First sweeping federal gun crime report in 20 years released

The most expansive federal report in 20 years which documents gun crime shows a reduction in the period of time between the time that a gun was purchased and when it was found at a crime scene.  These findings indicate that guns bought legally are being used in crimes nationwide not long after they have been sold.

The report also goes onto document a sharp increase in the use of conversion devices that can alter a semiautomatic gun to fire like a machine gun.  Ghost guns, which are guns without serial numbers, are also on the rise.

The report comes as the United States is facing a rapid increase in crime.

A lot of the data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives report hasn’t been released to the general public before, and its release is aimed at helping police and lawmakers reduce gun violence, said Director Steve Dettelbach. “Information is power,” he said.

The report also shows that just over half of guns found at crime scenes in 2021 had been purchased within three years, which represents a double-digit increase since 2019. The quicker turnaround can point to both illegal gun trafficking or a possible straw purchase.  A straw purchase is when someone who is permitted to buy a gun buys one for someone who cannot legally own one.

The total number of new guns sold in the U.S. grew significantly during this time frame as gun sales shattered records during the coronavirus pandemic.

Most guns used in crimes changed were no longer with their original owner when found at a crime scene the report states. It also found what Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco declared an epidemic of stolen guns: more than 1.07 million firearms were reported stolen between 2017 and 2021. Almost all of those, 96%, were from private residents.

The report was prompted by Attorney General Merrick Garland who told the ATF to deliver a widely available and comprehensive report about gun crime.




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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