Last month, in partnership with Boston and Massachusetts state police and other local law enforcement officials, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives opened the region’s first Crime Gun Intelligence Center. The center will provide authorities with the tools and resources they need to more quickly identify gun smuggling.

Similar centers in Chicago, Denver, and New Orleans have already been successful in helping to solve gun crimes.

“The Crime Gun Intelligence Center would serve as a warehouse of state-of-the-art databases that would allow investigators to not only determine the origins of a gun, but also proactively cross-reference that with other data: What other guns came from that source, whether they were used, and by whom,” writes The Boston Globe‘s Milton J. Valencia. “The databases would allow investigators to determine whether a gun owner sought to buy guns elsewhere, or whether a licensed dealer sold more than one gun to a person. Or, if one specific type of gun is being used.”

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