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.
Videos Background Checks October 6, 2009

Gun Show Undercover Investigation Videos

by Mayors Against Illegal Guns

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. This loophole is closely associated with gun shows because they’re the largest and most central marketplaces for private sellers to connect with purchasers who are trying to avoid detection.  
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).

How Many Gun Dealers are There in Your State?

by Mayors Against Illegal Guns

The United States has 58,344 Federally Licensed Gun Dealers. That's nearly twice the number of post offices—and 98.4% of Americans live within 10 miles of a gun dealer. See how many gun dealers are in your state.

Strategies for Reducing Gun Violence in American Cities

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, the National Urban League, and Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Urban gun violence touches on issues central to American life: safety, equality, opportunity, and community. As thousands of city residents are killed or injured with guns each year, mayors and other community leaders face an urgent challenge: finding effective solutions and implementing them to make a difference now and into the future. This report, a collaboration between Everytown for Gun Safety, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and the National Urban League, is a tool for all city leaders who want to reduce gun violence.