Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library

Schroeder, Matt. 2014 ‘Illicit Weapons in The United States - Main Findings.’ Small Arms Survey 2014: Women and Guns; Chapter 8, p. 245. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press and the Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. 16 June

Relevant contents

Illicit Weapons in The United States

The main findings of this chapter include the following:

- The majority of the firearms seized from felons, drug traffickers, and gang members in the eight US cities and towns studied were handguns, accounting for 77 per cent of firearms recovered from these groups.

- At least 70 per cent of the seized handguns were semi-automatic pistols of various makes and models - the most common type of firearm recovered from criminals in the municipalities studied.

- Seizure rates for handguns and long guns in the United States are the inverse of those in Mexico, where approximately 72 per cent of the seized weapons studied in the second phase of this project were long guns.

- Rifles accounted for only a small fraction of seized firearms: less than 12 per cent, with only about half of them semi-automatic models, including those commonly termed 'assault rifles'. This is noteworthy given widespread civilian ownership of rifles in the United States and their frequent seizure from criminals in Mexico.

- US-designed AR-15-pattern rifles - often called 'the most popular rifle in America' (Goode, 2012) - were seized at less than half the rate of Kalashnikov - and SKS-pattern rifles.

- Despite a ban on the importation of firearms from China, a large proportion of the seized semi-automatic rifles were Chinese-made.

- The number of machine guns seized in the eight cities and towns was negligible.

Source Cited:
Goode, Erica. 2012. 'Popular AR-15 Style Rifle Used in Recent Mass Killings.' Seattle Times. 16 December.

ID: Q11039

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