Suspects are lined up as weapons are displayed to the media by the Mexican Navy in Mexico City June 9, 2011. According to the Mexican Navy, 204 rifles, 11 guns, 15 hand grenades, uniforms of the Mexican navy and of the U.S. army, over 29,000 cartridges and over 200 kg (441 pounds) of cocaine and were seized in an operation against the Zetas drug cartel in Coahuila and Nuevo Leon in the north of Mexico. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez (MEXICO - Tags: CRIME LAW MILITARY)

Research shows again and again that the guns used in deadly shootings and other crimes are often trafficked from states with weak gun laws, like Georgia and West Virginia, to states with stronger laws, like California and New York. In the absence of Congressional action to combat this kind of crime, the Law Center and Americans for Responsible Solutions are proud to release Commonsense Solutions: State Laws to Reduce Gun Trafficking, the latest in our series of toolkits aiming to protect the public from gun violence.

The report outlines the key steps state lawmakers can take to address the shortcomings in federal law and help protect communities from gun violence. Those steps include:

  • Enacting stronger laws to prohibit straw purchases, which involve one person buying a gun on behalf of another, with an exception for gifts.
  • Prohibiting gun trafficking itself, defined to include all gun transfers that a person should know are likely to put guns in the hands of people who are likely to misuse them.
  • Requiring gun dealers to use responsible business practices to ensure that they do not contribute to gun trafficking.
  • Requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen guns to law enforcement.

Lawmakers in statehouses across the country have a responsibility to stand up to the gun lobby and legislate for public safety by passing smart gun laws designed to stem the flow of illegal guns into the hands of dangerous people. This toolkit outlines the way legislators can take immediate action to safeguard communities against this pervasive threat.

To see which states make the grade when it comes to smart gun laws, see our annual Gun Law State Scorecard.

Check out our other Commonsense Solutions toolkits:

State Laws to Protect Kids from Unintended Shootings

State Laws to Address Gun Violence Against Women

State Laws to Expand Background Checks for Unlicensed Gun Sales

How State Laws Can Reduce Gun Deaths Associated with Mental Illness