Pro Publica (a very worthwhile news organization that you should all read) has published a very nice data visualization regarding imports and exports of guns by states (and nationwide) based on tracing done after criminal activity. You can go state by state and look at where guns came from and where they went across state lines.

So, first, the national map:

National_exports

Ok, I decided to pick Illinois since this is where I am located and in, every discussion on guns, someone will claim to have the decisive argument that Chicago is not murder-free despite a gun ban. So, let’s look at Illinois imports:

IL_imports

About half of the guns traced by the authorities came from out of state. Who would have thought that somehow, things, like guns, would make their way to Chicago and that somehow, Chicago does not live under a dome, Stephen-King style.

For the most part, these imported guns came from Indiana, Wisconsin, and Mississippi. The dataviz also has these imports (and exports) broken down by state.

Anyhoo, Illinois also exports guns to other states:

IL_exports

But check out New York state:

NY_imports

So, close to 70% of guns traced in NY state came from out of state, and you can see that, for the most part, they came from other East Coast states.

But compare that to Texas:

TX_imports

Only 18% of the traced guns came from out of state.

No big surprise here. If a state has strict gun laws, one can expect more imports. But if a state has fewer restrictions on guns, then, by definition, imports will be less necessary.

Get check out the whole thing.

One thought on “Where Guns Come From

  1. A lot of the in-state guns used in crimes in Chicago come from nearby cities to the west that have much less strict gun laws than does Chicago. In New York, Mayor Bloomberg created sting operations that exposed how gun dealers in Virginia were selling guns in quantity to people who would bring them back to NYC for criminal purposes. Virginia responded by passing a strict law — not against gun sales of course but against sting operations exposing gun dealing.

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