A Letter on eTrace

A JPFO member’ letter questioning aspects of eTrace,
for sending to Senators and Congressmen.



Dear (Senator or Representative).

Please do not disclose my name in connection with this inquiry.

Please ask the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, why are they disclosing names and addresses of law abiding American gun owners to the most corrupt Mexican police? Why are they are training and allowing corrupt Mexican police to use the BATFE eTrace system? Why have they created a massive gun registration system in violation of the Gun Owners Protection Act of 1986 (18 U.S.C. 926(a))?

BATF’s eTrace system does not distinguish between legitimate, erroneous, false, fake, fraudulent or phony traces, and reveals names and addresses of innocent Americans who legally bought a firearm some time in the past - even years ago. This is a grave disservice to Americans. BATFE has created a huge centralized Firearms Registration System (called the Firearms Tracing System) containing over 100 million records of firearms, firearm owners, firearm transactions and firearms dispositions in direct violation of the Gun Owners Protection Act of 1986 (18 U.S.C. 926(a)). eTrace has full access to those records. BATFE claims they only trace "crime guns", but this is false. They trace any gun chosen by ATF or other law enforcement whether used in a crime or not, and have no control over traces by Mexican or other foreign police.

The Mexican Army recently disarmed corrupt Mexican Police in the cities of Tijuana, Nuevo Laredo, and Matamoros, and arrested corrupt Police Commanders in Mexico City - the same cities where BATFE conducted eTrace training sessions in FY08 and 09 (GAO Report 09-709). The Mexican Government reports, "Almost half of Mexican police officers examined this year (2008) failed background and security tests, a figure that rises to nearly 9 of 10 cops in the border state of Baja California" (AP). Mexican President Felipe Calderon admitted that corruption permeates Mexico’s low-paid police at all levels. The Mexican Army also has corruption issues. The most corrupt police in all of Mexico have been trained by BATFE to retrieve American gun owners personal information with names and addresses. Worse yet, BATFE plans to give eTrace to all 31 states within Mexico (William Hoover, Assistant Director, ATF Field Operations, Feb. 7, 2008).

Years ago, if you innocently bought a new Colt AR-15 (or any other gun), later sold it, and it’s found in Mexico, BATFE gives your name and address to corrupt Mexican police, and you will be placed on a Mexican and BATFE gun trafficker suspect list. Your innocence is irrelevant. According to BATFE, a traced name and address is never removed.

Should we be uneasy because corrupt Mexican police officials have our personal information as a result of erroneous or fraudulent traces? The next time we travel in Mexico, will the Mexican Police take a special interest in us because of false traces? When we cross the border, will corrupt Mexican Police pass along our name and address so a drug cartel can visit our homes to collect our firearms while we are gone? Allowing corrupt foreign police access to the eTrace system places Americans at risk when we travel to foreign countries.

In addition to Mexico, BATFE opened a special eTrace center in Columbia - where the police openly admit that many dirty cops work for organized crime. BATFE allows access to American gun owner names and addresses through direct eTrace access in the following countries: Mexico, Columbia, Suriname, Tobago, Guyana, Canada, Germany, Bahamas, Jamaica, The Dominican Republic, Barbados, Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda, Aruba, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, St Vincent, The Grenadines, St. Lucia, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, St. Kitts, Nevis, several other Caribbean police forces, Britain, Australia, and Japan. How many of these countries also have corruption issues - or have a special interest in identifying American gun owners?

These issues are very important to all gun owners, so I respectfully request a quick response to my letter. In three weeks, I will release this letter and your response (if any) in a public disclosure to all gun owners in our state.


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