The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive's automated phone call system that alerts gun stores about break-ins at gun stores nearby is not working, The Trace reported.
The agency said "fflAlert" is supposed to contact federally licensed firearms dealers, or FFLs, when a store has been robbed in their county. But many of the calls are not getting through, according to licensed dealers operating in Kansas, Florida, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Washington.
At 21 of 25 stores, the manager or owner told The Trace they did not receive a warning call when there was a theft nearby. Many dealers said they heard of break-ins on the news or by word of mouth, while a handful said they received visits from law enforcement following the burglaries. Seven said their first alert of a theft was from the Trace.
The ATF launched fflAlert in 2016 when there were over 500 burglaries at gun stores nationwide.
"The system is designed to call each FFL once," ATF spokesperson Mary Markos told The Trace when asked about the issue. "Unfortunately, we do not have a system in place to continue calling until someone answers, but the system does leave the information on voicemail. As it is a new program, we will continue to modify and refine it to increase its effectiveness."
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