For the second year in a row, guns sold in Georgia were recovered at more crime scenes outside its borders than any other state, according to a report by the anti-gun group the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The report was based on gun-tracing data from the ATF. “Georgia's weak gun laws are a gun trafficker's best friend,” Daniel Vice, senior attorney at the Brady Center, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Gun rights advocates say the information from ATF is misleading.
The records ATF can release is limited. The agency can only release aggregated numbers concerning traces of weapons recovered at crime scenes. The information is incomplete if there is break in the chain from the manufacturer to the distributor and then to the gun dealer. The ATF numbers do not include Georgia sales made at gun shows or between individuals. Also, all law enforcement agencies do not necessarily initiate a trace when they recover a gun. Georgia has long been considered a “source state” for guns traded in other states because of relatively weak laws and access to interstates, especially I-95, used to ship guns to northeastern states with much tougher laws.