Everytown Introduces New Gun Tracking Software in Baltimore

Everytown claims its new software can help police crack down on illegal gun dealers. (Photo: Everytown for Gun Safety/ Facebook)

The anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety is partnering with the city of Baltimore to pilot a new gun-tracking software that purports to help police locate gun dealers selling firearms to criminals.

“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, told Axios. “Cities have been operating largely in the dark, and this tool is really a flashlight.”

Feinblatt hopes the software will be used by other cities as well.

“Baltimore is a great test case, and, if successful there, I think that we will move it to other cities,” Feinblatt said.

An anti-gun stronghold, Baltimore has struggled for years with high rates of violent crime. In 2019, the city saw a record-setting 348 murders, and in 2020 the city posted the fifth highest number of murders per capita of any U.S. city.  

City leaders are hoping that identifying and prosecuting illegal, out-of-state gun dealers can help stem the bleeding.

“We know that these weapons are taking lives from us,” said Baltimore mayor Brandon Scott. “Children. Women. Men. Grandparents. Fathers. Uncles. Mothers.”

The firearms industry worries that Everytown’s system is a covert attempt to “name and shame” gun dealers that mistakenly sell a firearm to a straw purchaser. Right now, the Tiahrt Amendment prohibits gun trace data from being made public, but Everytown’s privatized system puts that prohibition in jeopardy.

SEE ALSO; Everytown Cheers Reintroduction of Universal Background Check Bill: A ‘Critical First Step’

“Anti-gun politicians will tell you up and down the line that they want to release Tiahrt Amendment data because they want to ‘expose bad gun dealers,'” Mark Oliva, public affairs director for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told GunsAmerica. “What it could involve is people who are completely unaware. So, if there is a straw purchase at Mark’s Gun Shop, and I had no idea because someone lied on the 4473… this system starts to flag Mark’s Gun Shop as a bad gun dealer.”

Oliva pointed out that everyone in the gun industry wants to root out and prosecute bad actors, but this system could be used to target innocent, law-abiding gun dealers.

Everytown’s software compiles and analyzes information such as gun trace data, ballistics, and shot spotter technology, though its unclear how the organization obtains that data or whether it comes from state or federal sources.

“It takes all of this information and pulls it all together,” Nick Suplina, Managing Director for Law & Policy with Everytown for Gun Safety, told Fox45.

“This tool allows us to look up stream at the sources of those guns and try to cut the problem off at the source,” he continued. “The city of Baltimore, the state of Maryland can have all the gun laws on the books, but if things can easily be trafficked from other states then what good are those laws?”

The mayor elaborated on the technology in an interview with the Baltimore Sun. He said the software will allow police to tell, for example, if a person with 10 handguns had purchased them at different stores or at one location.

SEE ALSO: Everytown Touts New Study Claiming ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws Are Racist

“In essence, what this tool does [is] it enables our detectives to see the full picture of guns fueling the violence here in Baltimore,” Scott said. “With a few clicks, our detectives can see patterns related to where our crime guns are coming from, who they’re coming from and also allows them to see connections between where guns are coming from and how they’re being used on the streets.”

It’s unclear what protections are in place to prevent law-abiding gun dealers from being harassed if the software malfunctions. Everytown did not respond to a GunsAmerica request for comment by publication time.

This isn’t the first big-data software that claims to help police track down bad gun dealers. The Oakland Police Department began using a similar program in 2012, and while it’s been hailed as a success by the city, experts caution that such programs are prone to factual errors and even racial bias.

“There’s a lot of bad data that gets put in these systems,” University of the District of Columbia law professor Andrew Ferguson told The Trace in 2019. “You know the dangers of bad search engines. We shouldn’t blindly trust a search engine that claims it can be the Google for police data.”

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • pc March 8, 2021, 4:23 pm

    Your opening sentence had a typo:

    …help police locate gun dealers selling firearms to criminals.
    …help police locate gun “criminals” selling firearms to criminals.

    Gun Dealers aren’t selling guns to criminals…

  • ea March 8, 2021, 2:50 pm

    Overlay a map of the US with a map of ‘gun violence’ and it becomes starkly obvious that the Democrat-held cities are multi-generation gun violence hotbeds It’s nearly impossible to believe that these cities couldn’t have been substantially cleaned up some time ago. But…if they cleaned up their pig styes they wouldn’t have the ‘gun violence’ issue for elections.

  • Stephen March 8, 2021, 1:22 pm

    Again…

    You can track legal gun owners till your asses fall off, and it will do nothing to put a dent in gun crimes. The problem is not the local gun shop or the people that frequent it. The local shop owner is up to his ass in red tape, and paperwork that does not a damn thing to the criminal! THESE GUYS ARE NOT THE PROBLEM! Criminals are not worried about losing an FFL because they never had one in the first place to lose! Maybe it is time for politicians to have a skull-o-noscopy. What is a skull-o-noscopy, you ask? It is a medical procedure of removing the head from ones backside, enabling the functioning of the brain. In layman’s terms? It’s getting your head out of your ass! Politicians consistently go after the easy target because it’s convenient. They are not doing the hard job of nailing the criminal’s ass to the wall. The weekend shooter and the guys that like to hunt are not the problem here, yet we are the very first ones you ignorant slobs come after! There is a very important rule in shooting… Know your target before you squeeze. If you can’t recognize what you are aiming at? YOU DO NOT SHOOT! The very same thing applies to this! Know who you are persecuting and prosecuting before said innocents kick your ass literally and figuratively! It is one thing to go after a single person, but when you try this with the whole of the legal gun community that runs into the tens of millions? Houston… You have a serious problem!

