12.10.2008

THE MOVEMENT OF ILLEGAL GUNS IN AMERICA: The Link between Gun Laws and Interstate Gun Trafficking


by Jesse Muhammad

(Blogger's Note: The following is an excerpt of an article I wrote that will appear in The Final Call Newspaper next week)

“Being out here in the streets like I am, it’s not surprising for me to hear these statistics about gun trafficking in the South. It’s nothing really new to us”, said Dwayne Brady, to The Final Call.

Mr. Brady is a former gang member from North Texas. According to him, the recent report released by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition is a good read but isn’t going to reform anything.

“As long as people know where to steal or purchase illegal guns, these statistics will only increase. I applaud their research but it is not going to stop the violence. The money used to do this report could have been used to develop programs in communities”, said Mr. Brady, who is now a mentor to many young people he taught how to steal and weaponry in his past lifestyle.

“Well I have a problem with term ‘illegal guns’ because in truth there is no such thing”, said James Dark, Executive Director of the Texas State Rifle Association.

“There are only legal and illegal owners. I think it is tough to try to correlate guns laws to these crimes that are being committed. Because the ATF once report that over 50 percent of criminals interviewed confessed to stealing the guns. What does that have to do with the gun laws?” said Mr. Dark to The Final Call.

According to the report, ten U.S. states are responsible for majority of the illegal guns that are shipped across state lines for use in criminal activity. Nearly 30 percent of guns traced by federal agents in 2006 and 2007 during crime investigations were bought in a state other than where the crime was committed said the report.

Titled The Movement of Illegal Guns In America: The Link between Gun Laws and Interstate Trafficking, the 40-page report analyzes state-by-state trace data over the last two years released by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and finds that states that supply interstate crime guns at the highest rates have comparatively weak gun laws.

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