Between 2017-2021, the ATF estimates nearly 70% of guns used in Kentucky crimes were traced to different people than those who purchased them. Meaning they were either lost or stolen
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A new federal report on gun crime in the U.S. is shining light on issues plaguing the Louisville community — and Kentucky as a whole.
The data spearheaded by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) details how theft and machine gun conversion devices are putting more people in danger.
Between 2017-2021, the ATF estimates nearly 70% of guns used in Kentucky crimes were traced to different people than those who purchased them.
That ranks second highest in the country.
WHAS11 spoke to special agents at the ATF’s Louisville Field Division about the report, which shows criminal gun trafficking playing an increasingly prevalent role in violent crime — even among younger populations, teenagers between 15-18 years old.
“I think a lot of that is probably the theft of firearms because we have so many. 4,000 a year, that’s quite a few,” Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Maynard said.
He said that number has risen quite a bit compared to a decade ago.
Maynard attributes much of it to more people storing firearms in their cars, and he’s calling on gun owners to properly secure their weapons to help combat the problem.