Gun Tracing Revisited

2017 Gun Trace Report Conceals as much as it Reveals

By Dean Weingarten. November 1st, 2017
Article Source

The City of Chicago has released its Gun Trace Report. It is a political, polemical document, with a vernier of respectability lent by the University of Chicago Crime Lab. Prominently displayed are suggested restrictions on gun ownership, gun sales, and increased record keeping requirements. While reading the document, I was looking to find how many guns were *not* traced. It is an important number. If the percentage of guns not traced is high, it undercuts any supposed utility of tracing guns.

Not only does the document lack any numbers for guns that were not traced, it conflates the numbers of traced guns with those of all confiscated guns. From page 4 of the report:

Seven of the top ten source dealers are within Illinois, and six of those seven fall within the Cook County suburbs that border Chicago. The remaining FFL source dealers within the top ten are located in northwest Indiana. Collectively, these ten source dealers make up almost a quarter of the crime guns recovered in Chicago, despite the existence of many other federally licensed dealers in Chicago's vicinity.

For the better part of a decade, Chuck's Gun Shop and Midwest Sporting Goods have consistently remained the top two FFL source dealers for crime guns recovered by police in Chicago. Chuck's Gun Shop and Midwest Sporting Goods continue to provide a strikingly large portion of the total number of traceable crime guns that includes more than 5,000 separate FFL dealers from all 50 states. These two dealers are the retail source of more than one in ten crime guns recovered in Chicago.

Notice the conflation of "traceable crime guns" with "crime guns". .......

We covered aspects of gun tracing with reference to Chicago in our alert 10/31/17, but here Dean Weingarten goes into much greater depth. There is a more detailed analysis of figures, as well as including such things as 'homemade' guns - also many other related and useful details.

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