Social Policy & Politics Program | Report
The Enforcement Gap - Federal Gun Laws Ignored
Today in America, in nearly all federal jurisdictions,for nearly all federal crimes, the phrase “enforce the laws on the books” is little more than a political slogan.
Using raw data on prosecutions of gun crimes obtained from the U.S. Department of Justice through the Freedom of Information Act, Americans for Gun Safety Foundation (AGSF) has analyzed the 22 major federal gun statutes and calculated the number of federal prosecutions for each jurisdiction. The data paint a bleak picture of federal gun law enforcement and lead to three major conclusions:
- There is a vast enforcement gap between the level of federal gun crimes and the number of federal prosecutions.
- Twenty of twenty-two of the major federal gun statutes are rarely enforced.
- While the Bush Administration has made progress enforcing two gun statutes, they have made little or no progress closing the enforcement gap for the other twenty major federal gun laws.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS REPORT WAS RELEASED IN MAY 2003 AND HAS NOT BEEN UPDATED SINCE.