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.

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Complaint: Everytown v. ATF

Everytown for Gun Safety filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking public records on crime guns from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The complaint was filed under the Freedom of Information Act and seeks public records containing aggregate data on guns recovered from crime scenes nationwide that ATF has successfully traced to their origins.
Reports Illegal Gun Trafficking April 15, 2008

Inside Straw Purchasing: How Criminals Get Guns Illegally

Mayors Against Illegal Guns

This report presents findings from an investigation into one of the main ways criminals get guns: Straw purchases (when one person poses as the buyer of a gun that is actually for someone else).

Trace the Guns

by Mayors Against Illegal Guns

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

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  

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.