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Regulation and oversight of gun sales reduces trafficking to criminals
Date:7/7/2009

to promote compliance with gun sale laws and data tracing the initial point of sale of guns recovered from crimes. A gun was considered to have been trafficked if it had been purchased within a year of being recovered from a crime scene unless the criminal was also the legal purchaser of record. The variables examined included: strong gun dealer regulation and oversight; state and local law enforcement agency use of undercover stings of gun dealers; regulation of private gun sales; laws requiring a permit or license to purchase a handgun; and limiting the purchase of guns to one gun per customer per month.

According to the study, cities with the lowest levels of in-state gun trafficking were Santa Ana, CA; Camden and Newark, NJ; New York, NY; and Boston, MA. Each of these cities was in a state that regulates private sales of handguns, four had strong gun dealer oversight and four had discretionary handgun purchase licensing systems. Cities with the highest levels of in-state gun trafficking were Gary, IN; Tucson, AZ; Phoenix, AZ; Albuquerque, NM; and Indianapolis, IN. None of these cities had any of the gun sales accountability measures examined in the study. Overall, in-state gun trafficking was 2 to 4 times higher in cities located in states without these gun sales regulations. The study found no effect on gun trafficking within the state from laws limiting handgun sales to a maximum of one gun per person per month. (The study did not examine the effect of one-gun-per-month laws on interstate trafficking. The findings from prior studies of these laws suggest that they reduce interstate gun trafficking.)

"While some have questioned the ability of gun sales regulations to keep guns from criminals, our findings are consistent with other studies which found that measures intended to enhance gun seller accountability can significantly curtail the flow of new guns to criminals," said co-author Jon Vernick, JD, MPH, co-director of the Center for Gun Pol
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Contact: Tim Parsons
tmparson@jhsph.edu
410-955-7619
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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