Maps Tracking Gun Trafficking

    Guns ending up on the “black market” is generally bad for everyone. These are typically used in crimes, and each year, the BATFE releases a state by state report of firearm traces which includes firearms that have been recovered from crime scenes (and have purchased both legal and illegally) in the previous year.  The data for 2014 was released this past August actually.

    The traces try to identify the purchaser, retailer and possessor of the gun which help them determine how guns enter the black market. In general guns move from areas of low regulation to areas of high regulation which generally follows supply and demand models (guns that are harder to get in high regulation areas command a higher price than they do in low regulation areas).

    What I found pretty interesting is the set of infographics that BATFE put together using a set of state maps showing the movement of guns and the number of guns from a state of origin. On the below linked article the number of guns in red are the number that originated in the state and were used in a traceable crime in the referenced state. For example in New Mexico, in 2014, (my home state which interestingly enough is the FOURTH most heavily armed state—finally we make a top five—”with 84,471 legally registered firearms for a population of 2,085,287″), of the 1,114 crime committed with firearms:

    • 823 came from in state
    • 100 came from Texas
    • 27 from Arizona
    • 18 from California, and so on.

    Business Insider has extracted just the maps and put them in a slideshow (or you can drill down into the BATFE data).

    If you are a data nerd, this is an interesting rabbit hole to follow…

    Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he teaches wilderness medicine and writes for a number of publications, including The Prepared, a site devoted to self-preparedness. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.

    You can reach him at tom.r AT thefirearmblog.com


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