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
Felons, convicted domestic abusers, and other groups of people at elevated risk of committing gun crimes are prohibited by law from buying or possessing firearms. But traffickers are able to take advantage of our nation’s porous laws to buy guns from lawful owners and transfer them to criminals, turning a profit and putting guns into dangerous hands.