National Gun Violence Survivors Week: New ATF Report on Gun Trafficking Highlights Need for Accountability

Feb 07, 2023

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) released its first gun trafficking report in more than two decades, putting in stark terms what we already know: the gun industry is the driving force behind the gun violence epidemic in this country.

Published February 1st, the Crime Gun Intelligence and Analysis arrives as people across the country honor the fifth National Gun Violence Survivors Week. The observance focuses on sharing gun violence survivors’ stories in their own words and using organizations and communities to amplify their voices.

In the press release the Justice Department issued about the report, it calls out an important data point: “time to crime.” This is the time range from the last known retail sale of a firearm to when it is recovered from a crime scene. Shorter time-to-crime periods are indicators of illegal trafficking and provide crucial information to investigators. Between 2017 and 2021, nearly 25% of traced crime guns – more than 366,000 guns – had a time-to-crime rate of less than one year, and 46% had a time-to-crime rate of three years or less.

Some other key findings:

  • In 2021, four gun manufacturers accounted for more than half of the recovered crime guns: Glock (21.1%), Smith & Wesson (13.5%), Taurus (13.0%), and Ruger (7.0%)
  • Of the 1,306,804 pistol crime guns traced within the U.S. from 2017 to 2021, Glock manufactured nearly 20%, Smith & Wesson manufactured 14%, and Taurus manufactured 12%
  • Suspected privately manufactured firearms recovered by law enforcement and submitted to ATF for tracing increased by 1,083%, from 1,629 in 2017 to 19,273 in 2021

Everyday, more than 100 Americans are killed with guns, and twice that number are wounded. Our gun homicide rate is 26 times higher than that of other high-income countries, with guns being the leading cause of death for children and teens in the U.S. Unfortunately, Black Americans and other minorities continue to be disproportionately impacted by gun violence.

Schroeter Goldmark and Bender is dedicated to fighting for the rights of gun-violence survivors and other crime victims. Our crime victims' practice is built up by former prosecutors – including Rebecca Roe, Thomas Breen, Craig Sims, Joe Solseng and Julie Kline – who have spent decades prosecuting gun cases and holding people accountable for their crimes.

If you or a loved one was harmed by gun violence, reach out to us to speak to a legal professional for a complimentary, no-requirements conversation.