Research shows that traffickers obtain guns in different ways — bypassing background checks in unlicensed sales at gun shows or online, making straw purchases from lax or corrupt gun dealers, and theft. But careful analysis shows there are patterns in trafficking and opportunities to shut down these channels. Just one percent of licensed dealers supply 57 percent of guns recovered in crimes. And states with strong laws have been able to deter illegal gun trafficking, even if they are still victimized with guns trafficked from neighboring states with weaker gun laws.

Illegal Gun Trafficking

Illegal Gun Trafficking

Trace the Guns

In September 2010, Mayors Against Illegal Guns released a report that reveals a strong connection between weak gun laws and interstate gun trafficking.

17 Items

Tracing Guns to Solve Crimes and Enhance Public Safety

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) makes available to all local law enforcement agencies, which can assist law enforcement across the country in crafting more effective strategies for preventing gun crime.

Gun Show Undercover

by the City of New York

In 2009, the City of New York conducted a multi-state investigation of gun shows to expose the threat posed by the “gun show loophole,” a term often used to describe the fact that federal law allows private sellers to sell firearms without background checks or record keeping.

How President Obama's Executive Action Will Crack Down on Gun Traffickers

President Obama has taken an executive action that will help keep unlicensed gun sellers from fueling the black market. This executive action will clarify the rules around which gun sellers are required to get a dealer license and conduct background checks.

Also featured in:  Background Checks  

Lessons from Missouri: the Cost of Eliminating Background Checks

For several decades, Missouri required every handgun buyer to pass a criminal background check and obtain a purchase permit. In 2007, the state dismantled its permit system and eliminated the background check requirement.

January 2016 Executive Actions

On January 4, 2016 the Administration unveiled a series of executive actions it is taking to better enforce existing law. These actions will improve the background check system and empower law enforcement to crack down on gun traffickers and keep guns out of dangerous hands.

Also featured in:  Background Checks