AXIOS – March 3, 2021 – Baltimore is piloting a software program developed by Everytown for Gun Safety that will enable it for the first time to identify patterns of gun trafficking and illegal sales.
Why it matters: If successful, this crime-fighting software — which draws data from multiple systems and connects the dots — could be used to crack down in many cities where gun violence is a big problem.
Driving the news: Everytown, the gun control advocacy group, worked in-house and with an outside software developer to create the tool — described first to Axios — and partnered with Baltimore to tailor it to the city’s needs.
The system — dubbed “Gun Trafficking Intelligence Platform” — looks at weapons involved in crimes and works to identify patterns.
It can pinpoint gun shows and individual dealers who serve as major suppliers, plus the names of repeat “straw purchasers,” who buy firearms on behalf of prohibited buyers.
“By aggregating data, you are not solving one crime at a time, but you’re actually seeing patterns that allow you to unlock trafficking enterprises,” John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, tells Axios.
“Cities have been operating largely in the dark, and this tool is really a flashlight.” [full article]