Interstate Gun Movement Is Almost Entirely Due to Migration, Not Gun Trafficking
37 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2018
Date Written: November 13, 2018
Tracing of the origins of crime guns indicates that many of them came from a different state than the one in which they were recovered by police. Many scholars have misinterpreted this fact as evidence of widespread interstate gun trafficking. The present analysis deploys migration and gun ownership data to demonstrate that simple cross-state migration of American gun owners is easily sufficient to account for all of the interstate movement of guns. Further, data on traffickers caught by law enforcement indicate that these criminals operate on a very small scale, and in the aggregate account for less than 1% of guns acquired by criminals.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation