Chicago crime report shows Mississippi is a top source of illegal guns

Published 5:31 am Monday, October 30, 2017

One out of every 20 ‘crime guns’ confiscated by Chicago police between 2013 and 2016 originated in Mississippi, according to a recent city report.

The Gun Trace Report—a partnership between the City of Chicago and Chicago Police Department with the University of Chicago Crime Lab—examines trace data to identify the source of every illegally possessed gun confiscated by police. The goal of the report is to “develop more impactful solutions that address the root causes of gun violence.”

Sixty percent of crime guns recovered in Chicago between 2013-2016 were brought in from outside the city and state, including neighboring states Indiana (21 percent) and Wisconsin (4 percent).

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Coming in second to Indiana is Mississippi, the source of 5 percent of Chicago’s recovered crime guns.

“We know that a lot of the illegal guns are coming from Wisconsin and Indiana, but it was surprising that Mississippi actually right now is number two,” said Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson during a press conference Sunday.

Crime guns are defined as firearms recovered by police found to have been illegally possessed, used in a crime or suspected to have been used in a crime.

The report notes the data “highlights Chicago’s challenge to address illegal guns within a loosely-regulated national gun market.”

Chicago police recovered nearly 7,000 crime guns last year—six times New York City’s per-capita rate and 1.5 times Los Angeles’ rate.

“The underlying problem of this violence is the availability of illegal guns,” Johnson said, reinforcing the report’s findings that the “overwhelming majority of illegal guns…were originally purchased from outside the city.”

Read the full report here.