  • Mario Acevedo March 8, 2021, 9:41 am

    Baltimore, one of the most dangerous cities in America and yet praised by the gun-grabbers for its “common-sense” gun control. When Bloomberg donated $1.8B to nearby John Hopkins University, it was under the stipulation that the school hire armed guards. So not even the chief anti-gunner himself believes in his own rhetoric.

  • JonsOn March 8, 2021, 9:38 am

    Tracking law abiding gun owners as usual will do nothing to deter crime. This is not and never has been about gun safety for the populace. It’s about and always has been about control and disarming a public who would use their 2nd amendment rights when a tyrannical government has overstepped their bounds. In short the democrats don’t want to get shot for enacting socialist and communist policies that most of us find disgusting. If by the end of the Biden and that thing in the photo above’s administration we have not had a revolution I’ll be partially surprised. We have already given up too much of our 2nd amendment rights. The left says we the people should not have weapons of war but that is actually exactly what the 2nd amendment is all about. It’s not in the constitution to allow one to hunt but to stop tyrants like the democrat party from going too far. Which they are trying to do real hard right now.

    • Stephen March 8, 2021, 1:43 pm

      If a few more folks would take the time to see this, there wouldn’t be a problem. That is precisely what the 2nd Amendment was put in there for. It not only deters foreign countries from getting too stupid, but also keeps politicians with a bit too much testosterone in check as well… Ask yourself a serious question. Why did the cold war never get hot? Why did the Axis countries never invade the continental US in WWII? First, the Soviet block didn’t like the idea of mutually assured destruction and all of them knew that if they did pursue that course of action they would have to fight the standing armies as well as the general population as well. In other words, we would have handed them their asses!

  • Y2K March 8, 2021, 6:34 am

    “In essence, what this tool does [is] it enables our detectives to see the full picture of guns fueling the violence here in Baltimore,” Scott said.

    There is the disconnect.

    Violent people, criminals, thugs, etc “fuel” the violence not the tool.

    They will use whatever tool they can get.

    • Bad Penguin March 8, 2021, 7:39 am

      Maybe they should actually prosecuting people for gun crime instead of letting them plead down.

  • chinchbug March 5, 2021, 9:37 pm

    That’s racist. Why don’t they launch this program in Cheyenne Wyoming?

    • SD March 8, 2021, 9:03 am

      Maybe because they don’t have the crime problem in Cheyenne. Wonder why?

    • Stephen March 8, 2021, 1:26 pm

      Why not Cheyenne? Because the people of Cheyenne wouldn’t allow it! THAT’S WHY!

    • Stephen March 8, 2021, 1:31 pm

      Excuse me…

      Why is that racist?

  • Stan d. Upnow March 5, 2021, 12:58 pm

    Why do I smell a smokescreen for true intent? Violent criminals, who mostly go unapprehended, don’t usually leave their guns behind at a crime scene. Which means only those guns recovered by police can be traced.
    Without access to a retailer’s Bound Book(kept transaction records), this software is useless. With such access, the software user(s) will have unobstructed access to Every firearm transaction at Every gun shop. That is de facto gun registration!
    I worked for a gun shop, and occasionally we got a visit from BATF to trace a firearm recovered from a crime/criminal. They would have to use the serial # to do a search through our records to find out who the gun was (originally)sold to. But, the point is, those records remained restricted and in-house. This scheme would not only give any govt. at any level access to those records, but who knows who else might have access to them. This software package, like everything else pouring out of the twisted, Leftist minds of the Progressive-Socialists, is a violation of our rights, traditions, and actually existing law.

    • Stephen March 8, 2021, 1:29 pm

      You are absolutely correct sir!

  • Crime Stats March 5, 2021, 10:44 am

    They worry about selling a gun to a criminal, but if there is a list of dangerous criminals, perhaps there is a place to keep those dangerous criminals separate from society, so they can’t buy guns?

    • Zupglick March 8, 2021, 11:41 am

      Because they would put all conservatives on that “Dangerous Criminal” list.

  • Clint W. March 5, 2021, 9:05 am

    If the US was a body, Baltimore would be the rectum. Years of left wing politics, corrupt mayors, has driven the majority of its tax base elsewhere. There is nothing left but those who can’t get out and every kind of hopeless human debris imaginable. Maryland already has some serious gun laws, especially for the legal purchase of a handgun. This is not a piece of metal problem, this is a people problem.

    • Ken March 8, 2021, 10:14 am

      Let’s be honest. if the US was a body Washington DC and Baltimore would have to fight it out to actually determine which city would win the right to be considered the Nations A$$hole !!

      • Stephen March 8, 2021, 1:45 pm

        Sorry people… DC owns that one!

  • Joe Thomas March 5, 2021, 8:20 am

    Keep them poor, keep them down, keep them uneducated and keep them defenseless.

  • paul March 4, 2021, 6:01 pm

    The police already search for the origin of the gun, so why does a bunch of antigun civilians need this info? Sounds like an anti privacy campaign for the purpose of harassment and attacks on the law abiding!

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