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This report discusses the gaps in the current law regarding gun industry regulation and oversight. It then offers a series of policy solutions to address these gaps, including:Increasing oversight of gun manufacturers, importers, exporters, and dealersRequiring licensed gun dealers to implement security measures to prevent theftStrengthening the National Firearms Act review and determination processStrengthening oversight of homemade guns, ammunition, and silencersGiving the Consumer Product Safety Commission authority to regulate guns and ammunition for safetyRepealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms ActThe high rates of gun death experienced in this country are not inevitable or, as some in the gun lobby claim, "the price of freedom." There is much more that can be done to provide better oversight and regulation of the gun industry, which would have a significant impact on reducing gun violence and making all of our communities safer.
Young people in the United States bear the brunt of the nation's gun violence and are leading efforts to stop it.
In the early morning hours of July 5, 2017, New York Police Department officer Miosotis Familia was ambushed as she sat in a marked NYPD command truck with her partner while providing additional security to a Bronx neighborhood after Fourth of July festivities. In an attack that police officials described as an assassination, Officer Familia was fatally shot in the head with a gun that had been stolen in Charleston, West Virginia, four years earlier. Less than a month earlier on the other side of the country, a UPS driver in San Francisco shot and killed three co-workers and injured two others using a gun that had been stolen in Utah. The shooter was also armed with a gun that had been stolen in Napa County, California.Stolen guns pose a significant risk to community safety. Whether stolen from a gun store or an individual gun owner's collection, these guns often head straight into the illegal underground gun market, where they are sold, traded, and used to facilitate violent crimes. Gun theft is not a minor problem in the United States. According to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), during the four-year period from 2012 to 2015, nearly half a billion dollars' worth of guns were stolen from individuals nationwide, amounting to an estimated 1.2 million guns. Twenty-two thousand guns were stolen from gun stores during this same period. A gun is stolen in the U.S. every two minutes.This problem does not affect all states equally. The rate and volume of guns stolen from both gun stores and private collections vary widely from state to state. From 2012 through 2015, the average rate of the five states with the highest rates of gun theft from private owners—Tennessee, Arkansas, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Alabama—was 13 times higher than the average rate of the five states with the lowest rates—Hawaii, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and Massachusetts. Similarly, from 2012 through 2016, the average rate of the five states with the highest rates of guns stolen from gun stores was 18 times higher than the average rate the five states with the lowest rates.Gun owners and dealers have a substantial responsibility to take reasonable measures to protect against theft and help ensure that their guns do not become part of this illegal inventory. This report analyzes data from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to provide state-by-state data on the frequency with which guns are stolen from licensed gun dealers and individual gun owners in communities across the country. It then offers a number of policy solutions to help prevent future gun thefts.
This issue brief explores five aspects of gun violence in Pennsylvania that are especially alarming, unusual, or above the national average:1. Pennsylvania's rate of gun homicides is among the highest in the nation, particularly in communities of color.2. Pennsylvania law enforcement officers are killed with guns at an exceptionally high rate.3. More Pennsylvanians are killed by gun violence than in car accidents annually.4. Pennsylvania is a top supplier of crime guns recovered in other states.5. Pennsylvania women are killed with guns wielded by intimate partners at a high rate.
Congress and state legislatures should pass laws that prevent individuals convicted of hate crimes from buying or possessing firearms.