You have seen plenty on the news these days regarding guns used in violent crimes and politicians questioning gun control. But, no one seems to address just where these guns used in crimes come from. As far as the state is concerned, more guns mean more crime. Some states are already taking action (according to a recent Washington Post article) to enact stricter gun control laws to limit how guns are purchased and prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. But, these efforts are easily undermined.
Already the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has concluded that most of the guns used in the United States were purchased in other states before being used to commit a crime in a separate state. They compiled data in 2014 showing where guns were purchased and then later used in another state for crimes.
California had more than 1800 guns purchased and used elsewhere, while Texas has more than 2800 and Florida more than 2500. Georgia had the highest number at over 3200 guns purchased in their state, but used in another for a crime. According to this data, the ATF has determined that Georgia is the largest importer of gun crimes in the country.
States with more people will have more gun shops, which is why it isn’t surprising that there were so many purchases in states like California, Texas and Florida. But, it is clear that state populations do not always have the deciding factor. When you look at New York, for example, it has the fourth largest population in the country, but it doesn’t have the highest number of exported guns. Georgia is the 8th biggest state in the country, but is the highest for gun exports.
Some states have stricter gun laws, such as New York, New Jersey, California and Massachusetts.
Once the ATF compared per capita rates to the numbers of guns, it appears that more than 72 percent of guns purchased in one state were used in that same state for a crime – meaning most crimes with guns all stay in the same state or neighborhood.
One interesting thing that came from the ATF’s study is the timeframe. The ATF determine that the time between when a gun is purchased and when it is used in a crime is over 10 years. That means people are not purchasing guns with the purpose of committing a crime; instead, the guns are used much later.
Were You Arrested for a Gun Crime?
Florida has strict penalties for crimes committed with a firearm and often you will be charged with a felony offense. If you have been arrested or you are being questioned for a crime involving a weapon, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney by your side. Contact the Jacksonville criminal defense team at The Law Office of Timothy Armstrong, P.A. at 904-356-8618 for a consultation. You can also ask us a legal question online by filling out an online contact form.