Jan 19, 2023 - Politics & Policy

"We won't shy away": Mayors are shaming gunmakers

Quinton Lucas, mayor of Kansas City, speaks during a 2021 event with President Biden. Photo: Chase Castor/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Mayors and gun-safety advocates are increasingly showing their willingness to name and shame gunmakers.

The big picture: In 2021 alone, four manufacturers accounted for over half of the recovered guns used in crimes across 31 cities, according to a new Everytown for Gun Safety analysis shared first with Axios.

  • “Mayors are on the frontlines of our nation’s gun violence epidemic and that’s why we won’t shy away from naming those who make the guns that are killing our communities,” said Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City, Missouri, who is a co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition of mayors working with Everytown to end gun violence.
  • Axios has reached out to the four manufacturers named by the report — Glock, Smith & Wesson, Taurus, and Ruger — but has not heard back.

Driving the news: A group of mayors revealed the top gun manufacturers and other fresh data that they've collected over a five-year period at the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting in D.C.

  • Everytown for Gun Safety analyzed the dataset of guns used in crimes that were recovered in 31 cities between 2017 and 2021.

By the numbers: Between 2020 and 2021, there was a significant rise in two types of recovered guns:

  1. The number of trafficked guns (those bought legally and then sold illegally) increased by nearly 50%.
  2. The number of recovered ghost guns — which are untraceable, unregistered, and privately assembled via a 3D printer or homemade kit — roughly tripled.

Zoom out: More than 25% of the traced guns crossed state lines before being used in a crime.

  • Advocates write in the new report that "if these four manufacturers took action on their own, the national impact [to reduce trafficking] could be substantial."

What they're saying: Nick Suplina, Senior Vice President of Law & Policy at Everytown for Gun Safety, said that in order to stop gun crimes, “[W]e can’t just focus on the criminals — we also need to shine a light on irresponsible gun makers who are turning a blind eye to their role in fueling America’s gun violence crisis."

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