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Article updated: 7/21/2013 9:11 PM

Durbin introducing bill to encourage gun tracing

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By Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is introducing legislation to encourage law enforcement to report guns recovered from violent crimes to a national database so they may be traced.

Durbin says the measure will help target gun trafficking networks and solve violent crimes. He calls the database run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives "one of the most powerful and basic crime-fighting tools available."

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The Illinois Democrat says less than half of law enforcement agencies in Illinois and one-third of agencies nationwide currently report firearms to the database.

His legislation would provide a preference in federal community policing grants for agencies that have worked with ATF to trace guns in the previous year.

Durbin will be joined by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart when he announces the legislation Monday.

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