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August 5, 2017

Praise, skepticism follow Justice Department’s increase in gun prosecutions (VIDEO)
By Daniel Terrill

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse published a 2013 study showing gun prosecutions hitting a 10-year low in 2012, with fewer than 8,000 cases. Yet, TRAC noted that state and local gun arrests dwarf federal actions. Using data available at the time, from 2011, they identified 153,519 arrests for weapons by state and local law enforcement, but it’s unclear how many resulted in charges filed. Other than the FBI’s crime report, there’s no recent comprehensive study showing state and local gun prosecutions. TRAC also keeps monthly tabs on prosecutions brought by the ATF, the agency tasked with enforcing federal gun laws. The group’s analysis shows June’s data also up — some 15 percent — from the year before, but prosecutions still down — by about 3 percent — from where they were in 2012. According to government records, 8,576 total gun charges were filed in federal courts in 2016, with the majority, 57 percent, being possession by a prohibited person. ATF data shows the agency initiated 31,853 investigations into gun crimes, more than 8,800 cases recommended for prosecution, 6,357 indictments, and 5,517 convictions. In last week’s statement, the Justice Department said it projects it will prosecute 8 percent more gun cases by the end of Fiscal Year 2017 than in 2016, for a total of 12,626.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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