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NCJ Number: 201982 Find in a Library
Title: Enforcement Gap: Federal Gun Laws Ignored
Author(s): Jim Kessler; Michael Harrington; Ed Hill
Corporate Author: Americans for Gun Safety Foundation
United States of America
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 42
Sponsoring Agency: Americans for Gun Safety Foundation
Washington, DC
Sale Source: Americans for Gun Safety Foundation
Washington, DC
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on raw data on Federal prosecutions of Federal gun crimes during fiscal years 2000, 2001, and 2002, this study analyzed the 22 major Federal gun statutes and calculated the number of Federal prosecutions for each jurisdiction.
Abstract: The study found that over the three fiscal years examined, Federal prosecutors filed 25,002 Federal gun-crime cases. Over this same period, crime data indicate that more than 330,000 guns that were used in violent crimes showed signs of black-market trafficking; 420,000 firearms were stolen; 450,000 individuals lied on the Federal background check form used to determine eligibility for a gun purchase; 93,000 gun crimes were committed by those under the age of 18; and thousands of guns with obliterated serial numbers were recovered by law enforcement agencies. It is a violation of Federal law to traffic in firearms, steal guns, lie on the background check form, sell to minors, and obliterate serial numbers on guns. This means that over the period of this study well over a million crimes were committed that involved the violation of a Federal gun law. The 25,002 prosecutions represent a ratio of approximately 2 Federal prosecutions for every 100 Federal gun crimes recorded. The study therefore concludes that there is a vast enforcement gap between the level of Federal gun crimes and the number of Federal prosecutions; 20 of the 22 major Federal gun statutes are rarely enforced; and although the Bush administration has made progress in enforcing these 2 gun statutes (illegal possession of a firearm by a felon or other prohibited buyer and the possession of a firearm while in the commission of a violent or drug-related Federal crime), it has made little or no progress in closing the enforcement gap for the other 20 major Federal gun laws. Extensive tabular data
Main Term(s): Court statistics
Index Term(s): Federal law violations; Federal legislation; Gun Control; Gun control legislation; Juvenile gun ownership; Prosecution
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