A group of mayors led by New York’s Michael Bloomberg hasn’t given up the fight on pushing for tougher gun laws aimed at curbing the trafficking of weapons that wind up in the hands of criminals.
A study due to be released this week by a coalition called Mayors Against Illegal Guns uses previously unavailable federal gun data to identify what it says are the states that most often export guns used in crimes across state lines. It concludes that the 10 worst offenders per capita, led by Mississippi, West Virginia and Kentucky, supplied nearly half the 43,000 guns traced to crime scenes in other states last year.
The study also seeks to draw a link between gun trafficking and gun control laws by analyzing gun restrictions in all 50 states in areas like background checks for gun purchases, policies on concealed weapons permits and state inspections of gun dealers. It finds that, across the board, those states with less restrictive gun laws exported guns used in crimes at significantly higher rates than states with more stringent laws.
Arkansas is not among the 10 worst states, by the way. But in the report appendix listing the areas in which states have taken regulatory steps, such as allowing state inspections of gun dealers, Arkansas draws a blank in 10 categories, except that it will allow local law enforcement officials discretion to deny concealed carry permits. (How did the gun nuts let that happen?)