Combatting Crime Guns: A Supply-side Approach

Sep 22, 2021
  • Description

According to the most recently available data, the retail gun dealers responsible for selling the majority of crime guns are a fraction of the total gun industry: about 90% of guns recovered by law enforcement are traced back to just five percent of licensed firearms dealers. Gun tracing enables law enforcement to identify the gun dealers with poor business practices responsible for diverting guns from the regulated market to the criminal market.

However, the federal government's oversight of these dealers is limited. From October 2016 to October 2017, federal agents inspected only 11,000 of the more than 130,000 federal firearms licensees ("FFLs") in the United States — and cited over half the inspected FFLs for violations — yet revoked the licenses of less than one percent of them.

The key takeaway: The federal government does not adequately ensure that the country's hundreds of thousands of FFLs sell guns lawfully and appropriately. Significant progress against gun trafficking and gun crime will be made only if local and state officials take action.

Brady is proud to release "Combating Crime Guns: A Supply-Side Approach," a report that is intended to help state and local elected officials better understand:

  • The issue of crime guns;
  • The supply-side approach to gun violence prevention; and
  • The various ways a supply-side approach may be implemented at the local level of government.

This report can also be used by members of the community as a guide to hold their elected officials responsible for enacting a comprehensive supply-side approach.