Targeting Illegal Gun Trafficking by Corrupt Federal Firearms Licensees

Garen Wintemute, University of California, Davis

Data routinely collected in some jurisdictions on the activities of licensed firearm retailers, such as archives of sales and denial records and gun trace information, can be used to identify predictors of association with a large or disproportionate number of firearms recovered by law enforcement agencies and submitted for tracing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. This presentation will first review new findings on the development of such predictors and on their performance. Over a defined time period, the number of traces associated with individual retailers is not well predicted by the number of guns they sell. Additional predictors include duration of guns' exposure to the risk of being traced, local agency tracing policies, age of purchasers, and the percentage of transactions that terminate in denials. Combined predicted efficacy is moderate. The second part of the presentation will review work on the development of additional predictors derived from field observations.

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Updated 05/20/2006