they produced was shipped.

    Prior to the advent of digital records storage most companies of significant size would microfiche their records -- although some might store the original paper records with a document storage company. I'll bet those records for Sako importers exist somewhere. Maybe we should seek a change in the law consistent with the C&R language which allows the release of historic ATF records that are 50 or more years old? After all, we're not interested in researching crime, we're simply interested in history.
     
  3. marlin92

    marlin92 Well-Known Member

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    It would be a great find if copies of the records could be located giving individuals access but the likelihood is probable slim, but
    may be a better chance than changing the law in our lifetime.
     

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