Handguns sold in multiple sales to the same individual purchaser are frequently used in crime.1

ATF crime gun trace data reveal that 22% of all handguns recovered in crime in 1999 had been transferred to a purchaser in a single sale involving multiple firearms (otherwise known as a “multiple sale”).2

Crime gun trace data from 2000 show that 20% of all retail handguns recovered in crime were purchased as part of a multiple sale.3

As a result of Virginia’s law restricting multiple sales (now-repealed), the odds of tracing a gun originally acquired in the Southeast to a Virginia gun dealer (as opposed to a dealer in a different southeastern state) dropped by 71% for guns recovered in New York, 72% for guns recovered in Massachusetts, and 66% for guns recovered in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts combined.4

Jurisdictions with weaker firearms laws attract gun traffickers who make multiple purchases and resell those guns in jurisdictions with stronger firearms laws.5

For additional information about multiple sales or purchases of firearms, including background information and state and local laws on the topic, see the Law Center’s Restrictions on Multiple Purchases or Sales of Firearms Policy Summary.

Notes
  1. See, e.g., Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative, Crime Gun Trace Reports (2000) National Report 50 (July 2002); Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative, Crime Gun Trace Reports (1999) National Report 40 (Nov. 2000). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative, Crime Gun Trace Reports (2000) National Report 50 (July 2002). ⤴︎
  4. Douglas S. Weil & Rebecca Knox, Evaluating the Impact of Virginia’s One-Gun-A-Month Law, The Center to Prevent Handgun Violence 1, 4-6 (Aug. 1995). ⤴︎
  5. Douglas S. Weil & Rebecca C. Knox, Effects of Limiting Handgun Purchases on Interstate Transfer of Firearms, JAMA 1759, 1759-60 (1996). ⤴︎