Gun study emphasizes distribution regulation

The gun control debate continues throughout the country. While many focus on restricting who can buy these weapons, one Notre Dame study shows that it may be essential to safeguard the distribution process as well.

Kevin Bradford has studied how manufacturers and distribution methods impact gun crimes since 2001. His team reviewed 28,000 pages of court documents and found there to be a negative relationship between manufacturers who put safeguards in place for distribution and their guns being used in crimes.

A lack of safeguards allows new guns to go to dealers that do not follow the proper process for sales.

"One percent of gun dealers are responsible for 45 to 6 percent of all crime guns," Bradford said.

He suggests more vigilance from manufacturers could keep guns out of the wrong hands.

"Dealers and manufacturers need to step up to the plate a little more," he said.

Bradford points to diversion as the main way criminals acquire these weapons - many of which are new at the time of a crime.

"A lot of these guns come from the primary market and are diverted to the criminal market either by one person buying guns for someone who cannot have a gun, stealing them or dealers themselves knowingly selling to criminals," Bradford said.

He also emphasized that the aim is not to further restrict law-abiding citizens, but to ensure that the appropriate rules are followed from the moment a gun leaves the manufacturing facility.

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