This morning’s New York Times reports on a new study by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which concludes that states with the loosest gun laws – states like Virginia – “exported guns used in crimes at significantly higher rates than states with more stringent laws.”
“What this does is help refute some of the statements that people make on the pro-gun side in saying that tougher gun laws are unconnected to reducing crime,” he said.
“A state’s gun laws are only as good as the weakest link in the national chain,” Professor Fox said. “A state with weaker gun laws becomes a supplier for states with stronger laws.”
Indeed, the authors of the mayors’ study, which was prepared largely out of Mr. Bloomberg’s office, said the findings suggested that gun traffickers had sought out states with less restrictive gun-purchase laws.
“What this really shows is that bad laws really do equal more gun trafficking,” said John Feinblatt, Mr. Bloomberg’s chief policy adviser, “and that gaps in the law really do make a difference.”
Where does Virginia fit into all this? According to the study, Virginia is one of the top 10 states, on a per capita basis, in terms of gun export rates. These 10 states “also supply a greater proportion of guns that are likely to have been trafficked.” And, not surprisingly, “There is a strong association between a state’s gun laws and that state’s propensity to export crime guns.” Which is why it’s not surprising that, in 2009, Virginia – with its relatively lax gun laws – ranked third in the nation in top interstate crime gun supplier states, behind only Georgia and Florida. It’s also why laws like “one gun a month” and closing the “gunshow loophole” are so important, if we could ever get them passed in Virginia.