Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence: Gerogia, Florida and Texas Top Crime Gun Suppliers; Hawaii, Rhode Island, New Jersey Supply Fewest Crime Guns
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2008
CONTACT: Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
Gerogia, Florida and Texas
Top Crime Gun Suppliers;
Hawaii, Rhode Island, New Jersey
Supply Fewest Crime Guns
WASHINGTON, DC - June 11 - Georgia, Florida and Texas are the top suppliers of crime guns to other states, according to crime gun trace data recently released by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and analyzed by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Illegal guns generally flow from states with weak gun laws to states with stronger gun laws. In states with strong gun laws, criminals find it more difficult to obtain guns from local sources and frequently must obtain guns from traffickers supplied by out-of-state gun dealers. This fuels the “iron pipeline” described in past Federal law enforcement reports.
Georgia ranked number one in the nation in the total number of crime guns traced to Georgia gun dealers and recovered in other states in 2007, with 2,631 crime guns traced to Georgia and recovered outside the state last year. Florida ranked number two in 2007, with 2,328 crime guns traced to Florida dealers and recovered in crime in other states. Texas ranked number three, with 2,281 crime guns traced to Texas dealers and recovered in crime in other states.
According to the ATF data, these three states alone accounted for one-fifth of all crime guns trafficked across state lines and recovered and traced by law enforcement in 2007. Additionally, the number of illegal firearms originating from these states is likely much higher, as these numbers represent only firearms recovered by law enforcement and successfully traced to a retail gun dealer. Crime gun traces generally cannot be completed if gun dealers fail to properly maintain firearm sales information or if firearm serial numbers are destroyed.
Gun dealers in Georgia, Florida and Texas were also major suppliers of the illegal gun market within each state. Texas gun dealers supplied more than 80% of illegal firearms traced and recovered in Texas in 2007. Florida gun dealers supplied 78% of illegal firearms traced and recovered in Florida in 2007. Georgia gun dealers supplied more than 75% of illegal firearms traced and recovered in Georgia in 2007.
States with strong gun laws generally supply fewer illegal guns to the criminal market while receiving more of their crime guns from states with weak gun laws. In 2007, ATF reported only 35 firearms recovered in crime outside New Jersey and traced to a New Jersey gun dealer. At the same time, 72% of crime guns recovered and traced in New Jersey in 2007 originated from gun dealers outside the state.
Also in 2007, ATF reported only 12 firearms recovered in crime outside Rhode Island and traced to a Rhode Island gun dealer. Nearly half of the crime guns traced and recovered in Rhode Island last year originated from gun dealers outside the state. ATF also reported no firearms originating from Hawaii and recovered in crime in other states in 2007. At the same time, 55% of crime guns recovered in Hawaii in 2007 were traced to gun dealers outside the state.
“Communities around the nation are paying a price for weak gun laws in a few states that fuel interstate gun trafficking,” said Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence President Paul Helmke. “These data patterns show why we need to pass common sense gun measures that make it harder for dangerous people to access dangerous weapons.”
Crime guns and gun deaths by the numbers
Rank of states with most and least crime guns traced to in-state gun dealers and recovered in other states, and total number of crime guns traced to in-state gun dealers and recovered in other states, in 2007:
Georgia - #1 - 2,631 crime guns
Florida - #2 - 2,328 crime guns
Texas - #3 - 2,281 crime guns
New Jersey - #48 - 35 crime guns
Rhode Island - #49 - 12 crime guns
Hawaii - #50 - 0 crime guns
Percent of 2007 crime guns recovered in-state sold by in-state gun dealers:
Georgia - 75.8%
Florida - 78.2%
Texas - 80.7%
Percent of 2007 crime guns recovered in-state sold by out-of-state gun dealers:
New Jersey - 72.1%
Rhode Island - 46.1%
Hawaii - 54.7%
Gun death rate, per 100,000 population:
Georgia - 11.7 gun deaths
Florida - 10.3 gun deaths
Texas - 10.9 gun deaths
New Jersey - 5.0 gun deaths
Rhode Island - 3.6 gun deaths
Hawaii - 2.2 gun deaths
ATF officials released a broad general set of crime gun trace data on the agency’s website on May 9. That data is available at www.atf.gov/firearms/trace_data/index2007.htm.
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is a national non-profit organization working to reduce the tragic toll of gun violence in America, through education, research, and legal advocacy. The programs of the Brady Center complement the legislative and grassroots mobilization of its sister organization, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence with its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters.