News and Commentary

ATF Complicates Common Pro-Gun Control Claim With Baltimore Gun Study

A new study by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives at the request of Maryland police provides more evidence that disrupts a common claim among gun control advocates: that guns in states with strict gun control laws are frequently purchased in states with more lax laws.

As the The Baltimore Sun reports, at Maryland’s request, the ATF successfully traced more than 5,900 firearms recovered last year to see where they were obtained.

The largest portion of them were purchased in Maryland, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, receiving an “A-” from the pro-gun control Giffords Center (only California receives an “A”).

The ATF found that 47% of the guns were purchased locally; 15% were purchased in Virginia (which receives a “D” rating), and 7% were purchased in “C”-rated Pennsylvania.

While a majority of the guns were purchased in Maryland or in surrounding states, some came from far off, including 46 which came from California, the strictest gun control state in the country, while 101 came from Texas, which gets the Giffords Center’s worst “F” rating.

While that data certainly frustrates the common gun control claim, The Baltimore Sun points out that recent gun traces by the ATF point to a trend of more guns coming from out of state over the last few years:

In 2014, more than 7,700 guns were recovered in Maryland, and among those that could be traced, 56 percent were purchased in Maryland. That percentage has steadily declined. In 2015, more than 8,100 guns were recovered in the state, and 52 percent were purchased here. In 2016, more than 8,660 were recovered in Maryland, and 49 percent were bought here.

H/T Jazz Shaw