Anti-gun groups, mayors want to 'shame' gun makers

Anti-gun groups, mayors want to 'shame' gun makers
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Gun makers draw a lot of anti-gun ire. After all, they sell a product that anti-gunners have a huge problem with. There’s a reason there is a certain degree of animosity between the two groups.

However, it seems that the anti-Second Amendment crowd, including a lot of anti-gun mayors, are trying to “shame” gun manufacturers.

Mayors and gun-safety advocates are increasingly showing their willingness to name and shame gunmakers.

The big picture: In 2021 alone, four manufacturers accounted for over half of the recovered guns used in crimes across 31 cities, according to a new Everytown for Gun Safety analysis shared first with Axios.

  • “Mayors are on the frontlines of our nation’s gun violence epidemic and that’s why we won’t shy away from naming those who make the guns that are killing our communities,” said Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City, Missouri, who is a co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition of mayors working with Everytown to end gun violence.

Now, I’m going to interrupt here for a bit of fun.

You see, Cam and I were talking about exactly this story this morning, and we decided to try to guess what gun makers were going to be named. I said we could probably guess what the four manufacturers in question were without looking.

I said Glock, Smith & Wesson, Sig, and Taurus. Cam figured I was pretty close but figured Ruger would be in the mix. These were based on the overall popularity of the guns among gun buyers and owners we know and/or follow on social media.

The results?

  • Axios has reached out to the four manufacturers named by the report — Glock, Smith & Wesson, Taurus, and Ruger — but has not heard back.

So, I missed it on Sig, and Cam called it on Ruger. Not too shabby.

It also illustrates something pretty important about this so-called “analysis.” See, Everytown makes a big deal about evaluating where these guns are made but doesn’t seem to push the data it got on how they were obtained.

They don’t actively hide it, necessarily, but they try to bury it down in their report.

  • Of the over 1.4 million crime guns traced over this five-year period, more than 45 percent — 642,306 — were used in a crime within just three years of their initial retail sale. From 2020 to 2021, the number of guns recovered within three years of purchase increased 33 percent, from 144,102 to 191,763.
  • Over the five years studied, 122,089 traced crime guns were likely purchased with the intent to traffic them, and the number of trafficked guns increased 48 percent from 2020 to 2021.

So, let me get this straight. Guns purchased specifically to be trafficked accounted for less than 10 percent of the total firearms used in crime over this five-year period, and Everytown and these mayors think gun makers should feel some degree of shame?

Hardly.

First, 90 percent of the guns were apparently bought for legitimate purposes in accordance with the law. These were likely either stolen or sold on the secondary market, both of which are beyond the ability of gun makers to do much of anything about.

Of the less than 10 percent remaining, it’s impossible to tell just how those sales happened. What we do know, though, is that pretty much none of those sales happened without going through a licensed gun dealer first. Most of those were actually purchased by gun stores for sale.

In other words, gun makers aren’t responsible for these sales.

Even those who buy guns directly from the manufacturers are typically getting them shipped from the gun maker to their local dealer. That’s because guns can’t be shipped directly to an individual.

So, again, why should they feel any shame over what’s happening?

Then there’s the fact that in order to shame someone, that someone has to actually value your opinion of them. It’s unlikely these anti-gun mayors and their opinions are that highly valued in the first place.

But this isn’t really about shame. It’s about blame, and we all know it.

However, based on Everytown’s own numbers, gun makers simply aren’t where any blame belongs.