Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: Efforts to control gun violence
increasingly rely on identifying and closing channels by which firearms flow
from the legal market into criminal hands. Of 83,272 federally licensed firearms
dealers in 1998, 1020 (1.2%) were associated with 57% of all firearms for
which the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) conducted a trace
(a determination of the chain of ownership, usually in connection with a criminal
investigation).1 The Clinton administration
is now requiring dealers linked to more than 10 firearm traces in 1999 to
undergo more intensive surveillance.2 Opponents
contend that this is unfair because the number of firearms traced to an individual
dealer simply reflects that dealer's sales volume.3
We report preliminary results of a test of this hypothesis.
Fontanarosa PB, Wintemute GJ. Relationship Between Illegal Use of Handguns and Handgun Sales Volume. JAMA. 2000;284(5):566–567. doi:10.1001/jama.284.5.561
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