How are stolen guns traced?

How are stolen guns traced? Police say it sometimes takes years to track them down.

It takes minutes for thieves to get their hands on a gun like this but years for officers to trace it. There are systems in place to make sure handguns don't get in the hands of criminals.

Just last year, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reported more than 5,000 guns stolen.

Gun shops run the serial number of a weapon through a national screening system. Either the weapon is approved or denied.

"It would say possible stolen gun and we'll get a phone call from the police and they'll confiscate - it's happened a few times," said Tactical Advantage employee, Emily Pritt.

" Stolen guns has the possibility of getting in the hands of someone who shouldn't have it and it makes it hard for law enforcement to investigate a crime," said owner of Tactical Advantage, Eric Watson.