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Think Again

In July 2022, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina launched Think Again, an informational campaign aimed at educating the public on how to prevent illegal firearms from getting into the wrong hands.

Think Again

The U.S. Attorney’s Office partnered with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) in this initiative, in a joint effort to reduce gun-induced violence and to increase reporting of illegal firearms activity.

The Think Again campaign combines a multi-media dissemination of information, to include 30-second radio spots, Public Service Announcements, promoted social media messaging and billboard advertisements designed to increase awareness about gun crimes and underscore the dangers of illegal firearms purchasing or misuse.


The information is also shared with certain school districts in Western North Carolina in an effort to engage directly with students, guardians, teachers, and school administrators. Another component of this campaign is educating Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) on how to spot illegal gun purchases and the penalties associated with straw purchasing of firearms. This information is disseminated to FFLs in Western North Carolina via ATF’s notification system.

You can view our Think Again Public Service Announcements here.


Think Again Billboards - Charlotte

ATF Tips

We need the public’s help in our efforts to remove crime from our streets. An important component of the campaign is the reporting of gun-related crimes. The campaign encourages the public to get involved by submitting a tip to ATF about illegal firearms activity. The tip can be anonymous. Our shared goal is to keep communities safe, reduce criminal activity and remove illegal firearms without violating the public’s privacy. 

Confidential information about illegal firearms activity can be submitted via text by sending the code “ATFCHAR” to 63975 or by calling or emailing ATF:

Reporting of All Criminal Activity
1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477)

Illegal Firearms Activity
1-800-ATF-GUNS (1-800-283-4867)

Firearms Theft Hotline

National Tracing Center
1-800-788-7133 (Law Enforcement Only)
Fax: 1-800-578-7223 

Confidential tips can also be submitted to ATF online at WWW.ATF.GOV/ATF-TIPS or through the ReportIt® mobile app, available on both Google Play and the Apple App Store, or by visiting the ReportIt® website from your computer ( or phone ( The public can report suspicious or unusual activities in real time while having the assurance that your identity will remain anonymous and confidential.

What is the ReportIt® App?

ATF has partnered with ReportIt® to provide a simple to use mobile app that allows users to anonymously and confidentially submit tips about crimes that may be happening in your communities that involve firearms, explosives and arson and violent crime. ReportIt® is an independent entity that provides anonymous communication services to organizations around the world.

ReportIt® makes it easy to create and submit a tip, and attach a photo or video, with confidence that the information is forwarded to ATF right away. With the time and location of the incident, ATF can better respond and provide the necessary resources quickly and efficiently. When using the app, you will have the option to provide personal information, but it is not required to submit a tip. You can visit the ReportIt® website for more information on their service.

What kind of tips can I submit? 

You can submit any tip about crimes that may be happening in your communities that involve firearms, violent crime, explosives, and arson. 

How do I submit a tip?

You can use your mobile device for the ReportIt® system. You can also use ATF’s submission form on the ATF website, which is also anonymous.

Can I submit a tip in a language other than English?

Even though the ReportIt® app is in English, you can still report your tip in other languages.  You can submit tips in 17 languages other than English: Spanish, French, Arabic, Hungarian, Italian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Chinese, Dutch, Filipino, German, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Greek and Ukrainian. The multi-language function is available on the web mobile version only.

To submit tips in other languages you can:

  • Go to on your phone and choose your language.
  • Send a text to 63975 using your local field division code, click on the ReportIt® link that’s texted back to you, choose your language and follow the prompts to report your tip. For example, if you have a tip for the ATF Charlotte Field Division, send the code “ATFCHAR” to 63975.

Reporting Firearms Theft or Loss

ATF does not take reports of stolen firearms from private citizens. Any Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) who has knowledge of the theft or loss of any firearms from their inventory must report such theft or loss within 48 hours of discovery to ATF and to the local law enforcement agency (Regulations at 27 CFR § 478.39a and implementing 18 U.S.C. § 923(g)(6) require that the report of theft or loss be made by telephone and in writing to ATF).

Please visit ATF’s website on How to Report Firearms Theft of Loss for detailed instructions.

If you are an FFL with questions about the reporting of theft or loss of firearms, contact ATF's Stolen Firearms Program Manager toll free at 1-888-930-9275. They can also assist in the preparation of the Theft / Loss Report for submission. Normal business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Upon discovery of any theft or loss of any of your firearms:

  1. First, call your local law enforcement agency to report the theft or loss. Contacting the local law enforcement authorities is essential to the quick recovery of firearms taken in a crime. If the firearms are unaccounted for during inventory, you should make it clear to the authorities that there is no evidence of a crime and that the disposition of these firearms is unknown and may stem from a record keeping error.
  1. Second, call the ATF’s Stolen Firearms Program Manager toll free at 1-888-930-9275. They can also assist in the preparation of the Theft/Loss Report for submission. ATF will work with the local law enforcement authorities investigating the theft.
  1. Third, complete the report form (ATF Form 3310.11) and attach any continuation sheets necessary (ATF Form 3310.11A) and mail it to ATF’s National Tracing Center. Be sure to submit the original form(s) to ATF and retain copies for your records.

Email or fax your 3310.11 (Theft/Loss) or 3310.6 (Interstate):

Regular Fax: (304) 260-3671

Fax via Avaya Email: (304) 260-3676

Reporting for Non-FFLs

ATF does not take reports of stolen firearms from private citizens. If you are an individual needing assistance in obtaining a serial number for a firearm, ATF is unable to assist private citizens in locating serial numbers as there is no national registration system. One of the following options may assist you:

  1. Contact the firearms dealer where you purchased the firearm.
  1. If the firearms dealer is out of business and your inquiry is in reference to a stolen firearm, contact your local police department. It is possible they will submit a request to the National Tracing Center for a Records Search Request assuming the circumstances are connected to a bona fide criminal investigation.
  1. Contact your state firearms registration office if your state has one.

Resources for Law Enforcement

If you are a law enforcement agency and require assistance in obtaining a serial number for a firearm reported stolen by an individual, your request to ATF must be in writing. 

A search of the Out of Business Records can be obtained for a bona fide criminal investigation. Send the request on letterhead/fax to ATF, with your ORI along with your name and case number.

You must also provide the name of the dealer, time frame of purchase, firearm information and all the purchaser information including any identifiers. Your request can be faxed to ATF at 800-578-7223, attention Record Search Requests.

Related Resources

Loss Prevention for Firearms Retailers 

Questions and Answers Regarding the Theft/Loss of Firearms in Transit


Updated November 2, 2022