The Ups and Downs of Federal Gun Prosecutions; 2004 The Recent Peak


The number of federal prosecutions for weapons violations in fiscal year was almost exactly the same as it was a decade earlier, says the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). Within the 2002 – 2012 period there were several dramatic enforcement shifts, both up and down, TRAC says in a new report that as documented in a new report that also makes available recent prosecution numbers under each of 75 individual federal weapons statutes.

TRAC analyzed weapons cases as President Obama, the National Rifle Association, Congress and the American people debate whether and how to change the federal role in gun enforcement. The dispute intensified after the killing of 20 children and six adults in an elementary school in Newtown, Ct. In the last decade, federal prosecutions jumped from about 8,000 to 11,000 between 2002 and 2004, but then declined 32 percent to 7,464 in fiscal 2011. Last year, prosecutions rise again 4.1 percent to 7,774. Despite the recent ups and downs, federal prosecutions today are a great deal higher than in the pre-9/11 era.

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