Federal Report Finds 68,000 Guns Were Illegally Trafficked Through Unlicensed Dealers Over 5 Years

WASHINGTON (AP) — New data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives shows that 68,000 illegally trafficked firearms in the U.S. came through unlicensed dealers who aren’t required to perform background checks over a five year report.

The report released Thursday was the first in-depth analysis of firearm trafficking investigations in more than 20 years.

Justice Department officials say 54% of the illegally trafficked firearms in the U.S. between 2017 and 2021 were from unlicensed dealers.

The second-highest share of firearm-trafficking cases investigated by ATF was straw purchases, when someone buys a gun for a person who can’t get it legally themselves.

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