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Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Kentucky ranked near top as crime-weapon supplier

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Kentucky may not lead the nation in any other business categories, but the Bluegrass state is a major player in the illicit gun business, according to a new study.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns research – drawn on data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives – indicates that Kentucky is the No. 3 state in exporting guns used in domestic crimes.

The non-profit, non-partisan gun control group rates neighboring West Virginia at No. 2, and Mississippi at No. 1 as the United State’s largest exporters of guns used to commit crimes.

Kentucky is not listed in another new MAIG report as a major contributor of illegal guns to the escalating violence in Mexico, where guns from border states such as Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona make up the majority of those linked to crimes.

However, MAIG research shows that Kentucky supplies a majority of the guns used to commit crimes in several neighboring states, especially Ohio.

Kentucky is the No. 1 source of weapons used to commit crimes in Ohio, with 239 recovered during 2009, according the research. In turn, the state supplying the most weapons recovered from Kentucky crimes is Indiana, which supplied 156 weapons during 2009.

The Bluegrass state also is ranked by the group as exporting 34.9 crime weapons for every 100,000 residents, more than twice the national average of 14.1 guns  used to commit crimes for every 100,000 in population.

Since its 2006 founding, MAIG has signed 500 U.S. mayors including Louisville Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson. MAIG co-chairmen are New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

The non-profit, pro-gun-control group advocates 10 key laws that curb illegal gun trafficking with penalties:

  • against people who buy weapons for people who can’t
  • for buying guns with false IDs
  • for selling guns without a background check

The group also advocates:

  • background checks for sales at gun shows
  • law enforcement discretion in issuing conceal-carry laws
  • prohibitions against violent misdemeanor criminals possessing guns.

Kentucky has none of these measures.

Only New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia have all 10 suggested measures, and all are net importers of crime guns. according to the MAIG research.

Links to MAIG studies:
“Mayors Against Illegal Guns Releases Groundbreaking Report Showing a Strong Connection Between Weak Gun Laws and Interstate Gun Trafficking” September 27, 2010

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