The number of guns reported lost from federally licensed firearm dealers and pawn shops in Alabama is the highest in the country, according to a new government report.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives report shows Alabama’s number of lost weapons in 2016 more than tripled from the previous year, going from 277 to 842. Four years ago, the number of lost guns in the state was 119.
The report also shows thefts of firearms from licensed dealers in Alabama has gone up significantly, too — from 204 in 2015 to 340 in 2016.
Combine Alabama’s lost and theft figures and it ranks fourth highest in the nation, behind only Georgia, Florida and Texas.
Alabama’s increase in lost and stolen firearms — 481 in 2015 to 1,182 last year, an increase of 146 percent — comes during a period of increased gun violence across the United States, which has been highlighted in recent years by the high level of homicides taking place in Chicago. At the end of 2017, Chicago had recorded 762 homicides, the highest in two decades, according to Chicago Police Department records.
That has placed America’s third largest city at the center of the national dialogue on gun violence. Incidents of gun violence have risen to more than 58,500 last year, up from 51,850 and 53,611 in 2014 and 2015, respectively, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a Washington D.C. non-profit organization that collects figures from over 2,000 media, law enforcement, government and commercial sources.
Chicago city officials have said that the flood of illegal firearms coming into the city has not helped. According to city officials, most of the guns come from Illinois and neighboring states, although the rest of the guns tend to come from the south. Of the 50,000 guns traced between 2001 and