NYC officials said Wednesday that according to the most recent crime gun trace data, most of the guns used to commit a crime in the city came from out-of-state.
Statistics show that in 2011, 90 percent of the 2,433 traceable guns used in crimes in NYC were from outside New York state. The year before, 86 percent of the 2,319 guns came from out-of-state.
According to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an outspoken advocate of stricter gun control laws, much to the consternation of gun advocates, the facts speak for themselves. He points out that,
“Despite all we do to keep our city safe, we are increasingly at the mercy of weak national gun laws and gun laws in other states. We’ve done what we can, but it’s unfortunately very easy to carry a gun from one state to another.”
Most of the guns used to commit crimes in NYC come from 10 states, in particular, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Pennsylvania. City officials say these states have weak gun control laws.
In looking more closely at the actual statistics, in 2009, Virginia was ranked 7th in states with the highest gun crime export rate, trailing West Virginia, rated 2nd in the nation, and Mississippi, rated 1st in the country.
Mississippi has one statute on the books, and that is the requirement that a carry permit is needed to carry a concealed pistol or revolver. Carrying a weapon openly does not require a permit.
West Virginia is probably the laxest state when it comes to gun laws. No permit is required to purchase a gun, and the concealed and open carry laws are discretionary.
Virginia law allows anyone who is 18 years old, and who may legally own a firearm, to carry it openly, unless local statutes come into play. Virginians who are 21 or older and who qualify may obtain permits to carry concealed weapons. A background check is also required when purchasing a gun from a licensed dealer in the state.
The illegal transportation of firearms between states undetected is the biggest problem facing law enforcement officials, and that is where we should be concentrating our efforts.
How the data on “crime guns” is used may be questionable, primarily because the information is considered to be incomplete, according to some people. It is difficult to draw reliable conclusions when incomplete data is used, and this could result in incorrect information given to the public.