Government Reports Surge in Firearms Linked to Crimes in Louisiana

Fictitious Firearms Hanging On The Wall Of A Gun Store. 3d Rendering
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BATON ROUGE (The Center Square) — An estimated 1 in 3 American adults own at least one firearm. The most common reasons Americans cite for exercising their Second Amendment rights include personal protection, target shooting, and hunting. But with nearly 400 million civilian-owned firearms in circulation, some have inevitably fallen into the wrong hands, fueling a nationwide surge in gun violence.

According to the FBI, active shooter incidents climbed by over 50% in 2021 compared to the previous year. Additionally, firearms were involved in over 234,500 violent crimes in 2021, a more than 30% increase from 2020.

Amid rising rates of gun violence, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives reported a spike in firearm trace requests from local, state, federal, and international law enforcement agencies. Guns that are traced by the ATF are typically those found at crime scenes. These guns have either been used, or are suspected to have been used, to commit a crime. It is important to note that not all firearms used in a crime are traced.

The ATF traced more than 453,500 firearms in 2021, up 16.2% from 389,300 in 2020 – and the increase is being driven by several states in particular.

Louisiana is one of 15 states in which the rise in firearm tracings exceeded the national average. The ATF traced a reported 13,702 firearms in the state in 2021, up from 11,041 in 2020. The 24.1% increase ranks as the ninth largest among the 50 states.

The most commonly traced firearms in Louisiana in 2021 were chambered for 9mm, .40 caliber, and .22 caliber rounds, in that order. These three calibers alone accounted for 62.2% of all firearms traced by the ATF in the state last year.

Rank State 1-yr change in firearm tracings ATF firearm tracings, 2021 ATF firearm tracings, 2020
1 Massachusetts 74.5% 3,193 1,830
2 Rhode Island 59.7% 661 414
3 Oklahoma 54.4% 5,246 3,397
4 New York 41.9% 10,198 7,187
5 Connecticut 40.9% 1,596 1,133
6 Illinois 28.1% 19,086 14,897
7 Florida 27.3% 34,331 26,966
8 Ohio 25.8% 20,723 16,472
9 Louisiana 24.1% 13,702 11,041
10 North Carolina 20.8% 22,918 18,973
11 California 20.2% 53,761 44,709
12 Wisconsin 19.2% 7,021 5,892
13 Texas 19.0% 45,351 38,109
14 Tennessee 18.2% 15,337 12,970
15 Kansas 16.7% 4,273 3,661
16 South Carolina 14.7% 10,661 9,295
17 New Mexico 14.1% 4,060 3,557
18 Indiana 14.0% 10,316 9,049
19 Kentucky 13.9% 6,764 5,941
20 Minnesota 13.4% 4,560 4,020
21 Wyoming 13.4% 288 254
22 Alabama 11.8% 8,797 7,868
23 New Jersey 11.5% 4,640 4,161
24 Delaware 10.7% 1,651 1,491
25 Pennsylvania 9.9% 15,186 13,823
26 Arizona 9.8% 12,027 10,952
27 Maryland 9.4% 9,710 8,872
28 Idaho 9.4% 1,345 1,229
29 Michigan 8.6% 12,274 11,301
30 Nevada 8.5% 6,687 6,164
31 New Hampshire 8.1% 692 640
32 Utah 8.0% 2,989 2,767
33 Colorado 6.7% 6,954 6,516
34 Georgia 6.2% 20,356 19,172
35 Missouri 5.2% 10,096 9,598
36 Arkansas 4.8% 3,516 3,355
37 South Dakota 4.0% 806 775
38 Oregon 3.8% 5,331 5,138
39 Washington 3.2% 5,478 5,310
40 Mississippi 2.2% 4,699 4,596
41 Nebraska 1.9% 2,181 2,140
42 Iowa 0.4% 2,555 2,546
43 Virginia -0.1% 12,019 12,033
44 Alaska -4.5% 778 815
45 North Dakota -5.9% 750 797
46 Montana -10.6% 1,125 1,259
47 Maine -17.9% 499 608
48 West Virginia -23.4% 1,671 2,181
49 Hawaii -24.1% 110 145
50 Vermont -26.1% 232 314

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